“A young mind is out of control.”
Today, I had an engaging conversation with my manager who’s been someone like a mother to me. Despite our rough beginnings and her volatile personality, I’m happy to have her in my life and I enjoy her presence, most especially (don’t say anything), when she’s in a pleasant mood.
We were talking about people who could be mentally unstable. I’m not saying names. People who get angry easily, who have no control of their emotions, who gossip, who listen to stories and peoples’ problems and spew what was heard back around with their own spin. She’s been victimized in the past so I understand her.
She’s sometimes crazy herself.
Maybe not so much.
A few minutes earlier, a customer threw a tantrum and threatened to “knock [my] head off [my] shoulders” (which is impossible because I have a big head). The anger! The sheer rage he expressed! (I can’t go into details right now about what I do for a living, but I don’t sell crystal meth to children.)
I think I had control in a potentially dangerous situation. In the past, I’d experienced this thing where things would go blurry while in the moment. I’d be overwhelmed with emotions – fear, anger, confusion, fight, flight – and then, I wouldn’t be in the situation. Like brain fog. Like being in the fog of war. Then, my body would tense up, I’d grind my teeth and get so angry inside, and my day would be ruined after much rumination.
But this customer – not even a customer! – tantrumed as if he were a child. A grown man. My manager interceded. “Okay, enough,” she repeated about half a dozen times.
“Don’t talk to me like you’re my mother!” The angry man yelled. Maybe he has mommy issues.
“Enough!” My manager yelled with sheer authority and a sense of finality that silenced the angry man with mommy issues. Hey! She’s my mommy! Get your own!
But I remembered being in the moment. There was no fog of war. My breathing was calm. So this is how clutch people… well… deliver in the clutch! The moment doesn’t get to them. And his scowling face, my customer’s indisposed and not-in-the-mood (what’s the word for it?) face, the entire moment… was crystal clear. No fear. No anger. I was in control.
He obviously wasn’t.
Since it’s unrelated to the incident, I forgot the context of the quote, but I said it to a co-worker who I’m training an hour afterwards and, for some reason, it sounded cool at the time. “That’s going on my blog!” I told her. She’s eight years younger than I am and ever since naming her my “protege”, her job performance has improved. Because you have to pass down wisdom to those younger like what my “mother” does with me. My trainee’s response?
Now, that moment is gone and its true meaning is forgotten. Such a quote could mean anything in different situations.
What does it mean right now in time?