some weeks ago i was yelled at by a very angry man because i was making too much noise and he was having difficulty sleeping after having worked a night shift.
he opened the conversation by shouting loudly, making threats that were colorful and suggestions for activities that would be anatomically impossible.
but the thing was there: i had been noisy. and he was cranky.
so i said i get it. ok.
and he continued to yell at me, embellishing both threats and suggestions.
ok, i said.
there was a great deal more shouting, after each installment i simply and quietly said ok.
and after a while, the man just looked really confused, grumbled a few more hostile things and went about his business.
i do not know what he was expecting from me, but apparently quiet acquiescence was not part of how he imagined the course of the conversation. he had all this ANGRY to express and my instant capitulation i think simply did not fit his expectations.
he was confused.
here's sort of how it goes:
I AM VERY ANGRY AND I WANT YOU TO STOP THE THING YOU ARE DOING!!
i understand. ok.
BUT I AM VERY, VERY ANGRY AND IF YOU DO NOT STOP I WILL DO YOU BODILY HARM!
YOU ARE DOING THE THING I WANTED AND I AM STILL SHOUTING!
I AM CONFUSED! I EXPECTED LESS COOPERATION!
I AM NOW REALIZING THAT IF I HAD ASKED YOU TO STOP MAKING THE NOISE A HALF HOUR AGO I MIGHT BE ASLEEP BY NOW!
BUT I STILL FEEL ANGRY AND IT IS VAGUELY UNSATISFYING TO YELL AT YOU!
i am going to grumble some things now so i will feel i had the last word.