Man, was I angry!

by DavalosMcCormack on July 16, 2008

So, have you ever had this kind of day? I get to the computer and everything is okay, but when I go to print, suddenly the computer forgets where the printer is. I remember the Eddie Izzard stand-up routine where he picks up the computer monitor and aims it at the printer and says “It’s right there! Can’t you see it!! IT’S THERE!’ So, after trying to print again and again, I turn everything off, and make like I’m leaving the room. I’m whistling a little ditty as I make for the front door, all the time saying things out-loud like: “Okay, time to leave, see you later, don’t get scared when I’m gone.”

But you know what’s really funny, or scary, it works! I don’t think computers know about time. I wasn’t even gone a minute and guess what? When I sat back down at the desk the computer suddenly rediscovered where the printer was! Yay! Only 20 minutes wasted, and it was still before 10 am so now I’m thinking; “We’re in business!” I find the document I want to print. All is well. I go to file and click on print.

After some seconds the printer says: Click. Click, sl…slide..stop, click, click. RED LIGHT. What?! I Look at computer. “Replace cartridge” – What? Okay, which cartridge? I click ‘Utilities’ and the box comes up. “Searching for printer” Oh, my gosh. I can feel my heart beating faster, I can feel my temperature go up. I can feel my adrenalin start to kick in. Man, am I mad. Am I angry and also…boy could I throw this printer out the window.

Ten minutes follow of trying to get the printer to tell me – What cartridge? Which one? Finally, the printer utility says, “Magenta is low. You can print 100 more pages before replacing the cartridge.” Cool, I say, because I just want to print 1 page…black and white.

Well. SOMEBODY Forgot to tell the printer! It will not print. Nothing! Nada….not one page! RAGE!

Anger! This little adventure has changed my whole attitude. I was fine and now I’m not, so I do an assessment. What just happened to me when I got angry? Guess what? You get stressed out! Blood pressure, Up! adrenalin, Up! Flight or fight! There’s the rub. Fight or Flight. If you are in control you think, “Shall I pick up this machine, rip it’s plug from the wall, and send it flying through the window? Breaking the glass, splintering the frame and triumphantly hearing the crash, bang shattering of the device. No.
I refuse to let this domino effect of incidents take control of my entire day. Because, let’s be real. Who’s going to clean up that mess, and what will we do about printing? I do not know what tiny little mind thought it to be a good idea to have a printer that will not print in black and white if the magenta (though not needed for the job) is low? I do not know why this torment was thought to be a good way of doing business, but I can tell you what I do know. Anger won’t change any of it.
I looked up “How does anger effect the body?” And I found out what anger does and I know the best part is that initially it lasts for just 90 seconds. Yeah, in 90 seconds you can be very angry, then it dissipates. It goes away. Breathing becomes normal again and calm is regained. I became myself again.

But here’s the rub. All that happens if you do not continue to accelerate the anger. That means, don’t stay angry. You can muddle through the 90 seconds or elevate the anger. It’s a choice.

It isn’t that anger itself lasts 90 seconds so much as the biological conditions, in other words, the chemicals in your system that support anger. Those chemicals will run their course in 90 seconds. 90 seconds, that’s “if” you do not respond to them, or you can choose to keep them going by your habits of thought. That is, hold on to the thoughts of anger and you stay angry. Anything over 90 seconds is your choice because the chemicals are so quickly metabolized. Whether you keep causing your body to make more or not is up to you. This little fact is in the book by Candace B. Pert, Ph.D. “Molecules of Emotion”

So what do we learn from this experience? Give yourself permission to be human. When we accept emotions — such as anger, fear, sadness, or anxiety — as natural, we are more likely to overcome them. Rejecting our emotions, positive or negative, leads to frustration and unhappiness.

There, isn’t that better?

p.s. Guess what. When I turned the computer on this morning my printer printed the page I was trying to print most of the day yesterday. I don’t know what to make of that!

postscript: If that bloody printer does this again…Off with it’s cartridge!


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