Friday, 23 October 2015

Avoiding Confrontation

I've always been good at this, whether it's been not telling my parents something awful, not opening potentially unpleasant bills, not arguing with my best friend - you know the sort of thing.  My husband is the opposite, he likes to tackle a problem face to face (if it's a person) and doesn't let grass grow under his feet.  Recently, we made the classic error of buying an elderly second-hand car: it was something my husband has been hoping to find for months - a little 4x4 Pajero to launch his boat.  He found his heart's desire, but it was far away while we were visiting his brother up north, and he didn't get the chance to examine it minutely himself. He decided to buy it after much humming and hawing when we got home. Part of the bargain was that it would come with a Roadworthy Certificate. However, once it arrived, many problems were uncovered which should never have passed the roadworthy test people.  One of these was that two engine mounts were completely broken and also broken were both 'tie-rod ends'. The electric window washers didn't work either. There were other things too.  After a couple of weeks of trying to speak to the slippery dealer, he finally agreed to compensate us with a money amount. It never arrived. Eventually, my husband, exasperated, threatened to report him to the Motor Industry Federation and we found out the name of the local press.  While my husband made this course of action clear on the phone early one morning (minus his hearing aids which caused him to shout), I retreated two rooms away and put on the radio and the TV as loud as I could. Still hearing every word, in desperation I grabbed some paper towel and stuffed it into my ears. This worked.  When I heard him slam down the phone and make his way back to the kitchen, I hurriedly returned the TV and radio volumes to normal and carried on making the breakfast. Guess what he said when he came in...
    "Why is there paper towel in your ears?"  I got a lecture concerning timidity but all was forgotten as next day the money was in the bank. I had hoped that the dealer would now be scrutinised by the MIF, but my husband was chagrined to find that copy of his letter plus photos did not reach the Federation people: 'email undeliverable' for some reason.


  1. Good for your husband. Al though I don't like confrontation either, I think it is good to hold people accountable. Otherwise people are just going to walk all over you.

  2. I agree, good for your husband. By nature, I am more like you than your husband. I don't like confrontations, and I admire people who can stand up for themselves and maintain reason but express their unhappiness and get a positive result. That is part of what is known as emotional quotient.

    Personally I put up with a lot of crap in life because I have rage issues caused by multiple sclerosis. Far better not to complain about a fly in your soup than to be sitting in jail for assault because a complaint escalated out of control. The nuke button is too close at hand in my psyche. Better to walk away and lick my wounds than to run afoul of the law.

    1. Gosh, I didn't know you could get those kind of symptoms. Didn't you say before that you were diagnosed many years ago and that it was basically in remission?

    2. I had two very severe attacks 30 years ago, but have been fortunate in not having (so far) any relapsing attacks. However I still live with much of the damage from those attacks. For the most part it falls in the category of nuisance rather than disability, bad balance, sensitivity to heat, various muscle weakness, loss of IQ, bad memory, and these emotional problems. Taking crap in life is a nuisance. Getting locked up for assault is a disability. I learned very early in my new life with MS that I was going to have to tread lightly around things that could cause rage.

  3. If only everyone played by the rules, confrontation wouldn't be necessary. Great work by your husband though to tackle the unscrupulous dealer. I suggest you make a phone call and confirm the e-mail address...I'd still report him.

    I'm laughing at the thought of paper towel in your ears. I tend to be more like your husband but my temper sometimes gets the best of me. And that doesn't help either...perhaps I need to add the paper towel and end up somewhere in the middle. :)