I actually have a very bad temper. Depending on the level of BS that a person or situation is filled with, I could fly off the handle in seconds or just build up steam like a volcano until the inevitable happens.
But mostly I stay calm and composed (and any pummeling or hacking-to-tiny-bits-with-an-axe happens solely inside my head).
I especially don’t lose my cool in front of my colleagues and workplace peers (seeing as how that’s considered unprofessional).
This happened when I was working as an Assistant Director (AD) in Chennai. My Director, Atlee, is this super-sweet awesome dude and he took me under his wing from day one (what with being the only female on that entire team) and I was always really decent in front of him. There’s this other guy, one of the senior ADs, called Bakki and he used to majorly piss me off in the beginning.
(Come to think of it, I probably majorly pissed him off too)
We’d argue about movies, about songs, about whether or not something was “right”, etc. Picture me (a walking, enlightened circus of everything imaginable) and him (Mr. old fashioned chauvinistic stick-in-the-mud young guy) arguing over whether or not it was ‘okay’ for women to wear shorts, smoke, men to cry, a woman to hit a man in a particular scene, etc, etc..
(to quote a few random wild stereotypical examples)
Everything we’d argue about would eventually boil down to the extremely worn-out and cliched men vs. women topic (which isn’t even a topic in my head – do monkeys or snails have such debates? No!! There is no men vs. women; there’s just dumb-as-fuck humans vs. slightly less-dumb humans and EVERYBODY, irrespective or gender, falls under one of those two very broad categories)
Anyway, sorry for digressing – that happens a lot to me.
So, like I was saying, we’d been arguing for weeks: during AD meetings, during office work, during shooting; all the time. Everybody else in the office found this very hilarious, of course: an endless source of entertainment.
Now, I have this little blue diary (Nightingale A5-ish diary) and I scribble, doodle and take notes in it. NOBODY is allowed to write in my diary. NOBODY. And once, during a meeting, someone tried to take a page (the horror) from the book and I flipped out. You DO NOT tear pages off a diary.
So, that’s the background detail. The actual bad temper episode happened when Sir (my DIR) and Bakki were sitting together and discussing a scene and I was there taking notes in my little blue diary. Just for laughs and also to break the monotony, sir asked us to discuss something and soon we were arguing (Bakki and I) and he took my book and drew this big ugly face right in the back, on the last page. Now, I don’t know if anybody else here can identify with this – but the last page is SUPPOSED to be left blank unless the owner of the diary has something specific she wants to put there. I think I lost a few brain cells in that moment. I had warned this guy before about messing with my stationary; call it my pet peeve.
I got so mad, I snatched the diary from him and tore away the last few pages; I then scrunched up each and every page into tiny, hateful balls and threw them at his face. All the while, my slightly-shocked and definitely-amused director looked on in silence.
Here’s another little background info – you NEVER show that kind of disrespect in front of your director (who is like your guru, your mentor, especially in the Indian Film Industries; never mind that he is barely four years older to you and is struggling to keep a straight face).
Bakki and I nearly came to blows that day. Thankfully, my sir intervened and he berated us. He “yelled” at Bakki for ragging on me, especially since I had changed cities to work for him and I didn’t have ‘anyone’ in Chennai (and it was up to the team to take care of me, which they did very sincerely). He “yelled” at me for losing my temper and screaming and tearing things up while my ‘director’ was watching.
It all seemed very funny later on and my fellow ADs liked to tell that tale during late hours at work. But it wasn’t all that cracking when it happened.
There you go – that’s one of my Mad-as-a-Hatter moments.
(There was this other time when I screamed and yelled at work at another AD. I’ll write about it next I guess)
(We’re all good friends now, in case I hadn’t made that clear earlier)