Thursday, June 28, 2012

Snips and Snaps

Today's complaint is that I dont listen very well. My marine has been home for some time now ( His home) and he has been looking for work.  To his disappointment he is not finding valuable employment at a decent pay.  During his wait time, he has had a couple interviews.  He voices his frustration with out civilian hiring processes and interviews.  He gets annoyed after each interview and finds himself upset when he doesnt get the job.  I think the challenge is that us civilians arent as good listeners and communicators as military personnel and so, we find in the interview process that we dont hear him correctly and we misunderstand his answers.  We jump to conclusions and judgements quickly.  For example, he interviewed and the interviewer asked him what his 5 year plan was.  He walked her through the factors that drove him to obtain a degree in a field of study he is not interested in (family pressure) and how the military saw something in himn and developed him (as a trainer) and he excelled there.  He shared that he had always been interested in History and that if he could go back, he would have gotten education in that field.  He shared that he liked to teach.  What the employer heard was " I want to be a teacher of history" and so she chose not to go with him as a candidate.  This response angered him and he got fed up with our selection processes.  I tried to encourage him and told him that we civilian (humans) make alot of mistakes and overlook very good people. I tried to urge him not to take it personal.  He does, take it person.  Understandably so, he has risked his life, trained many people, and saved many people in the years he has been in the service.  On days when I sat picking my nose, or playing with my belly button, he crawled under barbed wire, through enemy lines.  On days that I pouted because I didnt have enough money to buy matching earings for my new dress or  because they ran out of my favorite icrecream flavor at the store, he was trying to talk sense to a young marine who was "losing it in Combat'.  I think most of us forget that, or put it out of our minds, how much our military men have endured.  Here Iam worrying about why he hasnt emailed me or texted me and he is probably dodging bullets or doing something, somewhere, he can never talk about to anyone.
Sure, so I try to tell him to be patient and to press on, and I get hurt when he snaps at me, raises his voice and tells me he is irritated, that our civilian ways are stupid ( he doesnt use those words).
He says he wants to work so he can feel comfortable 'bringing me on board'.  Im so silly, I ask " On Board to what?"  I tried to assure him that I dont need things, flowers, gifts and chocolates, and that all I want is time with him so we can do things together.  He is not hearing any of it, he simply says " Thats why I need to work, so I can spend time with you and we can do things". 
He raised his voice at me today when I asked him if he would volunteer with me.  He says " Ive volunteered enough, Im not doing free work anymore... Ive helped enough people... all those people I saved!... You dont listen to me, I said I dont want to volunteer or work for free.  You never listen well... ( and he went on and on and on)".  I was very upset when we ended the call.  I felt like telling him to "F-k off!"  I felt like throwing in the towel.  So I asked God to help me, to calm me and to help me to be loving.  I then texted him to please forgive me for upsetting him and for not listening well.  I told him he is right, that I volunteer too much and need to focus on my needs more.  Shortly thereafter, he appologized for snapping at me.  He always does, appologize (quickly). He doesnt cuss at me or tell me anything offensive (personally).  I like that about him.   I looked at the time and it was lunchtime and it was very hot outside.  I accepted his appology and told him I understand his frustration, its very hot and he is probably hungry since it is almost lunchtime ( men get grumpy when they dont eat, its nothing personal).

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