It was a tiny hotel coffee shop. There were three employees working back there, and I honestly could not see where a fourth could possibly fit. The line was moving quite quickly.
It was 8:32. The conference's first session started at 8:30. I had meant to get downstairs earlier, but didn't, and was therefore not surprised by the line at the coffee shop. At least I got in line before 8:30, unlike the lady whining (who had cut in line, by the way).
"They should have planned better"? Really? How about YOU get your lazy arse out of bed early enough to order your double-pump white chocolate cappuccino before the meeting starts? How come THEY have to plan to accommodate YOU? Why can't YOU be held accountable for YOU?
This is one of the problems in our society, the blame is always on the other guy. Yesterday, I went to an all-day workshop on emotional intelligence. In a nutshell, emotional intelligence is about personal accountability and being self-aware; realizing that you cannot control the other guy, that you can only control what you do; therefore, focusing on what you need to do, not what the other guy needs to do.*
In the case presented above, the lady should have gotten herself down to the lobby earlier than 8:32. It is not the hotel's responsibility to get her coffee, it is her responsibility to find herself the coffee. She should have realized her role in the line-waiting incident: the hotel coffee shop was sure to be busy in the morning, she should have scheduled appropriately.
The workshop started bugging me early on, but I tried to keep quiet. Nobody wants to be the person who argues with the presenter. But then, the guy went off on a tangent that boiled my blood.
He was talking about the amygdala in the brain and how it works, and decided to tell us about his friend's book, about women ignoring their intuition.
Example 1: Woman forgot her briefcase or purse at the office. She goes back to get it. In the dark street, her intuition is telling her something's wrong. In the parking lot, her intuition is telling her something's wrong. As she hits the button on the elevator, her intuition tells her something's wrong -- but she ignored it. Elevator doors open, large rapist grabs her, rapes her, and stabs her 60 times. SHE SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER. If she had listened to her intuition, she would not have been raped.
Example 2: Woman meets guy at bar. He seems nice, they exchange phone numbers. Next day, he calls her in the morning and at night. Next day, he calls her morning, noon, and night. Next day, gives her a cell phone, so he can call her at all hours of the day and night. Next day, he calls, she doesn't answer, he goes to her house and beats her up. SHE SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER. She should have done something to stop the guy.
Excuse me, but I'm at a workshop to learn that I cannot control other people's actions, I can only control my own, and this guy tells me the victims are to blame?
I CANNOT CONTROL THE RAPIST'S ACTIONS.
I CANNOT CONTROL THE ATTACKER'S ACTIONS.
How can these situations be the victim's fault? There is nothing the women could have done to keep the attackers from hurting them.
"Oh, if the woman hadn't been in the building late at night, the rapist wouldn't have gotten her."
True. If a woman never leaves her house, she will not be raped on the street.
The problem here is not the woman, so let's stop focusing on her. She's innocent. The problem is the rapist.
"Oh, the girl should have known the guy was a psycho when he kept calling her."
I'm sure she had a pretty good idea that he was not your average "nice guy." But if he didn't snap on day 5, he would have snapped on day 1, when she decided to not answer the phone the second time he called. The problem is not the girl -- it's not like the psycho was sitting there, thinking, "If she continues the relationship for X days I'll beat the living cr@p out of her, but if she breaks up with me after one or two days, I'll leave her alone." You cannot control someone who's crazy/imbalanced.
Again, she is not the one with the power to avoid the act of violence. The only one who can prevent that act of violence is the one committing it.
So stop focusing the attention on what women need to do. Try some of these tips instead.
*This is Criss's Vague Notion of Emotional Intelligence. If you know better than she does, which would not be hard, please feel free to share your knowledge and expertise in the comments. Criss went to the workshop to learn more about EI, but, as you can tell from reading the post, the presented didn't spend a whole lot of time talking about EI. It was more about him.