Tuesday, July 20, 2010


"i liked your response by the way" said DH during our meeting this morning.

he was referring to my response to a work-oriented an incident that happened yesterday morning. while this incident was happening, i received much moral support from those across the pond.....but i was still pretty pissed off. there will always be people that we interact with that seek to leverage power (whether real or imagined) for motivations that are driven by self-hatred, frustration at their lack of abilities, or oddly enough, enjoyment at being bullies.

after dealing with this incident, i found myself in need of a morning walk....to stomp out my anger....and found it rather convenient that san francisco has multitude of hills for me to stomp out my anger on. interestingly enough, i found myself close to OTD on bush (perhaps my subconscious realized that i would need some comfort), so i dropped in for breakfast. it isn't like i need a reason to come here. it is probably the place i come to the most often. the gal that helped me out was super nice (i find this to be the case in general) and i ordered a pot of jasmine tea (my usual), the beef brisket with crispy potatoes and poached eggs, ....

and a side of toasted baguette with butter and sugar (something straight out of my childhood).

as i was slowing making my way through the tender savory beef brisket, crispy potatoes, eggs while using the crusts of the warm plain baguette as a scoop.....

i thought about how i approached the situation earlier this morning.

for those of you who have been with me on this blog over the years, it isn't a surprise to you that one of my core personality traits is a very strong sense of justice. this has been a trait that has stayed with me since i was a neophyte foodie hunter and i know it will always remain with me.

it doesn't matter to me if you are a member of the board, a zillionare, a manager of a team, a rank-in-file, or some random person on the street. if i perceive that you are trying to bully me or deliberately treat me poorly, then you will receive quite the surprise. as i have grown older, managed teams, interacted with all levels at many companies, i've learned how to be a wee bit more diplomatic in my responses....it is like wrapping up "fuck you and the horse you road in on asshole" in a nice handmade japanese paper with silken ribbons folded just so. i don't walk away from necessary conflict....as sometimes....when dealing with bullies....not only am i going to win that battle......i come down on the bully in such a way that i am setting the stage to win the war.

rather scary how the foodie hunter brain works isn't it?

just to be clear, if someone is just an asshole in general, i will not bother....i'll end up mentally roll my eyes and ignore you.....but if you actively try to harm me or mine, then that puts a different frame on the whole thing.

completely different.

after i carry out what is necessary, there are always internal consequences for me.

i often reflect back on implementing these actions and tactics. i am left with a severe distaste. i don't enjoy the conflict nor implementing these tactics. admittedly, during my reflection, i do what i define as the "moral re-check".....double-checking that i am still "me" and that i haven't become evil by putting to use some of these skills. during the last large face to face team meeting, one of my peers mentioned in an open forum how they thought i was "quite good at it" as well as the navigation of the shark invested political waters....and this colleague meant this as being a positive thing...yet, i could still feel myself internally flinch at the compliment.

i suppose it was serendipitous that i found myself at OTD, particularly hovering over my tea and the baguette with butter and sugar.

these baguettes are not "french baguettes" but are the sort that i grew up with from various vietnamese bakeries in the city or south bay. the texture of the dough and the crust is significantly different than french or parisian baguettes....and are often the baguettes one would have with a truly excellent banh mi around the bay area. there is something fascinating about taking a product from the colonizer and making it your own isn't it? anyway, while i was experiencing these tastes and aromas at OTD, i recalled the moments of enjoying this sweet crunchy treat throughout the challenging times of my youth... and find it interesting that years later....i am still seeking out and eating foods from my youth and i am still trying to maintain that balance within myself....to walk the path that enables me to do what i need to do....but not become what i abhor or am fighting against.

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