Ask Me the Question, Tell Me the Truth

Why don’t people just say what they mean, and ask for what they want? Could it be any easier than that? One of the personality traits I find the most maddening is often referred to as “passive-aggressive behavior”, but I’m not sure if that’s the proper term for the phenomenon.

Case in point.

Him: It’s really just some little thing, but don’t you think it’d be a good idea to do XYZ?

Me: Hrm… not really, because XYZ is just a lazier way of doing ABC, which we can already do, but which was designed specifically to minimize human error during the process.

Him: Yeah, I understand that, but can’t we have it both ways?

Me: Doing it both ways violates the precept of the design, which has evolved over years of user interaction. XYZ introduces the possibility for inadvertent fuckups, and requires double the back-end processing to make sure nobody fucks it up after all; I don’t see the benefit versus the onus of extra processing.

Him: (continued cajoling)

Me: Fine, I still don’t get it, but I’ll do it, Boss-Man.

Wouldn’t it be a lot more efficient to present it thusly?

Him: The current ABC process is fine, but I’d rather do XYZ and get the same effect. The way I (and others may) work: ABC is too restrictive, and hampers my productivity. Make XYZ work, save me some time, and get me to a place where I can actually do some important shit instead of dealing with lowest-common-denominator restrictions you (rightfully?) place on the rest of the company.

Me: Damn, good point. The less time it takes you to get to “innovating”, the better. I’ll get right on it.

Why do people have a problem with being straightforward?

I realize that I’m a much more literal person than most. I don’t necessarily catch innuendo or pick up the subtle hints that most people employ when dealing with others. Social courtesy? Perhaps. But, I don’t get that shit.

You want something? Tell me what you want, and–as I am always eager to please–I’ll fucking do it. Don’t bait me into an intellectual debate regarding the merits of your idea or desire.

The descent into meaningless argument is ultimately unnecessary. Save me some fucking time.

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2 thoughts on “Ask Me the Question, Tell Me the Truth

  1. “Why do people have a problem being straight forward”, you ask..I have observed an entire population of people who lack a spine and therefore have been left behind in the evolutionary process of walking upright. Now I ask you, Biology Boy, if this is a biological adaptation of sorts or if this falls into the realm of some sort of cultural phenomena? Perhaps the innuedo is a clever attempt at humor. Might I also point out that YOU are the one with the problem if you lack the “skill” of mind reading- is that passive-aggresive enough for you? Let me be straight forward, if I may… in this current day-in-age of walking lightly around people’s feeling and being overly PC we have lost the ability to KEEP IT REAL!!!
    Danielle,
    undergraduate student of Cultural Anthropology at the University of South Florida

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