All posts by Rob Darnell

Anger & Anxiety

I’ve been arguing with myself for weeks about whether to write this entry or not. On one hand, I want to get it off my chest, but on the other hand, I don’t really feel like it.  I guess I’ll write the damn thing and get it out of the way.

I lose my temper very easily. A lot of people have witnessed that. Some have found themselves the targets of my anger. Sometimes I get so mad that my vision blurs. I don’t know why I’m like this. I can make some guesses, but they are just guesses.

I’m a monster. I’m not above dragging people through the mud if they piss me off to a certain degree. I’ve really torn people down at times. I can be very vile, mean, hateful. But then, when the smoke clears, I’m angry with myself about the things I said while in a rage.

After losing my temper, I often feel a need to hide from people. The shame overwhelms me. Questions rotate in my head. Was my anger justified? Did I overreact? Did I take the issue more personally than I should have? More times than not, I decide that, no, my anger was not justified and, yes, I overreacted and took the issue too personally.

Which brings me to anxiety. Worse than my struggle with anger is my struggle with anxiety. I have a hard time looking people in the eye when I talk to them. My gaze automatically flicks from one corner of the room to another, to the ceiling, to the window, to the lamp on the table, and, of course, to the floor.

Some people take my difficulty to make eye contact as a sign of disrespect and get pissy with me. That usually results in me getting pissed at them, and then they’ll probably have eye contact with me.

I have other habits that people don’t seem to understand. When nervous or bored, I’m often touching my head or running my hands through my hair. I’ve been asked on a few occasions, “Do you have a headache?” No, as a matter of fact, I do not. I rarely ever have a headache, not even after a night of drinking.

At any gathering, I tend to pace back and forth from one end of the property to the other. Most of the time, I don’t realize I’m doing it until I’ve been doing it for a while. It’s pretty embarrassing, but I’m unable to stop myself for very long. I’m not sure why I do it, but I think it might be a combination of anxiety, Tourette’s and pure boredom.

When I go to a gathering, I go with the idea that I’m going to enjoy myself. But often I end up feeling like I’m not involved. This is largely due to the fact that I can’t hear a damn thing anyone is saying. Everyone is talking around me. I hear their voices clearly, but their words are gibberish.

I’ve been told that I need to start inserting myself. Into group conversations? Are you kidding me? Am I supposed to say, “Hey, what are you guys talking about?” and completely interrupt their brilliant exchange of words?

They might turn to me and try to explain, but they’ll likely have to repeat themselves several times and I still might not understand them. Then, after I’ve moved on, they might not be able to resume the conversation that they were apparently enjoying.

If everyone involved in a group conversation starts laughing, I might ask “What’s so funny?” Or if someone is passing around a cell phone, showing pictures, I might ask to see the pictures too. But I’m not going to insert myself into a conversation that’s being carried on by a number of people.

Although I’ve gotten better at being around people, sometimes I feel like I can’t deal with anyone. That I need to stay out of sight and be forgotten. This is usually when I find myself thinking about something I said or did that was stupid. It can take me a while to overcome that feeling and get to where I’m comfortable interacting with people again.

I wish I could be one of those dudes who is always mellow, confident, outgoing. But I’m not and I probably never will be.

Another Loss

The Tigers lost again. I keep reminding myself that it’s still May and they have time to turn things around. But right now, they’re losing as many games as they’re winning and it’s not looking good.

I guess it could be worse. The Tigers are in third place, the White Sox are in fourth and the Royals are in fifth. But if things keep on like this, the Tigers will find themselves below Kansas City.

I Screwed Up

Okay, I just got my phone back on. In the past, the bank had declined many payments to my Florida based phone company, on the grounds that Florida is a high fraud state. But the bank is still honoring my request to not decline those payments anymore.

The reason they declined the latest payment is the information the phone company had is for a debit card that recently expired. I forgot to update that information when I activated my new card.

Perhaps the phone company should have notified me. Or maybe they did. I get a call on my phone every now and again, but I don’t answer the phone because I won’t be able to hear what’s being said. For the same reason, I don’t listen to voice messages.  Texting is the best way to contact me.

So, the blame does not fall on the bank.

This Must Be My Night For Goofing On Customer Service

Yes, this is a most urgent message, indeed. As it happens, I have no cell phone service. Heaven knows who has tried to contact me during the time that my cell phone was off. But why am I contacting you? You’re the bank, not the phone company.

Well, if you must know, my phone bill is automatically paid each month. Or it’s supposed to be. Today, upon realizing my phone service was down, I contacted the phone company and found out the bank declined the latest transaction to the phone company.

My phone company is XXXXX, a Florida based company. I’ve been with them for years and I’m happy with them. Now, there were times in the past when you had declined my payments to XXXXX. I’d have to contact you and tell you to send the payment through. You always did when I told you to, thank you.

I remember your explanation as to why my payments were being declined. Your explanation was that Florida has a high rate of fraud and because of that, you’re taking extraordinary measures when making transactions with all Florida based companies.

All right, great. But, XXXXX is my phone company and I pay for the service monthly, using their automatic payment option. Because you were constantly declining my payments to XXXXX and making me contact you to have the payments put through, I requested that you stop declining my payments to XXXXX. I mean, it’s a real hassle to have to contact the bank every time I need to pay my phone bill.

For a long time after that, there were no declined payments, no interruptions of phone service. Life was good and we all rejoiced. But now, it seems my request that you stop declining payments to XXXXX has expired.

Please, I beg you, don’t decline anymore of my payments to XXXXX.

Thank you, and peace out.

Your humble customer,
-Rob

 

Getting Tired of My Bank Looking Out for Me

Hi! How may I help you today?

Me: It seems I have no cell phone service. I can’t call or text.

Angel: Hi Rob. Thank you for visiting.

.Angel: I’m sorry to hear that.

Angel: Let me check on your account. Are we working for the phone number that ends with XXXX?

Me: Yes.

Angel: Okay.

Angel: May I please have your address?

Me: XXXX Annibal Dr. Lapeer, MI 48446

Angel: Thank you. Please bear with me as I review your account.

Me: Ditto

Angel: Thank you for waiting. Please bear with me as my system is running slow.

Angel: Thank you for waiting. Upon checking, it shows that you already reached your scheduled service end date. To restore your service, you need to refill your account.

Angel: Do you have an airtime card with you or are you going to use your credit card?

Me: It’s supposed to refill automatically.

Angel: Let me check further. Please allow me a moment.

Angel: Upon checking further, it shows that your last transaction was declined by your bank.

Me: Oh, Jesus. My bank has done that in the past. I’m furious. Thank you, Angel. You’ve been very helpful. I’ll give my bank, yet, another earful.

Angel: You are welcome.

Angel: Is there anything else that I can assist you with?

Me: Nope, that’s everything. Thank you. Best wishes and warm regards.

Angel: You are welcome.

ETA
The problem is, I thought my phone bill was already paid and it’s not, because the bank declined the scheduled payment and didn’t notify me. So, now I won’t have phone service until I can get in touch with someone at the bank tomorrow and tell them to send the payment through.

The problem is, I already told my bank to stop declining payments to this particular company. There were no problems for quite some time, but now it seems the bank has forgotten my request and is back to declining payments to this Florida based company simply because it’s a Florida based company.

But don’t get me wrong. I don’t have many complaints about my bank, just some of their measures drive me up the wall.

A Good Dog

Yes, I’ve said this before and I’m saying it again. Luci is indeed the best dog ever.

Yesterday, while I was doing yard  work, I noticed the gate in the picture was bent back and there was a wide gap between the cuff and the post it grips. Because the cuff never gripped the post very well, I have big rocks, one on each side of the gate, so it won’t open inward or outward.

So, the gate was still closed, but the way it was bent yesterday, the gap was wide enough that Luci could have easily slipped out. For a moment, I thought she had. But then I looked behind me and saw her lying on the patio. I was so proud that I immediately told her, “Good dog, Luce.”

I don’t know how long the gate was like that. Definitely more than a day, possibly more than a week. Luci has been spending a lot of time in the backyard. She could have gone out through that gap anytime and she didn’t.

I shouldn’t be so surprised. She doesn’t even follow me out through the front gate unless I tell her, “C’mon, Luce.”

I managed to straighten the gate a bit, and then my dad came over and helped me straighten it better. But I’m still WTFed about it. How can this gate get bent like that? It was like folded down and back. I don’t think the wind could have done that, so I’m suspicious.

I think someone bent the gate on purpose. Why might they have done that? Possibly so they can cox my dog out and steal her. My friend Megan’s dog was recently stolen and my friend Brooke’s dog was stolen a couple years ago. Also, someone stole two dogs from my mom and dad about ten or fifteen years ago.

Dognapping is a reality. While I hope that’s not what this was about, I don’t have anything else of value in my backyard that isn’t locked up in the shed. I ought to hang BEWARE OF OWNER signs on the fence.

I’m not one of those gun owners who will shoot to kill anyone who enters their territory. But, if I ever see someone trying to steal my dog, I won’t let them leave until the police take them away.

Rage Against the Machine is Going to Make Me Completely Deaf

This was a very productive day. Not only did I write 2,283 new words into the novel, I did some more edits on that finished short story and I submitted one of my previous novels to an agency. I also got all of my must-do chores done.

I blast music while writing because it boosts my ability to create. It also wards off distractions. But sometimes when I finish a writing session and turn the music off, my ears are ringing.

The Tigers are playing the Diamondbacks right now. It’s the top of the 5th. Miggy just got a good hit and tied the game, 3-3. Man on second and third, One out. Castellanos is batting.