Don’t Play That Game…or Let It Be Played on You

This is a continuation of the trophy-for-trying generation irk that started yesterday. Not only does it seem that a pat on the back is expected for thinking about doing something, but also these little bundles of joy want us to do it for them.

Here’s a tip kids: I’ve been married to one man, a decade later I lived with another and I’ve raised an 18 year old son – playing stupid to get me to do something for you does not work, trust me, the best have tried. You know the trick of looking helpless, asking the dumbest questions in hopes of annoying someone into exasperation and finally proclaiming, “Here, let me do it for you.” I don’t play that game. Asking me those incessant incredibly dumb questions earns you one response from me: “I’m sure you can figure it out – how about you try.” And then I walk away.

I saw a son trying this on a mother once in the library before one of my classes. “Mom, how do you do this, where do I go from here, what should I put…” blah, blah, blah. She got that look, that desperate to shut her own kid up look and just about said those dreaded words when I intervened. I looked at her and said, in the mom voice, “Don’t you dare.” I startled her long enough to have this conversation with her kid:

Me: “Do you have a cell phone?”
Flawed-trickery child: “Yes”
Me: “Do you have media on your phone?”
Flawed-trickery child: “Yes”
Me: “Do you have a Facebook account?
Flawed-trickery child: “Yes”
Me: “Then you know enough about computers and how to create a profile that I bet you can figure this out all by yourself.”

At this point the Flawed-trickery child gave me the evil-parent look because he knew that he was busted. The mom thanked me and I told her no problem, they are sneaky little bastards and we have to stick together!

I had a friend of Jake’s try to pull that on me, stupid kid. He got the typical response and then he sighed – SIGHED! Seriously? Okay, here’s another rule in my house, if you are a friend of my son’s and adopt me as a secondary mom I have all mom rights and I exercise them. Ask any of my adopted boys – every one of them had earned a smack upside the back of their head. This one got it too. Do NOT sigh at me because your weak attempt at trickery failed. Admit you are in the presence of one much smarter than you and with a quicker upswing and do it your damn self.

It is time we put an end to this ridiculous game! It is played in homes, libraries and work-sites all around the country, probably all around the world. I do not suggest smacking a co-worker or boss upside the back of the head, although I know there are times that they truly deserve it. The best response for these foolish soon-to-be-failed-tricksters is simply saying, “You know, the best way to learn it is to do it yourself. I know it can be frustrating, it was for me, but that is how I mastered it. Try working through it and you’ll be amazed at how well you pick it up, I bet I’ll be asking you for tips! I need to go finish this project now!” and leave.

Now, I did have a boss that tried this game with a computer program and I finally looked at him and said, “You have no intention of ever doing this yourself, do you?” He was honest and answered no, so I told him to at least respect me enough to just ask me to do it rather than treat me like I’m an idiot and not only play this game but think I have time for it. The requests became fewer and we had a new level of appreciation of each other’s time.

And for you parents out there – KNOCK IT OFF. Good lord you want your little bundles of joy to survive in the real world don’t you? Keep this crap up and you are looking at them turning into the whiny bastards that are complaining that there are no snacks in the pantry when they are 30 because they STILL LIVE WITH YOU!

Don’t be afraid to say no to helping. It does not make you a mean or evil person. Have enough respect for your own time to not waste it on someone that is going to play a game with you. Don’t get me wrong, I like games: baseball, football, card games and some board games – but I don’t like people games. Anyone that plays a people game with you is showing you disrespect. Respect yourself and stand firm. If they get upset because they actually have to do it themselves, well, tough cookies, life is hard isn’t it? Don’t be a doormat. You must respect yourself before anyone else will.

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
Career Polish, Inc.

1 thought on “Don’t Play That Game…or Let It Be Played on You”

  1. Lisa-Thanks for making me think of my Mom today!!! She raised seven of us with the same philosphy you employ-self reliance and tenacity. Thanks MOM!!

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