Ephrem Endale Contributer
You know what the real problem these days is? Many people take things that are clearly articulated or actions which leave no room for speculations wrongly. I mean even before they hear you out or try to give your actions a second look their verdict is in; “He doesn’t like me.” “I knew she always worked against me.” Say the guy who you consider is among the closet to you asks you for some money, I mean real money!
“I’m faced with an emergency and I need twenty five thousand birr! I’ve no one to ask except you.” Who does he think you’re! Some guy who bought half the shares of ChatGPT! (That technology is creating tremors all around, isn’t it? The things they say its capable of doing are sometimes a little too much to understand. An American University, so they said, warned its students not to submit thesis paper written by ChatGPT. Someone was saying it can even write you a novel! Ask it “Write me a thesis paper on AI like Elon Musk would write it.” And it does just that! )
So this guy asks you for twenty-five thousand birr. Had he been someone about whom you could have said, “Well, I don’t blame him. He doesn’t know much about me.” But this guy is even your drinking partner some event that, as of late, is happens once every two months because the bunch of you have the thinnest wallets anywhere in the Milky way! And he has the courage to ask you ‘a fortune!’ Of course, you try to be as nice as you can manage. This is someone you consider close to you and more or less knows about you and he still asks for twenty-five thousand birr!
“Look, I’d have given it to you if I had the money; I don’t;” and for emphasis you add, “Last holiday I couldn’t even buy sheep for the family.” believe me it wouldn’t work. Then and there the verdict has been passed, “He hates me!” And that does it for a couple of decades of friendship!
Even within some households there is this rush to pass the wrong verdict even though it is a household that goes back quite a number of years. I mean the guy who ends up in running battles with his wife would tell you, “She is getting on my nerves. I think that woman hates me!” You know that the guy has a real issue, a different one at that, when he refers to his loving wife as “that woman” and tries to paint her with all the wrong colors.
Hubby believes that his weekend drinking spree ‘with the boys’ is his one chance to ‘relax’ and a priority issue. His wife thinks otherwise. The fridge which they got form her father when they married in fact deepfreezes almost every food item. It even turned the broccoli into some Olympic-standard shot put! Before her father gave it to them it had been around for another two decades. The lady of the house wants it replaced pronto!
“We’ve a fridge that spoils everything I put in it and all you can do is throw money away!”
“Fridges are expensive these days.”
“You spend fifty birr or more for a bottle of beer and you tell me about fridge being expensive!”
The next time he is with the boys. “Would you believe it she wants me to stop recreating and save money for some demanded fridge.”
“You don’t say!”
“Yes that is what she tells me. I think she’s doing it deliberately to drive me crazy!” Hey; maybe you should change what you’re drinking. Only the wrong drink makes you talk like that about your beloved wife! But he wouldn’t be the only man. A friend who is fed up of people telling him about the ills their wives were joking he’d txt all of them “No talking about wives!”
The wrongly motivated hubby takes things to levels he wouldn’t have dreamt of a few years back. His wife has started coming home a little late with the excuse that she was working overtime to make some extra money which the couple needs badly. In fact, he has gone as far spying on her through her friends. They have told him she indeed was working late. Still, even after having verified repeatedly he couldn’t help saying, “She must be up to something!”
Unfortunately there are those even will all the facts in their hands still can’t help creating all kinds of eerie stories about he being “…up to something!” Even if he fails coming up with plausible reasons he’d say something like, “These days she is overdoing the makeup. Why does she do that unless there is something she is doing behind the curtain!”
You should feel sorry for such people. I mean they refuse to fully believe even what they see with their own eyes! “You didn’t have to hug him that much!”
“People might think…”
“What the hell are you talking about! He’s my brother!”
Take the boss who is that strong-handed guy who believes in doing things by the book. All your past bosses didn’t even know ‘the book’ let alone making it their reference. And how some of us love such bosses! So, having skipped work for no particular reason he has given you some verbal dressing down. You don’t like it. You don’t like it at all!
“Why is this guy after me?” Of course, no one thinks he’s only after you expect you, yourself. Thirty-nine of forty-two staff each believes the boss was after them. Maybe all he does to foment the hostility of the staff is that he’s some guy who wants to do everything according to the rule books. Maybe he’s taken steps to ensure that the work place remains only a work place. “No unauthorized tea breaks!” What! He must be kidding! If you want some tea break reward then you’ve to earn it.
“No Facebook during working hours!” “The organizations phone lines are only for issues directly tied with the work. ‘No “No abuse of the organizations phones to tell the house maid that she should take it is easy on the ground peeper as prices have skyrocketed.’ ‘No abusing the lines to tell the boys that a new watering hole has been opened and they should see the dashing owner who seems to have dropped out from some fashion magazine!’ You know things like that.
No wonder every one of them think he is after them. May he save you from the “He hates me!” mental virus which, for no reason takes you down the slippery road of suspecting everyone and everybody around you.
The Ethiopian Herald February 12/2013