Have you ever wondered how life evolved into what it is today? I have and I don't mean the science of evolution - this is complex. What I do mean is how the Human Race ever managed to exist at all. Many species have become extinct over the millions of millennia for all sorts of proposed reasons. None of this is known, but reasoned and intelligent speculation does provide some possible answers.
So it is with a sense of exasperation that some situations arrive. Some people seem to thrive on confrontation and I wonder if they ever get more than they bargain for. It's also an observation that I have made over many years that people do seem to seek out partners of a similar character type to themselves. Alternatively, this could be that the dominant personality affects the more submissive partner and so there ends up a pair of apparently like-minded individuals. If this unit procreates, it makes me wonder what might be produced. The genetic issue here creates some interesting possibilities. Is personality entirely genetic or is it just susceptible to influence? If the attitude had been different then the outcome would almost certainly have been more rewarding than it was.
"You kicked me. You deliberately kicked me."
Such a comment, an overt accusation, is not designed to resolve a situation. Well, I ask you, would you be surprised to learn that this situation didn't get any better? What would have happened if the comment was simply: "you knocked me" or something like that. I could then have responded by attaching an apology to my answer whether I did as suggested or not. It happens and it has happened to me on occasions, but there is definitely a difference between an unintentional light contact and a deliberate strike. The situation could have almost certainly passed with no further comment. I am one to smooth over a rough patch if possible. But, one has to meet like with like if the needs demand it. They did. Such an indignant statement of perceived fact delivered in such an arrogant manner is not designed to question circumstances, rather a statement implying "I'm right, you're wrong".
It's difficult to know what sort of reply this type of person seeks anyway unless it's total submission. Not much chance of that. Makes me think of the snowball's chances of an existence in Hell. My assessment is that some people simply like confrontation. They like to make a situation more that it ever should be to create attention. And then be right in the middle of it. This woman got that and waving her red flag at me certainly got the attention she so desperately craved. I could have backed down and in some situations this would be the correct action to take.
The failure to detect a monaural capability did compromise this woman's pompous self-delusion of her ability to assess character. Character assassination maybe, and she certainly gave an appearance of being well versed in that procedure, but certainly not an understanding of more complex subjects. So not all that perceptive after all - even though she claimed to be able to judge character so well only after a few moments. Offensive attitude. Nasty. One does have pride though and this situation was one that required a different approach. I'd see where it led.
It certainly went quickly to a focus as more people got themselves involved. I can't see that anybody got more or less than they should have expected. In fact, it is quite amusing to witness how quickly people can start digging themselves into a hole and then keep on digging so making it deeper. I provided some rope for them to hang themselves with as well! That was probably unfair of me to have done this, but I was well and truly annoyed, more because my training session had been interrupted than anything else and this I do not take lightly. To have my focus wrenched away from its track, is never a good idea. The escalation of events involved me firstly in making some comment to nobody in particular. Some comment directed into the air. Mouthed a profanity, apparently. I used an expletive or two. I probably did that though I am surprised it was so few, but I suppose sensitivities do get bruised. For some people this is easier than for others. Not only did I stand accused of assault, but allegations then started to hit the air that I had performed this sort of action before. Fascinating.
The supervisor supported this woman without ascertaining anything beforehand. The supportive claims that this was not the first time I had behaved in this manner were made in the presence of this woman, compounding my alleged guilt before any investigation. This woman who had just claimed that there have been comments made in the women's shower about my alleged violence. Well, so she said. I couldn't be sure who was actually supporting whom. There was no attempt to find out the accuracy or veracity of these serious allegations. More reason to provide hard evidence of these alleged attacks. It is with no doubt that this was the first I'd ever heard of such incidents. The magician brings his rabbit from the hat at the right moment for effect. Good magicians don't tell lies. They don't have to. They'd not survive as magicians if they did. They create illusions to make suggestions. They confuse and mislead using subtlety and cleverness. They are smart, not crude.
So, I asked that the plaintiffs be eventually produced accompanied by a written complaint as certainly such allegations have to be substantiated. Any civilized justice system at least allows the accused a chance to defend himself. So, I allowed it to be moved on. I left when asked to do so. Possibly, my leaving signalled an end to the matter. Actually, it was more like the beginnings of something else.
A day or so later I was walking out of the same facility when I felt a bump on my shoulder. Instantly, I stopped and turned to ask if the person was hurt. I wasn’t and had hardly felt it, though I recognised the contact. Then I saw who it was. The partner of the aggrieved woman. The evidence suggested that these two had been recently married and it seemed to me that his loyalty was being tested. Either that or they are truly the same type of personality. No controlling elements and so a partnership destined to a future of confrontation and agony.
"Not nice, is it?" the woman said, presumably alluding to the alleged strike I had made in the original incident.
Clearly, the assault was deliberate and pre-planned. The evidence for this was that the woman was walking ahead and to the right of the man and was so unsighted, but nevertheless knew what had happened without seeing the incident. So goes the holier-than-thou attitude. Being in the absolute right. To have freedom to exact whatever vengeful attack is considered appropriate. Right and just whether right or wrong. The hole was getting deeper.
It transpired that they were going into the facility to lodge a formal, written complaint as I had expected, but to sabotage their own case before they had made it was unexpected. I could not envisage a rational person doing this. Although the woman who was lodging the complaint did not make this unprovoked assault on me, she remains absolutely culpable by being party to the conspiracy to do so.
"I have witnesses," the woman bleated presumably alluding to the original incident.
Witnesses to what in particular can only be imagined. The argument after the alleged "you kicked me" maybe, but then this is just the aftermath and means nothing. Many people were witness to this. Witnesses are required who saw the actual incident alleged. I was informed in a menacing tone: "my wife's pregnant". I answered with "so?" as I failed to see how this information affected the situation other than a clear implication that if I had known then I wouldn't have acted as alleged. Confrontation again. This time mixed with overt threats to "watch your back" and being called "weirdo" and "piss off". It's so peculiar that such things were said to me. Ironic indeed that I was being perceived as the "weirdo" and that it should be me that must "watch your back". The very choice of words while walking away was quite suggestive. I asked if this should be taken as a threat. No reply. I would have said something simply like "watch out" as this defines an indefinite timescale and no implication of sneaking up from the rear. And I would not say this while moving away from my target. "Watch your back" was said again, and once more I asked if this was a threat. Still no answer to that. If only people were to find out a little more before taking such contentious action. To check out that their own capability is adequate. But then bluff couldn't work. Learning to read body language is time well spent as there is less chance of misinterpretation.
This woman offered an opinion that I am "an idiot", which she obviously based on absolutely nothing. Amazing that someone could possibly sum up another in moments. Smart? Not really. When I implied that she must be clairvoyant since she can offer such an uninformed opinion, she made it clear she wouldn't want to find out more. This was a clear admission that she knew nothing about me, yet still felt qualified to assert such slanderous comments.
The hole was getting deeper.
This arrogant and overblown ego certainly matches the attitude displayed and adds to the growing picture I have of eventual disaster for these two. I couldn't care less, but ironically, it would suggest a short-term commitment to each other that is appropriately lit with a short fuse. Eventually, the explosion is inevitable and the confrontation is then inward. This was simply an observation I had made.
However, my exasperation is for the gene pool. What sort of organism will we become with this type of change on the cards. I wonder about the gene pool and where the Human Race is going, but evolution theories tell us that disadvantageous traits are eventually weeded out.
I don't doubt that this could have all been handled differently. It could have all been resolved very quickly at the beginning if a confrontation had been averted. I could have responded differently, but a red rag is always a red rag. Why should I have given satisfaction to such a crass attitude?
Nearly 5 years later this women reappeared and it took about 15 minutes for a confrontation to begin. During those intervening 5 years, and before, there has never been a single complaint against me and this period represents over 1500 sessions. I had moved from a medium-pace single lane with three other swimmers into the adjoining fast-pace lane from which someone had just left leaving a lone swimmer, albeit swimming in a direction counter to the display board instruction. The better place to be was in the less busy fast lane.
“Why did you have to get in here?” I heard.
Odd, since this lane is not for the exclusive use of any individual. Then I recognised who it was. And the husband was standing in the pool area next to the lanes. Some don’t move on in life and even after 5 years seemed to be stuck in a slow lane. Interestingly, when I was reminded about the old issue of my alleged, though completely unsubstantiated, violence against women, a new claim was made. A police report had been filed, apparently. So, not only has there been slander against me. But there is now a libel charge. This hole gets deeper and both will be addressed. The witnesses that are claimed to support my ‘attacks’ on women need to be produced with the appropriate signed affidavits. Also, the alleged police report that will still be on file. If it ever existed.
I had little interest in pursuing something so trivial and essentially pathetic as this as I generally find life more interesting and try to create a better society and not feed the egos of those determined to destroy it. A very simple choice was originally made here: step forward over the edge or step back to safety and the domain of common sense. Geronimo advocated retreat if the situation demanded it. Better to live to fight another day than perish that very day. There is too much misery around us to be concerned with peacock parades such as this. When people start digging themselves into their holes they must do it alone. They must play their games by themselves as the architects of their own destiny. Anybody who listens to rumour is contemptible and those who take ill-considered action are foolish. It is wiser to rise above such things. The best action would be to take none at all. Unfortunately, circumstances do not always allow sense to prevail.
For some of us life goes onwards and forwards. Others drown.
© Louis Brothnias (2005), Rev 2.1 (2010)