Friday, December 14, 2007

no more mr. nice guy

my husband is a super nice guy. he's a very upstanding person who tries to always do what is right. he also likes to solve problems. other people's problems. he has a very strong sense of personal honor that requires him to help any way he can. even people who wouldn't help him if the roles were reversed. even people who've actually done him wrong.

sometimes this makes him a sucker.

when asked directly for help, he will oblige. if he has the means and the opportunity. occasionally, he doesn't really have the opportunity, but he will agree nonetheless. even if he doesn't want to help. even if helping will rob him of his opportunity to, i don't know, sleep.

this week, he has put in serious long hours at work. tuesday morning (middle of the night, really) the phone rang at 4:30 AM. someone called in sick and he was being summoned to replace them. he then proceeded to work his normal shift until 7PM that night. he came home, helped put the girls to bed, and then went to bed himself in preparation for going to work the next morning at 4 AM to cover that person again. the second day they did let him leave at 4 PM. let's see, that makes 25 hours of work on approximately 9 hours of sleep.

on his day off, he likes to play computer games. that means he's there, with the instant messaging window active, a sitting duck. his brain is a nice, juicy target for his coworkers. those coworkers who are less diligent, less creative, or just plain less intelligent than he is. they ask him, via messaging, to answer their questions; to fix their problems. and does he answer? of course he does. because it's the right thing to do. and because he can't stand not conquering the challenge.

the only way his conscience will allow him to not help is if he can avoid the request in the first place: not answering the phone, not logging in to messenger, not hearing me ask him to put away the laundry. when i tell him to ignore them, or better yet tell them to buzz off, he says that he doesn't want to look like an asshole. i say you don't have to be rude, just remind them that it's your day off and that they wouldn't want to be pestered if the roles were reversed. (in my mind thinking, that would never happen because my hubs is the smartest and there's nothing they know that he doesn't. besides which, he doesn't ask for help.)

sitting there answering their questions, doing their jobs for them doesn't make you not an asshole, it makes you a sucker, a pushover, a dork. and when geeks think you're a dork, you're in trouble.