Thursday, February 7, 2008

Shiny happy people.

Dude has not responded to my letter (sent in an email, actually). Not even a “thank you for your concern” brush-off. I’m a little steamed about that, but I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he’s away. Maybe he gets hundreds of emails a day. Maybe he’s setting up a subcommittee on School Scheduling and waiting until it’s more developed to give me a response. Maybe.

I do that. I give people the benefit of the doubt, making up imaginary excuses for them so that whatever they have done is not an intentional insult directed at me, but just the result of a perfectly logical string of events. Homer is not at all like this. If someone pisses him off, he immediately assumes the worst.

Case in point: The after school care we have for Bart and Lisa has been extremely unreliable. Since we started with the caregiver in December, they have not been able to go there one full week. Every week there has been one day that there has been a problem: the caregiver has been sick; one of her kids has been sick (requiring a doctor’s visit); one of her kids has a dentist appointment in the afternoon. She told me just last week that the family will be taking a vacation (7 school days) at the end of February – sorry. Make no mistake, my stomach is in knots over the whole thing. I obviously need to find someone who takes the job more seriously, but I find myself arguing with Homer that “she can’t help getting sick” and “maybe her kids are so sick they need the doctor” and “why shouldn’t she be able to take her kid to the dentist in the day; maybe the dentist doesn’t have evening hours” and on and on. Homer is a raving lunatic, wanting to blast her over the phone and fire her on the spot (and then do WHAT, exactly, with the kids, smart guy?)

The proper response to the situation is obviously somewhere in between “shiny happy people” and “stark raving lunatic”, and eventually we do get there. My approach calms Homer down enough that he refrains from following his immediate instinct to tear a strip off the offender; his approach makes me look at the situation more critically and allow some kind of action so that I’m not serving as the world’s punching bag. Sometimes it takes awhile to get to that middle ground, but we always do.

14 comments:

Tessie said...

What a great post. This is EXACTLY like BR and me. One of the reasons we're a good match is that I ALWAYS give people the benefit of the doubt, and he thinks everyone is out to screw him over. Sometimes I'm right, and sometimes he is, BUT I STILL LIKE MY WAY BETTER. Cripes. Being with someone who thinks EVERYONE SUCKS gets old too. Not that he doesn't feel the same way about me, but THIS IS MY BLOG COMMENT AND YOU ARE MY BLOG FRIEND.

Misty said...

*Ahem*

Hi. My name is Misty and I am like Homer.

Still, obviously you need a more stable childcare situation. I find it amusing that you are willing to write the school board trustee to express a need for change, but stick up for the lady you pay when she flakes out on you. :)

The reasons you listed are the exact reasons I choose a center over an invididual. Is that an option for you? My center even goes and picks the kiddies up from school.

LoriD said...

Tessie - it does get old. A lot of times I'm defending the indefensible just to counteract his irrational response.

Misty - you figured me out. I am much bolder in writing and with people I don't know than I am with face-to-face confrontations with people I do know. I WISH centre-based care was available for the older two. A lot of schools have daycares attached, but not ours.

Banana said...

TM and I are absolutely like this too. He jumps immediately to the "get rid of them" or "never talk to them again" answer and I'm way more inclined in make excuses and give the benefit of several doubts.

Family Adventure said...

I am going with he is trying to figure out who can best look into this situation and that he wants answers for you before he replies.

That had BETTER be the case...

Heidi

Jess said...

This is exactly like Torsten and me too. I'm always the one arguing that we shouldn't give a bad tip to a waiter because maybe there was a reason why he took three hours to take our order, never refilled our drinks, etc. I don't want to say it's a gender thing, but I think in general women are more likely to try to be accommodating and men are more likely to just make a decision and go with it. IN GENERAL.

JMC said...

My husband and I are the same way. He is cynical and thinks everyone is out to screw him over, I think everyone is basically decent and fair and trying to do their best. It sucks when he's right. Usually, though, everything falls somewhere in the middle.

Jess is right on the money, even though she doesn't want to say it. I'll say it for her. It's a gender thing. IN GENERAL. ;)

shay said...

You are us OR we are you....no that doesn't sound right but I get it lol.
I'm shiny happy and he's giving people the finger. I know there must be a middle ground.

But until then...I hope you find someone a bit more reliable. I agree she's not taking the whole thing very seriously at all!

Chantal said...

We went through such a similar situation. Our home care provider was going through her own "stuff" and became extremely unreliable. We found a replacement but we had to wait 2 excruciating months to get my youngest son there. It was so hard on our relationship. My husband became more and more hostile towards our sitter. The worse was a day where we showed up to drop our youngest off and she answered the door in her housecoat and said she couldn't take him that day. OMG I thought my hubby's head was going to explode. I found myself defending her a lot against his hostility, which made me resentful (oh how complex we humans are). I sincerely hope you find a solution to your care issues. It would make your lives so much more enjoyable.

Pickles & Dimes said...

That's Jason & I in a nutshell too. He immediately gets defensive when things don't go exactly as planned while I'm trying to come up with valid reasons why they didn't.

The daycare thing would bother me too, though. You're paying her to watch your kids. You shouldn't have to be scrambling for backup accommodations every week.

Badness Jones said...

Childcare issues make me physically sick. I actually had the opposite problem with the first home daycare we sent the Princess to. The woman wouldn't call me, no matter what was going on. Hubs would show up, and the Princess would be sick, and the caregiver would be miserable....honestly, I want to know. I can leave work early if I have to!

mom of the year said...

Wow. You and I are both of the "everyone really is a good person somewhere inside" school of thought, I think. I finally decided to F*@$& that since I was the only one that was ever upset about things. Anyway, best of luck with your situation. Man, that stinks. If I lived near you, I'd say "Just bring the darling over here!"

desperate housewife said...

Apparently this is nearly EVERYONE'S situation. I was all set to comment and be like, "Hey, this is JUST like Jim and me!" but it seems everyone has beaten me to the punch.
So I'll just say ditto.
Oh, and I'll second Tessie: I still like "our" way better.

Haley-O said...

Oooo, Josh and I are just like that, too!!! I give people the benefit of the doubt. And, Josh is the OPPOSITE. He's like Trump: YOU'RE FIRED! ;)