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Author Topic: a lot of lengths to educate someone... (faux pas of the year)  (Read 7025 times)

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gadget--gal

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a lot of lengths to educate someone... (faux pas of the year)
« on: December 05, 2007, 05:49:06 AM »
it's long, but it's worth it. Enjoy!  ;D

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This is an example of the kind of not-so-subtle hints you have to apply when straight talk isn't effective, and the rudeness of taking people for granted isn't a one-time Oops, but a fairly ingrained habit. When you interact with people like that frequently, you eventually have to educate them. Here are the whacks with the Hint Hammer, followed by the Clue By Four, and the last straw that led to the Clue By Four.     

"Darla" has no car. She has no driver's license. She hasn't figured out that when you want someone to give you a ride, you have to ask and you have to ask in a timely manner and you have to ask at such a time when it isn't going to make your ride go to ridiculous lengths.   

Whack #1, the Hint Hammer: There was a gathering at a friend's house with about 15 people, including Darla. The host lives a few blocks away from me and it was summer. I walked there. We had a nice time. When the gathering was over, it was about 10 PM. We all left around the same time, said our good-byes, and I walked down the street toward my house. Everyone else who drove piled into their cars.   I noticed that I wasn't alone. Darla was trotting behind me like a puppy. I asked where she was going.   "I thought I was riding with you."   "I didn't drive. My car's at home. In the garage. I walked." I looked back and saw that all of the cars had left. I told her that she should never assume anything and that she should always ask first. I did give her a ride home, and it came with that lecture. She never apologized for my going out of my way to take her home.   I  thought that this incident plus the straight lecture would be enough to remind Darla that she needs to ask, not assume. I was wrong.   

Whack #2, the Clue By Four: Darla hasn't figured out that when you have no car and luggage to haul home, you should accept offers from people with cars. If you turn down those offers, you should have a ride already lined up instead of assuming that someone will take you home at the precise moment you're ready to leave.   At a yearly weekend event taking place at a hotel in town, an event that can involve heavy drinking in the hospitality suites in the evenings, and always includes a hot tub run on the last day, Darla, several other people, and I had gone out to dinner after the event was officially over. Darla was offered a ride by no fewer than two people. She turned both down.   Offer #1 came before dinner and she wanted to go out with us. Offer #2 came immediately after we got back to the hotel, as another friend was going home about that time. She wanted to stick around and hit the hot tub with us. There may have been other offers, none of which she accepted. We were well aware that she was going to ask for a ride just after the hot tub run, just when it was time to finish off the alcohol or crash after the action-filled weekend. 

This had happened several times and we were sick of it. Remember that being direct and telling her what's expected has been tried repeatedly and didn't work. It was time for an object lesson.   We had some alcohol we had left over and we were all still in a party mood, including Darla's sister and brother-in-law. We had passed around a bottle of pre-mixed drinks earlier in the weekend and if we didn't drink it, the booze would go bad. They included Mudslides and other similar things. We had all planned to finish off the pre-mixes, and maybe open other things if we were still of a mind to.

Darla had to work the next day and couldn't stay over. If she could have stayed, we had space in the hotel room for her. We were also getting (intentionally, I might add) toasted. So toasted that we would not be legal to drive. Darla's sister was refilling the cups after we emptied them, in agreement with the application of the Clue By Four. All of the people with cars were getting buzzed. Darla's sister and brother-in-law were equally unwilling to take her home. They'd witnessed at least one of the offers that was turned down. We polished off the partial bottle and Darla's sister suggested opening another bottle. We did, and continued our heavy drinking. We weren't going anywhere until the morning.   She ended up mumbling to herself and getting more and more agitated, and finally called a taxi.   Lest you think the second whack seemed a bit mean, here is the incident that led up to the drunk-fest. We planned Whack #2 after this, to go into effect if she pulled the same trick again.   

The Camel's Back Breaks: Darla, Darla's sister, Darla's brother-in-law, a couple other people, including Ian, and I were at the annual weekend event the year before Whack #2. Darla had to work the day after the event and was hanging around after the festivities were officially over. People staying over at the hotel usually hang out and finish off munchies and talk and hit the hot tub. It's what's known as a Dead Dog Party.   Darla could have gone earlier with other people who were leaving, but she A: wanted to go out to dinner. B: wanted to socialize. C: wanted to be home before it was too late, meaning before 11 PM.   Ian, a thoroughly nice guy, has a car. He offered to take her home immediately after dinner, as we were all carpooling to a restaurant near the hotel. She said no, she wanted to stay and chat. It would have been very easy to drop her off after dinner, and it was not that far out of the way.   We all wanted to hit the hot tub, but Darla whined about needing a ride home and was looking for volunteers. It was 10 PM, the hot tub and pool close at 11. No one was volunteering.   I have a car, too. But I'd already loaded it with all the junk our group brought for the event and there wasn't any room to put a passenger, let alone luggage for a second person. I know how much my car can carry and I take maximum load to and from each year.   Darla continued to stew and mumble to herself and become agitated and whine and wheedle. 

The question wasn't whether someone would agree to take her home to shut her up or to avoid a blow-up, but who would crumble first. It wasn't going to be me, I'd just as soon let her work herself into a tizzy, all the while reminding her that she had opportunities to go home already. Other people are nicer than I am. When you say "No", they act as if you don't have that right, and many people just give in at that point. No one is immune.   Ian wasn't happy about it, but he reluctantly agreed to take her home. When he got back to the hotel, it was after 11 and the pool and hot tub were closed. Ian, Darla's sister, and Darla's brother-in-law, and I planned Whack #2 for the following year for the express purpose of educating the clueless.   Darla's getting better. She still hasn't mastered the art of not taking friends' vehicles for granted, but she is slowly improving.

FauxPasoftheYear0307-07


Miss Jeanie's comments:

Why did I put this story into Faux Pas of the Year?  I can't remember. Maybe it's the plan to get drunk just to apply a Clue by Four to someone. 



my comments:

fair enough if they were planning to just have fun and leave Darla to sort herself out but to deliberately get drunk, just so that they'd be unfit to drive? passive aggressive much on an epic scale?  :o
« Last Edit: December 05, 2007, 07:18:10 AM by gadget--gal »

HorseFreak

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Re: a lot of length's to educate someone... (faux pas of the year)
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2007, 06:40:38 AM »
My take is they were planning on drinking anyway, so Darla shouldn't have assumed anyone would be fit to drive her. I remember how bitter I was about having to drive someone home from our end-of-year banquet after a special year long class at school. I missed 90% of the special slideshow because she didn't drive, didn't want to leave that early to walk, and I was a doormat. 

FoxPaws

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Re: a lot of length's to educate someone... (faux pas of the year)
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2007, 06:51:25 AM »
I think the deliberately getting too drunk to drive was a little chickenhearted.

If you're old enough to imbibe, you're old enough to say, "I'm not getting out of this tub until they shut it down, and when I finally peel off my swimsuit, it's going to be to put on my jammies and go to bed. Call a cab."

Or better yet, when she's heard turning down perfectly good offers, "Darla, we're getting in the hot tub when we get back and not going out again. If you want a ride it's now or never."
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gadget--gal

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Re: a lot of length's to educate someone... (faux pas of the year)
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2007, 07:16:44 AM »
My take is they were planning on drinking anyway, so Darla shouldn't have assumed anyone would be fit to drive her. I remember how bitter I was about having to drive someone home from our end-of-year banquet after a special year long class at school. I missed 90% of the special slideshow because she didn't drive, didn't want to leave that early to walk, and I was a doormat. 

it was this paragraph - particularly the last sentence - which makes it seem pre-meditated. Or at least, party intentional:

Darla had to work the next day and couldn't stay over. If she could have stayed, we had space in the hotel room for her. We were also getting (intentionally, I might add) toasted. So toasted that we would not be legal to drive. Darla's sister was refilling the cups after we emptied them, in agreement with the application of the Clue By Four. All of the people with cars were getting buzzed. Darla's sister and brother-in-law were equally unwilling to take her home. They'd witnessed at least one of the offers that was turned down. We polished off the partial bottle and Darla's sister suggested opening another bottle. We did, and continued our heavy drinking. We weren't going anywhere until the morning.   She ended up mumbling to herself and getting more and more agitated, and finally called a taxi.   Lest you think the second whack seemed a bit mean, here is the incident that led up to the drunk-fest. We planned Whack #2 after this, to go into effect if she pulled the same trick again.    
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nliedel

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Re: a lot of lengths to educate someone... (faux pas of the year)
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2007, 07:34:52 AM »
Being someone who hsa attended many gatherings like this, Science Fiction Conventions and others, my take is they were going to get drunk regardless. Those dead dog parties always involve serious alcohol consumption and re-hashings that get funnier as the booze level in the bottles drops. They would have been drinking anyway and getting that drunk, imo.

The problem is that, given Darla's past tendancies, someone should have been direct about it, instead of rather passive aggressive.
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jennipooh97

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Re: a lot of length's to educate someone... (faux pas of the year)
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2007, 09:57:34 AM »
I think the deliberately getting too drunk to drive was a little chickenhearted.

If you're old enough to imbibe, you're old enough to say, "I'm not getting out of this tub until they shut it down, and when I finally peel off my swimsuit, it's going to be to put on my jammies and go to bed. Call a cab."

Or better yet, when she's heard turning down perfectly good offers, "Darla, we're getting in the hot tub when we get back and not going out again. If you want a ride it's now or never."

Yes, this is what I would have done.  Getting deliberately drunk seemed a little college student-esqe to me.

Lisbeth

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Re: a lot of lengths to educate someone... (faux pas of the year)
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2007, 10:49:31 AM »
I think getting deliberately drunk for the purpose of being too inebriated to give someone a ride home was passive-aggressive, childish, and even dangerous.

At the time Darla was invited to the earlier events, someone should have said, "Darla, you need to arrange for transportation home.  Nobody is going to be able to give you a ride."  Unfortunately, people did feel too sorry for her to do this and did give her rides.  If they'd taken this away from her, she could have called a cab or bus company to see what service they provided that she could have availed herself of.
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caranfin

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Re: a lot of lengths to educate someone... (faux pas of the year)
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2007, 10:57:18 AM »
I don't really find any of this horribly inappropriate. They were going to get drunk anyway. The only thing they could have done, to be more polite, was to explicitly tell Darla that she needed to arrange for another ride home, since none of the hot tubbers were going to drive her. OTOH, since she refused to come out and ask for a ride, I can see why they wanted to teach her to ask and not make assumptions. So I don't think they were out of line to show her that she cannot assume someone is going to give her a ride when it's convenient for her - especially if she can't even bother to ask ahead of time.
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TychaBrahe

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Re: a lot of lengths to educate someone... (faux pas of the year)
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2007, 04:12:31 PM »
I don't really find any of this horribly inappropriate. They were going to get drunk anyway. The only thing they could have done, to be more polite, was to explicitly tell Darla that she needed to arrange for another ride home, since none of the hot tubbers were going to drive her. OTOH, since she refused to come out and ask for a ride, I can see why they wanted to teach her to ask and not make assumptions. So I don't think they were out of line to show her that she cannot assume someone is going to give her a ride when it's convenient for her - especially if she can't even bother to ask ahead of time.

ITA.  If they had specifically stated "We are going to hot tub and drink and none of us will be in any condition to drive home, so make your own arrangements," it would have negated their purpose.  It is not their responsibility to keep track of Darla's plans.  If Darla needs a ride home, Darla needs to be proactive and arrange a ride home before the event.  The other people should not have to sit around and make arrangements to drive Darla home as if she were a six-year-old.
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Mopsy428

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Re: a lot of lengths to educate someone... (faux pas of the year)
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2007, 07:46:51 AM »
I don't really find any of this horribly inappropriate. They were going to get drunk anyway. The only thing they could have done, to be more polite, was to explicitly tell Darla that she needed to arrange for another ride home, since none of the hot tubbers were going to drive her. OTOH, since she refused to come out and ask for a ride, I can see why they wanted to teach her to ask and not make assumptions. So I don't think they were out of line to show her that she cannot assume someone is going to give her a ride when it's convenient for her - especially if she can't even bother to ask ahead of time.

ITA.  If they had specifically stated "We are going to hot tub and drink and none of us will be in any condition to drive home, so make your own arrangements," it would have negated their purpose.  It is not their responsibility to keep track of Darla's plans.  If Darla needs a ride home, Darla needs to be proactive and arrange a ride home before the event.  The other people should not have to sit around and make arrangements to drive Darla home as if she were a six-year-old.
ITA. The poster even had told Darla before that she should never make assumptions, and Darla didn't listen (or thank her for the ride.)

Clara Bow

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Re: a lot of lengths to educate someone... (faux pas of the year)
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2007, 02:18:03 AM »
Why is Darla still invited to gatherings?
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Shortcake

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Re: a lot of lengths to educate someone... (faux pas of the year)
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2007, 10:33:45 AM »
Why is Darla still invited to gatherings?

That is an excellent question!
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