Four Favorite Words: Revolution Number Nine
I’m a little late to return to it, but it’s time for another round of Four Favorite Words. For the first time since starting this tradition I’m going a different direction. Rather than four separate words, my selection is:
- Our actions have consequences.
Why these words? It revolves around the misuse/abuse of the the dreaded awe****. More specifically, it addresses my attitude toward the people who know it bothers me and yet continue to use it in our direct conversations. It’s intentional. From a traditional definition, it’s sadistic. I can’t control someone else’s actions, but I can most definitely control my own. So I choose not to subject myself to discussions with these individuals. They have the right to say whatever they want and I have the right not to listen to them.
At work, one of my glass cubicle windows now has a list of people who I’ve banned in a three strikes and you’re out scenario. The list contains who the offender was, the medium of the offense (verbal, email, phone, etc.), and the duration. It’s a simple policy. Three strikes in a given medium and I stop talking to you for a day in that medium. If it happens again, it goes to a week. Then two weeks, three weeks, a month… you get the idea.
So far, several people have been banned for a day. A couple have been banned for a week. One of those was the head of IT and the other was our office admin. The head of IT finds this all amusing and, probably moreso, relishes the fact that he got a week where I didn’t darken his doorway. The office admin, however, was a different story. Even though I refused to actually talk to her for a week, I would still communicate via email or IM. This seemed to bother her even more even though we’d had multiple discussions on the topic.
She couldn’t comprehend that when it got to this point, it was no longer about the actual word, it was the deliberate intent behind it. Don’t get me wrong, to this day even my closest friends occasionally slip up and use the word, but they apologize. Thanks to the cube window, my coworkers now understand the old Baretta saying, “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.”