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The Crying Game

Quinn has this new method of expressing dissatisfaction with whatever The Current Problem is, and that method is, well, extremely effective. A little over the top, yes. A little extreme, yes. VERY annoying to be around, yes. But effective, nonetheless. As soon as the oxygen surrounding his body becomes tainted with even the slightest possibility that someone is about to make him do something he finds abhorrent, like put his shoes on or share the 14 cars he's hoarding in his stuffed, pudgy hands, he doesn't yell or throw things or scream no. His olfactory super powers take over and he can actually SNIFF OUT the impending doom. The corners of his eyes turn red and puffy, his chin quivers, the flood gates behind his sad, sad eyes open and he starts to genuinely cry, while "telling on" whoever is causing this new injustice. It can be something as simple as Bryce not agreeing with him ABOUT SOMETHING FACTUALLY WRONG, like whether or not the hall light is on when it is clearly turned off.

Quinn: The light is on, Bryce.
Bryce: Uh, no it isn't, Quinn. I think you mean it's off.
Quinn: [red eyes, quivering chin, wailing in misery and hurt feelings] He said it's off!! He said it's ooooooooffffffffffffffffffffff!! Waaaaaaaaaa!

An argument in which I could normally stop myself from intervening thus becomes something I have to step into, even if only to tell Quinn to get a grip and stop acting like such a three-year-old already. But the thing is, even though I don't necessarily give Quinn what he "wants" when he pulls this trick out of his hat (12-18 TIMES A DAY), he does receive direct attention, which is probably his original intent anyway. The attention may end up negative, or it may end up causing whatever injustice he's crying about to become even MORE "unfair," but whatever the original situation was that caused him so much grief almost inevitably changes when he turns on the tears.

I know it's risky, given the fact that I just pointed out that many times this behavior does not result in a positive outcome for Quinn, but I've been considering trying this at work. This is the....oh hell, I've lost count, so I'll pick a nice round number and say tenth job I've had where I've been invited to share ideas and suggestions for improvements, and I fall for that nonsense and then actually MAKE suggestions for improvements, and subsequently become labeled as a trouble-maker. I've tried all the adult, mature methods of dealing with this little problem - changing my suggestion-making tactics, approaching people in different forums, putting suggestions in writing, and then not doing that, waiting longer periods of time before making suggestions to see if someone else will make them first, making them subliminally or dropping hints gradually... I could go on and on. Ultimately, I become the trouble-maker, the one who's never pleased, the one who rocks the boat. Given my recent statement that I am now officially refusing to sit in silence just to fit in or get by, I obviously can't just give up and stop trying. Besides, where would all my angst come from if I did that? So, I'm thinking, why not try the crying bit? I mean, the response from my employer and co-workers can't be much worse than what I've been dealing with all along anyway. Inaction? Check. Labeling me as a trouble-maker? Check. Cutting the tension with a knife anytime I walk into a meeting? Check. And maybe the crying would shock people into agreement, you know? Like, "Gee, if Kristen is so passionate about this, maybe she has a point after all! Let's discuss her idea, rather than shooting it down, that's a novel idea anyway!"

I can see it now, and it's a beautiful thing.

Meeting Leader: The first item on the agenda is which format we should choose. Any thoughts?
Kristen: Well, I thought we could stick with the standard we established two months ago since the year is half over and we said we wanted to be consistent to avoid confusion.
Meeting Leader: Well, that's not going to work for us because we like to accomodate the entire company even though that is physically impossible and we're setting ourselves up for failure by doing just that. The job-threatening irony of it all appeals to us, so the answer is NO. Anyone else?
Kristen: [red puffy eyes, chin quivering, tears flowing, looking around at the rest of the meeting attendants] She said, 'accomodate entire company'! She said, 'setting ourselves up for failure is fun!' She said 'No.' SHE SAID NNNNNOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
Meeting attendants: [clutching papers to their chests, eyes lowered, faces pale with nervousness and embarrassment, fingers poised over phone, ready to dial 9-1-1] Uh, Meeting Leader? We, um, have reached a concensus that, well...uh [gulp] -- is she okay? -- we're willing to discuss that suggestion. We think.

At the very least, it might provide some good entertainment for me. Or for you, when I write about it.