Reactions

I’m contemplating reactions right now and how misinformation, not having all of the information and having more complete information change our reactions.

Because of a bizarre mix of miscommunication and occurrences making it so information couldn’t be passed along, multiple people were unhappy and I ended up with a bit of an interesting email wanting to know, basically, what was going on and why. It irritated me because I’d done everything I could to comply with the request in a manner that worked around the fact that I had an appointment this morning and I couldn’t figure out why this wasn’t good enough.

Before I left for my appointment, I was supposed to meet with someone, but that person didn’t show before I’d advised that I had to leave, so I did what I could to comply with what they’d requested from me. I sent an email advising another person of what I’d done, knowing (so I thought) that said email would get to where it needed to be.

Fast forward 30 minutes. I’m in my meeting with the Brickfields Asia College guy and get a phone call from an unknown number. I’ve had someone texting me recently from an unknown number asking if we can be friends and since I already have a policy of not accepting phone calls from unknown numbers (unless I am expecting a call), I didn’t answer it. 20 minutes later, I get a phone call from the person I’d emailed, asking if I was home and about this thing I was supposed to do. Apparently, this person had been out of contact with email for a while and hadn’t received my email making it so the information in the email had never gotten passed along. I advise that my meeting is almost over and that I’ll go straight home after. So, I wrap up my meeting with the college guy pretty quickly and head home. 15 minutes later, I arrive.

Because I don’t have much data on my phone, I keep the data plan off unless I’m expecting an email when I’m away from home and just rely on using wifi when I am home. As my phone is syncing with my email after I got home, I get an email from someone else who is basically accusing me of being difficult and withholding what does not belong to me. I felt like I had done everything I could to ensure that the request would be completed as smoothly as possible, but that didn’t seem to be enough.

So, I respond to this email and try to explain that I’ve done everything I could to NOT be difficult and let this person know I’m now home. As I hit ‘send’, my doorbell rings. I’m guessing the information about me being on my way home had been passed along quickly. Because it was just moments before that I’d read this email, my strongest feeling was irritation. So, when the person at the door asked how I was, I told them I was irritated because I had received a not-so-polite email. I hadn’t had time to compartmentalize because I’d literally just read the email less than a minute before and the irritation was still on the surface.

This person and talked for a minute about what had happened and apparently, using four people to pass along information and schedule something is just a really bad idea. I thought it would be simple to just pass along basic information of when to meet up, but that turns out to not be the case. What was supposed to be passed on was that 9-10 was the time to come over this morning because I was going to be gone at 10:15 for a 10:30 appointment, but it seems that what got passed along was ‘after 9:00’ and then because of other reasons, where I live wasn’t known and other people being busy prevented that information from being passed on until after I’d already left and it was just a huge mess of miscommunication and people being busy and not able to get and respond to information right away.  I should have just asked for my number to be given to the person who was coming over and then asked for the number of the person coming over so I could call shortly before I had to leave to let them know I was leaving. That probably would have prevented this whole thing from happening. But, we all thought we had solid pieces of information, so nobody thought of making sure the two people who were actually meeting up needed each other’s contact information.

Having more pieces of why the email got sent to me, I can see why it was sent. If I’d been in that person’s shoes, I totally would have been irritated and thought I was being difficult, too. Doesn’t mean I LIKE the fact that it was sent to me, but I can understand it a little bit more.

Which brings me to reactions. We all thought we were justified in our reactions – the person who came over was irritated because I wasn’t where I was supposed to be (or so this person thought), the person who sent the email because that person had to figure out why I wasn’t doing what had been agreed on when they are already very busy and me because I’d done everything I could to be compliant and someone was still being upset with me.

Now that we all have more information, all of us feel differently about it all. The person who came over isn’t irritated anymore because what was supposed to get done got done and the reason I wasn’t home when it was thought I would be has been explained. I’m not so irritated anymore because now I can see and understand why the email was sent. And I’m assuming the person who sent the email isn’t so irritated anymore because it has come out that I really wasn’t being difficult or doing what it had appeared I was doing.

Reactions vary based on the level of information held. We all had justifiable reasons for feeling irritated because of the different information we all had. Now that more information is known, we all understand what happened and nobody is upset about it anymore. It’s just one of those things that happens and we just get to look back on it and use it as a way to prevent similar situations. I guess this whole thing is a lesson in working harder to verify everyone knows what is going on and having a back-up plan, as well as taking time to reflect before reacting. Nobody was over the top rude or nasty about anything, but we all let it be known that we were irritated about what was going on because we all felt justified in our irritation. And we all were. I didn’t think the person who sent the email was justified in sending it to me when I first got it, but after finding out the background information about why it was sent, I can see why it was sent. Understanding a situation makes it easier to accept and move on. Now that we all understand what happened, we move forward. I think this is my favorite reaction. lol.