Spike on the River
Neal in Antarctica
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March 02, 2005 - Wednesday, 9:32 a.m.
It was a night of fitful dreams. I woke up in the night a few times, but mostly slept well. I was dreaming when my phone went off. I bolted up in bed. What?! Huh?! I jumped out of bed, found my purse, got the phone and it stopped ringing. I looked at the view screen. “Missed Call from L”. What?! Why is she calling me in the middle of the night? I hit the redial and the phone rang about 4 times and slipped over to the voice mail. I hung up. Looking at my phone again, the time displayed. “5:01 am”. SHOOT!! It was my alarm going off, not a NEW phone call. I checked the missed call, “8:39pm” last night. Great!! I lay back down and drifted back to sleep and back into my dreams. My phone rang again, 5:35 am… it was L. Not surprising. “What’s wrong!!?” She asks. I explain. She’s, of course, worried. She asks how I am and how I slept. I am in that hazy spot where you are almost still dreaming and I start to tell her about my dreams.
All night long, it would seem, I am working with my ‘group’. [Will these people never leave my dreams???!] We are given tasks to set people to ‘working on their stuff’. It’s painful and sad. Some people don’t ‘understand’ the help and are left in the bad place they were in, some ‘get it’ and benefit from the ‘display’ of their weaknesses. It’s again a variation on the training I went through, and ‘we’ as a group are struggling with the heartache of it all, and desperately trying to help not only ourselves, but also the people around us. The dreams are convoluted and I cannot explain them to L well. I feel the anxiousness and wish for a few more hours of pleasant dreams. I begin to ramble on about things. How in the group there is NO tolerance for arriving late, and how you are set up to demand perfection from people, and if they don’t deliver then you feel that you must not be important enough for them to keep their word to you. There are NO acceptable excuses. To not perform is to not INTEND to perform. “What do the results tell you”… Gah… I hate that phrase. It echoes in my mind constantly.
First workshop of Horizons three members of our group are late, by about 5 minutes each. One by one they are put before the group. “Why are you late?” An explanation is given, a very reasonable one. An example might be that job priorities came up and through this person thought they had enough time to get here they are late. “What was your intent?” “My intent was to get here on time.” “What do the results tell you?” “Well, I didn’t get here on time.” “Therefore you didn’t REALLY intend to be on time. Results tell us that. If you had TRULY intended to be on time you would have been.” No arguing, there is NOTHING you can say that will justify your ‘result’, you end up agreeing to your obvious affront to your own good word, how can you ever be believed. DO you EVER keep your word?!? [I felt like silently screaming in my chair.] From the training point of view your ENTIRE live can be ‘renegotiated’, however not ONE moment of the training can be. If they say BE here at 7 pm EVERY frickin’ Tuesday for the next 11 weeks… you need to be there. Now you can ‘renegotiate’ it some. “Oh, you can’t make the scheduled guest event? No problem. You just need to do you OWN guest event in the next 4 or 5 days and you need TWICE as many guests.” It is totally set up to have you reschedule everything except the training. Until I started reciting this stuff to L, I didn’t really grasp how unreasonable this really is.
It makes me think back to one of our last days of Crossroads (the ‘advanced’ training). We have been given ‘ground rules’ and we’ve agreed that once they open the doors to the training room that we can be seated in our chairs in 35 second. [We were given the option at the beginning to set a time between zero and 60 seconds… and are given the hint that picking 60 is NOT really acceptable.] After the first day, we are stellar!! We are all standing pressed as close to the training doors as humanly possible where they can still open the doors and about 3 minutes before they open. The doors open and in a frantic scramble we rush into the room and into our chairs. Always with plenty of time to spare, we are obviously an over-achieving group. The trainer hasn’t had an opportunity to chastise us for being late into our chairs for over two days. On this particular day, the doors open and the chairs are all scattered. We start sitting down and are told we have to reform the arch (the placement of the chairs in a “U” shape) first. We are frantic. We make it happen. The guy with the stopwatch confirms that we are successful. There is a ‘darn’ type statement from the trainer and training goes on. The next break he tries again, this time all the staff members are lying on the floor between the door and the chairs. We carefully step over them, I softly say “Nice try”, a lady from our group trips and falls and someone helps her up. We still make it in time. There are no more attempts. However, the entire exercise is demeaning in retrospect. We are acting like a bunch of second graders afraid of our ‘mean’ teacher. Even at the time there is a feeling of foolishness, but you just don’t want to face the wrath or embarrassment of being set before the group and explaining how you “INTENDED” to be seated in time and knowing they’ll just say that your results tells us that you didn’t really intend to be seated or you would have been. “How does this show up in your life?” “How many times do you give your word and then not live up to it?!?” ::SCREAMS:: It’s almost embarrassing to admit that a person would let someone treat them this way and say these things to them.
So much trailing through my mind… so much I can’t stop thinking about. My group has been VERY quiet to me. Monday morning I wrote to about six people in my group. I called three of them and talked to them on Monday and they acknowledged my emails and were pleasant to me on the phone. Three others I’ve only sent emails to and have had no responses. I know that they are all overwhelmed with the multitude of tasks being set before them… I have to expect not to hear from them. It hurts… but I am okay with it. My existing friends are there and supporting me. Still… it’s hard.