Yesterday’s challenge was to create a character sketch of my alter ego and write about a situation I wish I had handled differently, explaining how my alter ego would have handled it.
Didn’t I just talk about how regrets are nothing more than a way to self-flagellate? Wishing I had handled something a different way skates right up to the regret line. That said, I do have one situation that could stand a bit of an edit. We all have those situations, things we’ve said that made us instantly want to rewind the tape and splice out that remark.
But first let me tell you about my alter ego. I usually call her Pamela and I normally blame her when I have lost my shit over something. The situation I would edit is: I lost it at work one day. I hated the job because I was not given a choice – they just told me that is what I would be doing until they decided otherwise*. (There’s lots of back story to that, but it really isn’t important other than it is one of the reasons I quit and moved to the PNW). I was answering phones full time (not a good idea), doing accounting work (definitely not a good idea) and generally absolutely miserable. At the end of my second day, I threw a major fit in front of the supervisor and slammed out of there. Halfway home, I realized I had forgotten my phone and I had to go back. The supervisor saw me, asked if I was okay and I snarled “No!” then I grabbed my phone and left.
About 2 miles down the road, I calmed down enough to realize what I had just done. Oh, crap. The next day I told her that my evil twin Pamela had knocked me out, tied me up in the basement and went to my job, impersonating me all day. But everything was cool because she was back in custody, on lock-down, and wouldn’t escape the asylum again. The supervisor laughed and that was the end of it.
As an alter ego, Pamela leaves a lot to be desired. So I’m going to rewrite her. She’s my alter, so we do have a lot in common: wit, intelligence, a winning smile, and charm to burn. However, Pamela is more socially adept, able to converse with anyone about anything. She doesn’t let her emotions get the best of her and she is a natural diplomat. Pamela can extricate herself gracefully from any situation and has the ability to turn unfavorable circumstances to her advantage.
In the previous example, Pamela actually didn’t have any options, but she would have spoken to the manager of her own department and the manager of the department to which she was involuntarily transferred. She would have made her case logically, with humor and without rancor. If communication didn’t work (and, in hindsight, it would not have), she would have handled the new job without further complaint. Because Pamela knows – when I always forget – that nothing is permanent. Perhaps, for Pamela, even death is a temporary inconvenience.
*As it turned out, the job would have lasted about 9 months – and then I would have gone back to my old department. Still don’t regret resigning and moving, though.