Author Topic: Stop helping me! (Share your stories)  (Read 68453 times)

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cabbageweevil

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Re: Stop helping me! (Share your stories)
« Reply #75 on: March 07, 2014, 03:07:17 AM »
A propos my posts about the “shoelaces” issue – and SmarterPrimate, AngelicGamer, and baglady’s (this last, re “correcting without asking first”) posts – I’d say it has to do with the implication felt, that one is an inferior and incompetent being; and a nuisance for needing to be looked after, but the helpful person is such a virtuous and charitable soul, that they’re going to look after one anyway. And TootsNYC nails it; "they're not your mom" -- or at any rate, you are now grown up. (And as AngelicGamer remarks, there’s the difference between forcing unsought help on a person, rather than asking / offering.)

I’m sure it is over-reaction, and ungracious, to feel this way about something which is genuinely benignly meant;  but as is often said on eHell, our feelings are our feelings, and it’s very difficult or impossible to “un-feel” them.  Of course the party feeling (irrationally) offended this way, should not let it show, and should respond civilly; but at times, behaving properly is not easy.



camlan

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Re: Stop helping me! (Share your stories)
« Reply #76 on: March 07, 2014, 06:42:17 AM »
During the days of the physical card catalog, we had a volunteer go through and helpfully retype all of the cards for Roald Dahl to Ronald Dahl. Fortunately, she only got through the author cards and none of the title or subject cards. She was a good typist, but we never assigned that task to her again.

We also had one that we asked to file cards but not pull the rods. (I checked my own work, too.) She just put all the As in the front of the A drawer, the Bs in front of the first B drawer, and so forth. She was quite proud of how quickly she had finished that job. She was a college student.

For the first, Oh My!

Related to the second: I worked in my college library when I was a student. They were changing all the Dewey Decimal call numbers to the Library of Congress call numbers. So my job was to take a list of books, go through the card catalog and pull all the cards for those books, erase the old call number with an electric eraser, type in the new call number, and re-file the cards.

There were two choices for re-filing the cards. One, the one I used, was to keep the rod in the drawer and just place the card where it belonged, sticking up slightly from the other cards. The other was to take the rod out, file the card and place a red card behind it. Either way, someone else would come along at the end of the day to double check the cards were filed correctly, and they could easily see which cards needed to be checked.

Another student used the red card method, and was trying to get me to use it as well. I didn't want to. So she grabbed the drawer I was working on, pulled out the rod, pushed all the cards down, and shoved it back down the table to me. "See, it's so easy!" Only the drawer fell off the table and all the cards fell out. All over the floor.

She tried to blame me for that. And since I was the one working on the drawer, she said I was responsible for putting all the cards back, in order.

She was quite upset when I refused. I just got up and walked away--I was so angry I didn't trust myself to speak.

Because we both had classes shortly after the incident, one of the full-time members of staff had to fix the drawer, and another one had to double check it. Both of which took a long time.

Fortunately, I was not blamed for the incident (one of the librarians at the Circulation Desk had seen the whole thing). And the other student was not re-hired the following semester.
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Dazi

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Re: Stop helping me! (Share your stories)
« Reply #77 on: March 07, 2014, 07:04:03 AM »
I really don't know if my mother or GM was to blame for this incident.  Someone ironed all my broomstick skirts and my favorite puckered gingham dress to "get all the wrinkles out".  Totally ruined them.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2014, 07:06:50 AM by Dazi »
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weeblewobble

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Re: Stop helping me! (Share your stories)
« Reply #78 on: March 07, 2014, 07:33:00 AM »
I love my dad. I love that he is so proud of me for being able to make a living in an artistic field that is nearly impossible to break into. But sometimes, he doesn't grasp that my female-oriented, creativity-based field is not the same as the male-dominated, "work until you drop dead of a heart attack or your liver explodes" corporate culture he survived. I get a lot of lectures about proper behavior and professional appearances, but there are some things my job allows - nay things that are EXPECTED - of someone in my position, that would get my Dad fired from SuperScary Corp.

I love him. But I will not wear a power suit with shoulder pads to convention where everybody else is wearing corsets and steampunk goggles.

weeblewobble

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Re: Stop helping me! (Share your stories)
« Reply #79 on: March 07, 2014, 07:43:05 AM »
My mom, truly with only good intentions, sometimes forgets that not everyone thinks exactly the way she does. So, let's say we have a family get together. My brother and I kid around a lot. We always have. I'm almost 50 and he's a little older, so we are pretty comfortable with how we communicate with each other. But, Mom will hear us kidding around and will stew on one little comment and will twist it up in her head until she is convinced that one of us has gravely and irreparably insulted the other. Sohe'll go to the "perpetrator" and say something like, "You know, you really hurt your brother terribly with that comment you made etc." And will go on about how damaging it was...I used to take it seriously. I'd call my DB and apologize and he'd laugh and wonder what the heck I was talking about. And it would happen to him and other members of the family. We finally realized that as she's gotten older she's just gotten these idea and thinks she's being helpful. We have called her on it a few times and she is better about it. Now I know to ask, "Did DB actually tell you he was hurt by X comment?" And if her answer is "No, but I could tell" then I just tell her that if he is bothered by something he will let me know himself.

Also, it's better now, but for years my DH didn't understand that sometimes I just want to vent. If I've had a bad day at work or rotten traffic or whatever, he would insist on giving me advice on how to "fix" it. He's finally learned that I'm not looking for him to fix anything; I'm just sharing my day and trying to let off a little steam. It took time and a lot of me turning the tables on him before he got the point. But he did eventually get the point. It's not help if help is not wanted!

My whole family teases each other in this manner and generally know how to do it without taking it too far.  When feelings are hurt, the "perp" apologizes immediately.  But my grandma did not understand this culture AT ALL, and used to insist that the way my sister and I spoke to each other was a sign of deep-rooted, toxic hostility that would result in a lifetime of therapy for us both.(Grandma and her sister DID have serious problems and resentment between them, so I think she was projecting a little.)

 Nothing my mom could do could convince grandma otherwise. So when Grandma predicted dire consequences for our adult relationship, Mom would just shrug and say, "Well, if that happens, there's nothing we can do about it."

Drove Grandma crazy.

Also, that "fix it" thing is a very male response.  It took DH years to learn that all I want is for him to listen and tell me, "That sucks."  Last night, in fact, I was having a pretty serious crisis involving a work project, but rather than trying to tell me how to do it better or dig myself out of the hole I'd created, he just hugged me and herded the kids out of the room. I cried, but it was because I was happy he knew what I needed.  :)


SamiHami

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Re: Stop helping me! (Share your stories)
« Reply #80 on: March 07, 2014, 10:25:26 AM »
My mom, truly with only good intentions, sometimes forgets that not everyone thinks exactly the way she does. So, let's say we have a family get together. My brother and I kid around a lot. We always have. I'm almost 50 and he's a little older, so we are pretty comfortable with how we communicate with each other. But, Mom will hear us kidding around and will stew on one little comment and will twist it up in her head until she is convinced that one of us has gravely and irreparably insulted the other. Sohe'll go to the "perpetrator" and say something like, "You know, you really hurt your brother terribly with that comment you made etc." And will go on about how damaging it was...I used to take it seriously. I'd call my DB and apologize and he'd laugh and wonder what the heck I was talking about. And it would happen to him and other members of the family. We finally realized that as she's gotten older she's just gotten these idea and thinks she's being helpful. We have called her on it a few times and she is better about it. Now I know to ask, "Did DB actually tell you he was hurt by X comment?" And if her answer is "No, but I could tell" then I just tell her that if he is bothered by something he will let me know himself.

Also, it's better now, but for years my DH didn't understand that sometimes I just want to vent. If I've had a bad day at work or rotten traffic or whatever, he would insist on giving me advice on how to "fix" it. He's finally learned that I'm not looking for him to fix anything; I'm just sharing my day and trying to let off a little steam. It took time and a lot of me turning the tables on him before he got the point. But he did eventually get the point. It's not help if help is not wanted!

My whole family teases each other in this manner and generally know how to do it without taking it too far.  When feelings are hurt, the "perp" apologizes immediately.  But my grandma did not understand this culture AT ALL, and used to insist that the way my sister and I spoke to each other was a sign of deep-rooted, toxic hostility that would result in a lifetime of therapy for us both.(Grandma and her sister DID have serious problems and resentment between them, so I think she was projecting a little.)

 Nothing my mom could do could convince grandma otherwise. So when Grandma predicted dire consequences for our adult relationship, Mom would just shrug and say, "Well, if that happens, there's nothing we can do about it."

Drove Grandma crazy.

Also, that "fix it" thing is a very male response.  It took DH years to learn that all I want is for him to listen and tell me, "That sucks."  Last night, in fact, I was having a pretty serious crisis involving a work project, but rather than trying to tell me how to do it better or dig myself out of the hole I'd created, he just hugged me and herded the kids out of the room. I cried, but it was because I was happy he knew what I needed.  :)

That's wonderful! When they get it, it really does help. Now when I come home from work and am frustrated because of difficult person, instead of trying to tell me how to handle them (aka "fixing"), he'll say something like, "Okay, well I'm going to hate person X for you!" then he'll list ridiculously stupid things that he wishes would happen to that person (I hope he wins the lottery--and then an airplane falls on him! or "I hope he gets an itch right in the middle of his back where he can't reach and it drives him insane!"). It always gets a laugh out of me and diffuses my anger/frustration.

What have you got? Is it food? Is it for me? I want it whatever it is!

ShadowLady

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Re: Stop helping me! (Share your stories)
« Reply #81 on: March 07, 2014, 11:33:35 AM »
The woman who grabbed my cane-holding arm to stop me as I was stepping down off a pavement to cross the road.

I couldn't even say anything, I was so taken aback, but apparently I looked like murder.

The lights had just changed in my favour, I knew that crossing well (she couldn't have known that), but grabbing someone mid-step manoeuvre? Could have caused me to fall while I was already injured. Also, who comes up behind a complete stranger and decides to intervene by grabbing their walking aid?

My mom is 60, and has mobility issues. She often has to lean on things to help her balance. One day she was getting some yogurt at the grocery store, and was holding onto the handle of the door to the refrigerated case to help keep her balance while she was bending down. A man came up behind her and grabbed the door and pulled it open wider, thinking he was being helpful by holding open the door for her. Mom ended up falling and hurting herself because suddenly having the door yanked out of her grasp tipped her off-balance.

I have had that happen twice in the last couple of weeks.  I walk with a cane, and will graciously accept most help.  But the person who came up behind me and opened the bathroom door while i was opening it, and leaning on it, thereby causing me to almost fall down by unexpectedly removing part of my support.

And then when i was leaving a convenience store, the person coming in suddenly yanked open the door on my side to go out, causing me to loose my balance, but luckily I was able to catch the doorframe to stop my fall.   And then she says "I was only trying to help.  I thought you saw me!"  Yes, I saw you , but expected you to open your own @#$% door, not mine!

Luci

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Re: Stop helping me! (Share your stories)
« Reply #82 on: March 07, 2014, 12:36:57 PM »
When I was using the walker, I was carefully lifting it up over a curb and a nice man tried to help me, surprising me. I started to fall over backwards, wrenched my new back and was in pain for several hours. He knew by my scream of pain and being off balance that it was not the things to do. No permanent damage, though.

ddawn23

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Re: Stop helping me! (Share your stories)
« Reply #83 on: March 07, 2014, 12:51:03 PM »
When I was sixteen I applied to spend a year as a foreign exchange student with Rotary International.  There was a huge hours-long interview that we ended up having at my house-- ten or twelve Rotary bigwigs and me sitting around the living room with my parents watching in the corner.  During the interview whenever Dad disagreed with how I had answered a question he would interject, "So what you're saying is (insert his answer that obviously bore no relation to what I had said)."  It put me in such an awkward position, and I usually responded by restating my answer and trying to move the interview along.  After the Rotarians had left Dad was incensed that I had ignored all his attempts to help.  "I was giving you the right answers and you ignored it!"  I said that no, he was giving me his answers-- answers I happened to disagree with.  I said, "What did you expect to happen?  Either I publicly disagree with you and seem disrespectful, or I agree with you and it looks like I'm relying on you to feed me answers."  Luckily my mom backed me up (although I kind of wish she'd put a stop to it during the interview  ::)), but Dad spent the rest of the evening grumbling about how ungrateful I'd been when he was giving me the right answers.

Onyx_TKD

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Re: Stop helping me! (Share your stories)
« Reply #84 on: March 07, 2014, 01:03:44 PM »
A propos my posts about the “shoelaces” issue – and SmarterPrimate, AngelicGamer, and baglady’s (this last, re “correcting without asking first”) posts – I’d say it has to do with the implication felt, that one is an inferior and incompetent being; and a nuisance for needing to be looked after, but the helpful person is such a virtuous and charitable soul, that they’re going to look after one anyway. And TootsNYC nails it; "they're not your mom" -- or at any rate, you are now grown up. (And as AngelicGamer remarks, there’s the difference between forcing unsought help on a person, rather than asking / offering.)

I’m sure it is over-reaction, and ungracious, to feel this way about something which is genuinely benignly meant;  but as is often said on eHell, our feelings are our feelings, and it’s very difficult or impossible to “un-feel” them.  Of course the party feeling (irrationally) offended this way, should not let it show, and should respond civilly; but at times, behaving properly is not easy.

Like you said, you feel how you feel and that's hard to change. But I was wondering, have people actually been telling you to tie your shoes or just informing you that they're untied? If they're just informing you, it's a situation where it's almost impossible to ask you if you want "help" without just going ahead and telling you. (About the only thing I can think of is asking out of the blue "Hypothetically, if your shoes were untied, would you want me to tell you?" which would probably get most people looking at the asker like they had two heads.  ;))

I've regularly run across similar scenarios. I notice something that a particular person should know about, and there's a good possibility that they will remain unaware unless someone tells them. It's also quite possible that someone has already told them (or they've noticed on their own), but I have absolutely no way of knowing whether that's the case or not. So my options are to inform them (risking that I'm telling them something they've heard a dozen times already) or to ignore it (risking that they won't notice at all until there are noticeable consequences). My usual tactic is to ask them "Are you aware that ____?" or something similar--once. My intent is not to complain or criticize or tell them to fix the problem. I literally just want to make sure that they are aware of it, so they can handle it in whatever fashion they think is best (including leaving it as it is).

For example, the display on the front of the bus or on the customer side of a cash register is malfunctioning and unreadable. It's not in a position where the driver/cashier can actually see it from their normal position, but someone on the bus/store staff needs to know about it so they can decide what steps to take. Untied shoelaces would fall into the same category for me. If the wearer knows they're untied and wants them to stay that way, then great. My concern would be that the wearer thinks they're tied and trips because they're unaware of the loose shoelaces. I, as a grownup (allegedly, at least  ;)), have shoelaces come loose fairly frequently and don't always notice right away, so I certainly don't think someone's incompetent for having untied shoelaces!

pierrotlunaire0

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Re: Stop helping me! (Share your stories)
« Reply #85 on: March 07, 2014, 01:41:33 PM »
Back when I was in college, you could check out things in the dorm, like irons, for a limited amount of time.  So my roommate offers to iron my dress for me, because she loved to iron.  Okay, I hate chores, go for it.  It took her nearly an hour to iron an extremely short dress.  She was going on and on and on (and on) about how she loved doing favors for people and no one appreciated it.  She's slapping the dress down on one side and running the iron across it exactly one swipe, before flipping it to the other side and one swipe of the iron.  Since she was so haphazard about the actual iron, she was actually ironing creases into the dress.

I finally exclaimed, "Thank you!" and snatched the iron and dress away from her.  I'll do my own chores from here on in.  I'm better at it and they don't come with a huge serving of guilt.
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cabbageweevil

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Re: Stop helping me! (Share your stories)
« Reply #86 on: March 07, 2014, 03:25:09 PM »
A propos my posts about the “shoelaces” issue – and SmarterPrimate, AngelicGamer, and baglady’s (this last, re “correcting without asking first”) posts – I’d say it has to do with the implication felt, that one is an inferior and incompetent being; and a nuisance for needing to be looked after, but the helpful person is such a virtuous and charitable soul, that they’re going to look after one anyway. And TootsNYC nails it; "they're not your mom" -- or at any rate, you are now grown up. (And as AngelicGamer remarks, there’s the difference between forcing unsought help on a person, rather than asking / offering.)

I’m sure it is over-reaction, and ungracious, to feel this way about something which is genuinely benignly meant;  but as is often said on eHell, our feelings are our feelings, and it’s very difficult or impossible to “un-feel” them.  Of course the party feeling (irrationally) offended this way, should not let it show, and should respond civilly; but at times, behaving properly is not easy.

Like you said, you feel how you feel and that's hard to change. But I was wondering, have people actually been telling you to tie your shoes or just informing you that they're untied? If they're just informing you, it's a situation where it's almost impossible to ask you if you want "help" without just going ahead and telling you. (About the only thing I can think of is asking out of the blue "Hypothetically, if your shoes were untied, would you want me to tell you?" which would probably get most people looking at the asker like they had two heads.  ;))

I've regularly run across similar scenarios. I notice something that a particular person should know about, and there's a good possibility that they will remain unaware unless someone tells them. It's also quite possible that someone has already told them (or they've noticed on their own), but I have absolutely no way of knowing whether that's the case or not. So my options are to inform them (risking that I'm telling them something they've heard a dozen times already) or to ignore it (risking that they won't notice at all until there are noticeable consequences). My usual tactic is to ask them "Are you aware that ____?" or something similar--once. My intent is not to complain or criticize or tell them to fix the problem. I literally just want to make sure that they are aware of it, so they can handle it in whatever fashion they think is best (including leaving it as it is).

For example, the display on the front of the bus or on the customer side of a cash register is malfunctioning and unreadable. It's not in a position where the driver/cashier can actually see it from their normal position, but someone on the bus/store staff needs to know about it so they can decide what steps to take. Untied shoelaces would fall into the same category for me. If the wearer knows they're untied and wants them to stay that way, then great. My concern would be that the wearer thinks they're tied and trips because they're unaware of the loose shoelaces. I, as a grownup (allegedly, at least  ;)), have shoelaces come loose fairly frequently and don't always notice right away, so I certainly don't think someone's incompetent for having untied shoelaces!

It's "with one's head" versus "with one's gut".  With my head, I get you entirely, re all your post above -- and acknowledge and approve the good sense in what you say there.  With my gut, "this thing re this situation" irritates me immoderately when I get it from people; I know cerebrally all the while, that I'm being very unfair and irrational !

cabbageweevil

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Re: Stop helping me! (Share your stories)
« Reply #87 on: March 07, 2014, 03:35:44 PM »
Back when I was in college, you could check out things in the dorm, like irons, for a limited amount of time.  So my roommate offers to iron my dress for me, because she loved to iron.  Okay, I hate chores, go for it.  It took her nearly an hour to iron an extremely short dress.  She was going on and on and on (and on) about how she loved doing favors for people and no one appreciated it.  She's slapping the dress down on one side and running the iron across it exactly one swipe, before flipping it to the other side and one swipe of the iron.  Since she was so haphazard about the actual iron, she was actually ironing creases into the dress.

I finally exclaimed, "Thank you!" and snatched the iron and dress away from her.  I'll do my own chores from here on in.  I'm better at it and they don't come with a huge serving of guilt.

Your roommate strikes me as, re this issue -- odd, to say the least; and maddening.  In your shoes, I doubt whether I could even have managed the "Thank you!".  One becomes inclined to the conclusion that people are just weird.  Maybe the general business of trying to be helpful, has a way of bringing out annoying weirdness in those on both sides of the transaction; as with my own touchiness, featuring in this thread, about unfastened footwear and communication on that subject.

Onyx_TKD

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Re: Stop helping me! (Share your stories)
« Reply #88 on: March 07, 2014, 03:56:10 PM »
It's "with one's head" versus "with one's gut".  With my head, I get you entirely, re all your post above -- and acknowledge and approve the good sense in what you say there.  With my gut, "this thing re this situation" irritates me immoderately when I get it from people; I know cerebrally all the while, that I'm being very unfair and irrational !

Got it.  ;) I've got some of those pet peeves, too. They're incredibly annoying, and yet I can't reasonably expect the perpetrator to realize they're annoying the living daylights out of me!

perpetua

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Re: Stop helping me! (Share your stories)
« Reply #89 on: March 07, 2014, 05:11:59 PM »
I really don't know if my mother or GM was to blame for this incident.  Someone ironed all my broomstick skirts and my favorite puckered gingham dress to "get all the wrinkles out".  Totally ruined them.

I didn't think I had a tale for this thread but whatdya know, your post reminded me that I do.

When I was younger I was a big music fan - still am - but this was back in the days of 7 and 12 inch vinyl singles, which I would proudly buy one of every week with my pocket money. I loved my records and by the time of this incident I had started to build up quite a nice little collection.

One day, my mum, god rest her soul, decided to tidy up all my records, putting them in a nice neat pile. A nice neat pile on the windowsill. On a hot, summer's day.  It would have been bad enough if they'd all just warped; that they actually melted broke my heart.

Mum was not a music fan. She didn't understand what all the fuss - or indeed, the wailing - was about.