Monday, July 5, 2010

mean



“Is this related to the long e?” I asked. The boy shook his head. In my hand, I held a frail sheet of paper where he had scribbled his name in seventeen different styles. On the board, a PowerPoint slide stood frozen, marinating on the screen.

“No? Okay. Do we need it?” He shook his head again. “Answer me!” I barked. “Use your words!”

“N-no,” he stuttered. “No, sir.”

“Can I throw it?” I asked. He looked up. I was standing right in front of him like an animal ready to pounce. He looked back down and nodded, signaling a surrender of sorts.

“Can I tear it up first?” I asked, with a smile on my face. He no longer answered me. The class was quiet and the only thing you could hear apart from the gentle humming of the AC was the sound of a small, innocent piece of paper being ripped to shreds.

---

I’ve been losing my temper way too much these days. This little incident started over a measly house rule violation. I could’ve solved it by rewarding points to the other teams but instead, I became emotional. I attacked him for not listening to me, for his assumption that my lessons were not important. I traced his behavior to one simple fact: he did not think I was good enough to train him. When he disrupted the class, he grossly disrespected me and for that, he got the bitter end of my words.

I thought that that whole thing was just an isolated incident but then last Thursday, I snapped at another trainee. Fearing a repeat of the paper incident, I asked him to step out instead. He was getting on my nerves. I never saw him again. He didn’t come back from lunch. I think I scared him away.

Mean. That’s the only word I can think of. My friends tell me that there’s something different about me. Truth is, they needn’t even bother. I’ve seen the change for myself. Somehow, along the way, I managed to lose the one thing I swore I would hold on to: myself*. I’ve lost the will to work, the patience it takes to do my job, the perseverance to love or to even be anything. If I could have my way, I would lock myself in my room all day until I’m nicer.

But I can’t do that. I need to work to live. And so I have to make do with what I have.

“Parang ang bait mo kasi noon. Nakakapanibago lang,” a friend from work explained. She felt she needed to step in after rumors of me turning into Hitler started to surface. My first impulse was to retaliate, to be strong in my anger. But then I realized she was right. You can’t argue with someone who’s right.

“Ano ba kasi problema?” she asked. “Do you want to talk about it?”

“Wala naman,” I lied. For days, I had been trying not to think of a lot of things. If I allowed my mind to wander, even for just a tiny little bit, I knew I’d go ballistic. Being mean was my way of coping with the tiny voices in my head that tell me I’m not good enough. Being mean was my way of ignoring the insecurities that were piling up and demanding attention. I looked in the mirror, wondering how that nice little boy two years ago could turn into this miserable old man. How do I get him back?

An external change to inspire an internal one. You see it all the time in movies. I looked at old pictures of myself, when I was proud of who I was and what I was doing. I figured, if I look more like the guy I was two years ago, the niceness would automatically follow.

I had been growing my hair for close to six months. With the exception of the Bieber comparisons, I loved everything about it. One morning, when sleep seemed to avoid me, I marched right on to the nearest salon. Without thinking twice, I told the stylist I wanted most of it out. The shampoo guy who took his time washing my hair, telling me how soft it was and everything looked absolutely stunned. “Sayang,” he muttered under his breath. I didn’t explain it to him. He wouldn’t have understood.

The following day, I got mixed reactions for my new hairdo. Some liked it, some didn’t and a great number of people didn’t even recognize me. None of them mattered to me. There was only one person I needed to hear from, one person I needed to convince. With a smile that could rival most of the great movie villains of our time, I singled out my friend near the copier.

“Well, mukha na ba akong mabait?” I asked her. She stared at me for a good ten seconds. In my heart of hearts, I prayed that it worked.

Photo Credit: papercut

Pink
Mean
Funhouse

55 comments:

  1. eeeeek trainer from hell!

    then again, you're lucky you're not training us. our batch is a smart but extremely rowdy one hahahaha

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  2. Me, I wasn't really bothered with the meanness; if anything, it's an indication that you're still alive and kicking. LOL. What bothers me a little are your/our almost-daily expeditions to Jupiter.

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  3. i blame the cigarettes, alcohol and cheese sandwiches (naturally)... =P

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  4. being nice is overrated anyway. nice guys finish last...

    did i just say that? lol

    but yeah, i totally understand. i say kill them with kindness next time :P

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  5. @Ternie: Normally, I like smart and rowdy. Siguro nasobrahan lang that day.

    Yes, I am the trainer from hell! Bwahahaha!!!

    @Victor: idk I guess it's the stress. You know what I mean. lol

    @LOF: Back to the cheese sandwiches. haha I haven't had any of the three in over 24 hours. That's new. :/

    @Darc: It kinda just sucks. You wake up one day and you realize you're not the nice guy you were before.

    Kill them with kindness? Hmm.. can I do that? I'm starting to doubt if I have a nice bone left in my body. lol

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  6. Well, they are very delicious. Haha but I think I'm sticking to good ol' PB&J. I need that umay factor to remind me to stop eating. lol

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  7. have you tried PB&honey? can be refreshing depending on the type of honey....

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  8. I can relate to your sudden bursts of anger. I'm hot-tempered though nag-lie low na ko. Hehe.. Minsan kasi, ang sarap magalit talaga. The anger itself energizes you. It's your magic propeller. It's nice to hang on to your friend's words that you weren't always like that :) We all have our moments. As they say, there's always peace after a storm. Naks! Your trainee should know better also, especially if he has been in your class for a # of weeks now. I mean, I'd shut up.

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  9. A glass of red to calm nerves won't hurt. Cheers?

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  10. ^ What she said about the anger part.

    In the process, however, you do get to hurt people around you (and at times, you yourself get hurt as well), either with or without intention, if you do let your anger get the best of you. I'd suggest either screaming your lungs out while your inside the bathroom, or take it all out on a boxing dummy or something.

    You'll get back up in no time. :]

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  11. okay lang maging mean paminsan-minsan, huwag lang palagi. lurv your new pic. yan ba ang bago mong hairstyle? nice! i've seen your bieber 'do sa mga pics nyo ni yj sa isang blogger gathering and i would say na mas bagay sa'yo ang ganito. mas mukha ka ngang mabait. hehe! :)

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  12. Leos bare their fangs when they aren't given the attention they deserve.

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  13. wala sa buhok yan... just keep on smiling...

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  14. akala ko nung una fiction cia, andame ko nang naisip na ilagay sa comment box: compelling ung simula, ang ganda ng dialogue, chene chene...pero totoo pala. hindi ko alam kung ano sasabihin, nyl. i liked you then. i still like you now. i love you always. *YAKAP*


    and syempre, i wish we could hang out more often. lately kasi nakakapaghang out na lang tayo pag okay o masaya lang ang buhay..hmmm...

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  15. woah.

    brings back teaching days. kung magkatabi tayo ng klase, aabutan kita ng yelo.

    show them a little fang but never bite. :p

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  16. *2nd incident. incident talaga oh.*
    you scared the trainee away. hala ka. LOL

    cool ka lang, baka maIncident Report ka nyan. :)

    love the pic. may dark side ka nga. hehe.

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  17. unahan lang yan. dapat may konting takot sa umpisa na mapapalitan ng respeto sa bandang huli. =)
    teacher tayo di ba. given na yung mga estudyanteng ksp o yung feeling magaling o yung uninterested. hehehe. but they all need our attention. smile lang nang smile.

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  18. glentot may be right. pms lang yan hehehe

    but i lurve your new look nyl. suits u better =D and should i mention that you're smizing in your pic :P

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  19. “Parang ang bait mo kasi noon. Nakakapanibago lang,”

    ---meaning, you are becoming more sinister now? naku---wag--reverse reaction. di bagay. need to bring back your halo.

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  20. I sometimes lose my temper. does that mean i am not a nice guy?

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  21. @LOF: Honey? I'm not such a big fan but I'll try it one of these days. :]

    @Tricia: Third day eh. haha I needed to break their horns! Ewan ko ba. A lot more happened after that pero in fairness, ngayon okay na kami.

    It's good that I'm not the only one who has this pala. lol Makes me feel less like a prick.

    @Glentot: I wish yun lang yun. Haha but guys get PMS too, you know?

    @Peter: I hate wine! It makes me feel 10 years older. lol

    Rei: I think me tearing up the paper was my version of screaming. I wish I could've taken it cooler than I did pero yun na yun eh. After the second incident, I went to our faculty room to release some steam. lol

    @Aris: Yeah, wag lang parati. lol

    Thanks for the compliment. At yes! successful and aking mini experiment!!

    @Rudeboy: I can blame so many things on my zodiac. I love it! lol

    @Ewik: :D <- okay na? lol

    @Debbie: Awww... I super miss you, friend! We should totally hang out soon. I tried calling you kanina pero cannot be reacher daw.

    @Alterjon: I think I bit them a little bit. Haha Kahit ako natakot sa sarili ko.

    @Nimmy: True. Wala namna. I apologized, they apologized and so we're good na.

    The pic? Haha yeah, naputulan kami ng ilaw eh. lol

    @Paci: Ooh! Haven't seen you here in a while. Welcome back!

    I think yung klase (at first ha) was a combination of the three things you said. Pero in the end, misunderstood lang. Nasibrahan ko lang ata ng negative reinforcement. lol

    @Lee: Haha ang pangit naman ng PMS! haha

    Smizing talaga? I didn't realize! Nasobrahan ata (o kulang ba) ng tulog.

    @Antonio: I think I am sinister na. My halo's gone missing. Lemme know if you find it.

    @Ahmer: Not exactly. haha malay mo off day lang. Kung parati, that's when I'd be a little careful. :/

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  22. fighting, threatening, coercing or intimidating other employees/trainees is a violation of company policy. violations result to disciplinary action up to and including termination.


    sorry, reflex.

    hahaha

    nyl, wax in, wax out.

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  23. it has to be the right kind. all honeys are not equal!

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  24. @Donnie: Hala ka! May ganon? Haha Ayoko na!!

    @LOF: Of course. Kaso the honey we have at home isn't exactly the best kind. I think we bought it when FVR was still in office. lol

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  25. negative reinforcement doesn't work especially nowadays. we know that is so old school. you are NOT a nun for crying out loud! hehehe.

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  26. "negative reinforcement doesn't work especially nowadays. we know that is so old school. you are NOT a nun for crying out loud! hehehe. "

    @Paci: What happened to your comment? Haha That's where you're wrong! It works and I AM a nun! lol

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  27. Well, we sometimes have to deal with our behavior. And sometimes, even we held back as much as we would want to, we still holla!

    But it's good that you realized that there's something wrong. Step by step, you'll get back the nice guy two years ago.

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  28. whow... i imagine your mean face and how weird but cute your fingers curl.

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  29. like Victor, i'm more worried about your daily stops at our place in Jupz....

    but then, sabi nga ni Glenn, baka PMS nga yan.... bwah

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  30. Something's up with Blogger's comments. None of the comments are getting published anymore. :/

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  31. I WOULD LIKE TO LEARN your style in being mean..lalo na sa mga bitchesa kong estudyante

    aww, by the way, nais ko sanang hingin ang permission mo. im teaching world lit, and part of it is creative non fiction..pwede ko bang gawing sample ang kahit ano sa mga works mo ? :)

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  32. Blogger comments are still iffy. Not sure if this'll work. Rawr.

    @CaptainRunner: Ahoy there! Welcome to my blog!

    I sure hope I get to meet him again. I kinda miss him. :c

    @Juber: Haha yeah, my fingers are funny. But you know I could never really be mean.

    @YJ: I'm okay. Don't worry about me, mami. :/

    @Anteros: Hey! Haven't seen you here in a while. Sure, I have a Creative Commons license. The link is on the toolbar above the Followers Gadget. As long as you attribute and you don't change anything that's fine. Let me know how it goes! :D

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  33. ʎonqʎʇıɔ---e national mental hospital yung nasa gitnang gitna ng 3rd picture e.doon kayong dalawa ni victor???hehe

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  34. did i mention how much i like your new profile pic?

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  35. patron saint of lost comments, heeeeelp!!!!

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  36. @LOF: Why thank you, LOF! You always flatter me. lol

    @Paci: Iknerrryttt!! I've been keeping tabs on the help forums. It seems no one knows what causes it or when it'll be fixed.

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  37. HINDI ko kasi alam kung nagkamali ba ako nun ng link kasi wala akong nakikitang update sa blog mo..nang magcheck ako sa links ko, yung luma mo pa palang url ang nasa akin (toink)

    dont worry, i'll update you. if by any chance, pwede ba kitang imbitahan na humarap sa mga estudyante ko? konting talk lang, blogging and stuff (wag mo na lang po banggitin sa kanila na blogger din ako baka kasi mawindang sila sa akin)

    magkano po ba ang professional fee mo? :)

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  38. Hala! Nakakahiya naman! Okay lang naman sa akin kaso nakakahiya talaga.

    Okay lang. When I moved to this new URL, andami talagang nalagas. Buti nakabalik ka. :]

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  39. hehehehe jumajacob lang ang buhok ha, siguro nahawa ka sa temper ni jacob, eer ok pinanood ko yung movie

    anyway, halos lahat naman tayo nagtratrabaho nakakaranas ng matinding stress kaya minsan hindi talaga natin maiwasang sumabog na lang basta basta, kawawa nga lang yung taong napabalingan natin nun

    ang mahirap pa nun once nasabi na natin ang mga nasabi natin we can no longer take it back, naka hurt tayo ng iba and sometimes naguguilty na din tayo

    relax lang, sana yung haircut nakatulong hehehehe

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  40. i would use your generic here: i like the honesty of this post. HAHA!

    there, you should be smiling at this point now.

    sometimes, though completely unconnected, we feel lighter inside when we are a bit fresh with how we look anew. see that new haircut when we meet.

    and yeah, i think this is somewhat related with your frequents in Jupiter.


    cheerup. wakka wakka.

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  41. @Xtian: Hala, Jacob Black? Sinabihan din ako ng trainees ko. Kaso parang sinabugan ng bomba. lol

    True, and that's why I apologized the next time I saw them. In fairness, okay na kami ngayon. I just have to remember that different people learn in different ways. Wag na ako choosy, no. lol

    Yeah, the haircut kinda worked. lol Thanks!

    @Yas: Thanks for dropping by! Haircuts rock!

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  42. nyl? mean?

    i totally relate to this post. i had my own moment yesterday. i guess you're right about all the insecurities piling up, the little voices inside your head telling you that you're not good enough. but u are good enough nyl, maybe better. hope u already found a way to stay calm whenever you're angry. :)

    hugs nyl! :)

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  43. Awww, Mikee! You're too sweet. Yes, I'm calmer now. I don't know what it was. Maybe it really was just PMS. lol

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  44. its ok to get mean and warfreak at times.

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  45. glad that you're better now :D

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  46. @Cio: Yeah, as long as I don't make a habit of it.

    @Pipo: Thanks for dropping by!

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  47. Nag ala-Kimmy Go-Dong-Hae! Taray! HAHA
    XD

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  48. you sound a lot like my professor. but my professor is smart, dont worry. hehe

    well, people change. all they have to do is to cope up. hehe

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  49. @Yohan: Di naman! Haha Babalik ako sa pagiging Dora!!

    @Allen: Wow naman. Salamat po. I think I just need to keep staying afloat otherwise, good luck nalang sa akin.

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  50. uso ang init ng ulo sa office ngayon! keri lang yan! miss you!

    >>>hugs<<<

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  51. Aww... Miss u too! di ka na dumadalaw sa GCMA. Uso ba? Sige, tutuloy ko pa!

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  52. Ako rin, madalas na mag-init ulo ko. Nasobrahan ata sa kape. Sabi ko na nga ba dapat hindi ako umiinom nun. Either that, or tumatanda na talaga ako, kaya ayan, bugnutin. Hahah

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  53. It could be both. Haha ako din kasi, adik sa kape at hindi naman ako bumabata. Perhaps it's both. :/

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