When I first started my job I was asked: “what’s your button”? I found this a curious question as I pretty much feel at my age I know what sets me off and what my insecurities are.
So what’s my button? I figured I did not have one, I’d dealt with everything.
Funny thing when you feel you’ve achieved status it takes a split second to knock you right back down into reality.
My button came in the form on an inmate waiting to be booked in, a rather agitated impatient inmate who had been waiting for a while. It was a busy day and I believe he was number 6 in line to be booked in. He waited, I ran around like a chicken with my head cu off.
It seems every time you get behind the eight ball (I call it chasing my butt) the drama escalates. Someone is sick, someone needs an aspirin, someone else has a “seizure” and all this does is set us farther behind. We work it and push through our 12 hours and get done what we can, our goal.. get them all booked and secure.
So my button pusher, my reality to my own button came like this. I’m picking up shower shoes and blankets, my partner is booking in #2 I believe and I walk past his holding room. He’s been leaning on this door for the past forty five minutes and every move he makes clicks the door bolt back and forth (it’s SO annoying).
Let’s call him Jake! Jake asks for a glass of water, I said okay I’ll get it in a minute, this seems to anger Jake and he demands his water and I explain to him it’s not the Hilton and I will get him the water on my next pass through. I end up getting Jake his water, he’s frustrated and I’m tired and he says to me: “Do. You even know what you are doing”? YES, I do (I really did not I was two weeks in on the job). Jake insinuates that I know nothing and basically a loser.
Now, logically we can review this and know that
1. I’m not the one locked up behind bars
2. I’m going home tonight to a wonderful meal
3. I’m going to sleep in a pretty amazing bed
4. I’m getting paid right now
So? Whose the loser in this scenario?
But there was something about the way he spoke, probably how tired I was and BOOM, it went, more like it went from 0-200 in a split second. I raised my voice chewed him out and walked away, heated.
Did I have a button? Sure did and Jake found it.
Here’s the thing, we all have buttons and some of the time we don’t even know we have them and at other times we realize we have them and we do nothing about it.
The idea of the book Button Pushing is not only to talk about the person pushing the buttons but more to learn how to deal with it. People are going to push our buttons all of our lives and we better learn how to deal with them. Things will annoy us. What annoys you may not annoy me.
Another example, my daughter absolutely goes nuts driving and people going slow in the passing lane, she yells, honks and hits her hand on the steering wheel. Me, I don’t get it, just back off, pass them or go with the flow. It’s her button and she has yet to learn how to deal with it. It’s not my button.
My button, cut in line at a story or lie about your Southwest boarding pass and cut line I go nuts. It just bothers me the ignorance of people.
Here’s what we have to learn, in these two scenario’s and in yours the only person getting upset is you. No one else is getting your message, no one else really cares, it’s your button and YOU have to deal with it not for any other reason except for you.
So how do we deal with it? Inside the book BUTTONS gives you specific step by step instructions on how to avoid the drama of the button pusher.
We also take a look into the bully epidemic that seems to have taken over and understand how the electronic era has made bullying an even bigger problem then ever. Keyboards have taken place of that personal intimacy we share when talking to someone and in it’s place with the lack of eye to eye contact and face inflection people become bigger and bolder with words they would never say face to face.
My inmates go through a similar scenario, they seem to become bigger and bolder behind doors of steel. They make statements they would never make had those doors been open, they spout of what they would do and we all know the percentage of them would never be that bold when lockdown is over. It’s three inches of metal and a whole lot of stupid.
Bullies will always be with us, it’s a given, how we deal with it is what is key. How we teach our children to address the issue. How our schools deliver the anti-bully message and on and on it goes.
At the end of the day, I’m responsible for me, and you are responsible for you. That button issue… well, I’ve got you covered