Pissed off

I don’t think I’m a particularly angry person, but the other day I got really really pissed off. At my mother. Perhaps getting cheesed off at your parents isn’t the most unusual of human experiences, but to get so angry as to hang-up on a person is beyond the normal bounds of my behaviour.

I think I have only slammed the phone down in anger once before, and from memory that was with a particularly persistent and irritating telemarketer. And I’m not even in the habit of shouting at my parents. This is not because I think I might be risking an inheritance (far from it, I reckon they’ve got less money between them than me), but more because I’m not really in the habit of shouting at anyone in particular.

But on this occasion, I did. This is what happened…

My sister Susannah flew out for a month long holiday in the UK on New Year’s Day, leaving me behind, jealous as hell. After a stopover in Singapore, she arrived at our Grandparents place in West Sussex on Saturday. She lost her Telecard PIN, but rang reverse charges on Saturday night (our time) to say "hi, I’ve arrived. I’ve got a bit of a cold and I’m tired, but otherwise OK". I thought she sounded quite chirpy. She asked me to ring her boyfriend John to let him know she had got there safely, which I did.

On Sunday night, my mum rings and says that she got a call from Grandad to say that Susannah’s "ill". I said "oh.. she rang me and I thought she just had a cold". My mum says "well, it sounds like she’s not well, and I think it might have been polite if you’d rung me to let me know."

I replied "well, all I heard about was that she had a cold, and she didn’t ask me to ring you". She repeats "It might have been polite…" etc

By this point I was starting to get angry. Maybe I was already in a bad mood, and this tipped me over into fully-fledged anger. "Look, Susannah rang me to let me know she’d got there. She asked me to ring John. She didn’t ask me to ring you, and especially since it was 10:30 at night, I didn’t!"

"Don’t shout at me Daniel. It just would have been polite…"

I was so pissed off at this point that I slammed down the handset. Which made me feel better actually! I really hate being spoken to like I’m still a teenager, so I didn’t want to continue the conversation.

It makes me think of a big problem with mobile phones. You can’t slam down a mobile phone. You press a button. At least with your typical desk phones, the other person can hear it if you slam the handset down in anger.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.