Some issues came up through what may have been a break in the communication lines, not figuratively but literally – wire and ether. I wrote this below and have modified it for the post.
The key word I have had to learn is “patience”. Thinking something through. The second word is “communicating”.
Russia taught me the first. Everywhere one went, there was delay, a queue, a line, a crowd, any dealings with authorities were bureaucratic, one waited until one’s turn came up, then the Woman-Behind-Glass saw there was one document you didn’t have, you had to go to another part of town for it, come back and join a new line, you had been in that line for an hour. Tantrums got you nowhere.
Communicating – this was taught me firstly by women. The importance of saying it rather than storing it up and letting it fester.
The second way was through blogging. Electronic communication seems so straightforward but it’s anything but straightforward – I find it on the blogs and other cyber activity, in the frustration of readers [I notice Ivan can now comment again].
I’m used to it more than the standard, non-blogging reader because I see delays and blockages daily. I shan’t go through them all with you.
The third people who have taught me patience in communication are the techie guys like Chuckles, haiku, Microdave, our readers etc. To them, if something does not work, there is a tech reason – something hasn’t been typed in by someone and their job is to find out what. Sometimes it can be one symbol only in a line of letters, numbers and symbols.
I don’t have that kind of infinite patience. Patience. Communication.
The third word is “frustration”, learning to control it. I believe this is going to become our major required skill to circumvent and suppress in the near future. Often deliberately, Them will use delay and frustration on you to break you. I’d say don’t let them.
“Dismay” is another. You thought you had achieved something, you wake up next morning and someone else has wrecked it. It’s like cleaning the floor and everyone then traipses mud through it. Like finally shutting May up and then she goes to South Africa and sells Britain off once more to the evil muvvers down there, ignoring those who actually need our aid. Boer War all over again.
I’m already way past “insults”, they do nothing to me, they just go into my Others Say page.
But delays and communication gaps with friends still hurt, like knifepoints. The human does think it’s personal – too often even our readers think I’m deliberately not responding to them personally.
There is one more factor and I’ve learnt this from experience too – weariness – many find the constant diet all a bit much over time. It’s happened so often, I’m used to it.
On the blog, for example, many a reader goes away, I think they tire, maybe they don’t like my belligerence. Then they’re curious and come back, but not as often. I might talk to them and it’s obvious they’ve not seen key things I’ve been talking about. I think they get dazed by the sheer amount pumped out, it exhausts them.
I know this. It’s not necessarily that I’ve offended them, I’ve just worn them out. Then suddenly they return but are now wary – I accept this, with me it’s either high energy or suddenly stop … and nothing inbetween. Two speeds – stop and go.
I said I had not offended but you know, sometimes I do, often obliviously too, not knowing which word or phrase did it.
We had a site called OoL, still have. A co-founder had a large libertarian leadership and was a mix of left and right positions. One thing apparent quickly was that he detested anything Christian, couldn’t stand it, made him nauseous, way beyond the normal.
If I did a post which quoted, it was almost always Ephesians 6:12, one of his readers would then, in comments, call me a religious nutter. Like, what a reaction! The actually religious people reading this – some of them think of me as the spawn of satan, one thinks I’m the anti-Christ. I call myself an occasionally reformed sinner.
Years later, we started Scriblerus and he was one of the key people [not satan, this other chap I’m referring to] – he defended me in front of a recent member who was more of his philosophy.
Like wow again. I still [I think] get along well with him, which people would really not expect. I couldn’t work him out for a long while, then my mate put me straight. You do know he’s xxxx don’t you?
Gulp. Oops. Jaw dropped. Like … no, I didn’t know that. Suddenly saw it all – oops, things I’d written on the blog.
We can’t know, we take a risk every time we write, there’s always that danger that someone will be offended. Sometimes for a joke I wind up the Scots, as I know some Scots and it’s banter. I love Scotland. But I do know some Scots were offended.
I could call them thin-skinned but who am I to speak? The post which seemed to offend was Billy Connolly’s take on Culloden and my disparaging remarks about little Charlie and the Jacobites.
So, drawing this together, the chances of an in-yer-face blogger not offending are small. Add to that can be added the communication issues, the imperfect net, time differences, breakdown in equipment, being constantly busy, all the things in bold above and let’s not forget one more – health – it all adds up, it cascades and there’s the end of a friendship.
I’ve had to learn this – friends come and go, give up on me. Thar’s nowt to do but press on and maybe put in a prayer. Oops, there I go again, bringing religion into it and Tykery. Tyke’s offend everyone outside of God’s own country.
Oops, there I go again, bringing God into it.
And I called Him a Him, not a Her. Oh dear. And some of the women bloggers/readers probably have tatts. Dear oh dear, whatever have I done?