Welcome to “Why I Yelled,” Fatherly’s ongoing series in which real guys discuss a time they lost their temper in front of their wife, their kids, their coworkers — anyone, really — and why. The goal of this isn’t to examine the deeper meaning of screaming or come to any great conclusions. It’s about yelling and what really triggers it. This time, John, 32, a teacher, talks about going off on a disrespectful condo board member.
Where did this all go down?
The scene takes place in the clubhouse of a condo complex. It was a board meeting, and things just took a turn for the worse. (Laughs)
What’s so upsetting about a condo board meeting?
The president of the board. I’m usually a super chill guy. I have a lot of patience. But, when I’m pushed, or disrespected – or see someone else disrespected – the coolness is gone. This president, he was blatantly disrespecting an elderly woman. He was actually making fun of her, due to her age, and the fact that she couldn’t stand up. It was unreal. He’d spent the night mocking people – right to their faces – but this was the last straw.
That’s pretty heinous. What’d you do?
I stood up and went off on him for speaking down to this poor woman. “Who the hell do you think you are?! How dare you?! You should be ashamed!” Stuff like that. He definitely wasn’t expecting it. I called him out on what he was doing, specifically at that meeting, and spoke up for the community as a whole. Someone – one of his colleagues – called me a “smartass” (I think). I turned around and said, “I pay the same common fees you do, pal.” I was on fire.
Had this been building for a while?
Oh yeah. In fact, he and his wife had disrespected my family and I not long before. We were at the pool, and he was walking around campaigning – this was before he was president. I introduced him and his wife to my brother-in-law, who complimented them on the beautiful place. When she found out he didn’t live here, the wife looked at my brother-in-law and said, “Oh, you don’t live here? I don’t have any time for you.” That’s just how it was with these people. It was infuriating on a daily basis.
Yikes. I imagine he wasn’t a very fair condo president?
There were a lot of unfair things going on. Some residents were denied parking spots close to their homes during the winter. Like, elderly people and pregnant women! We all paid the same common charges, but this jackass wanted nothing to do with the betterment of the condo community or treating people fairly. He really was the quintessential corrupt politician-type dude.
What was the reaction when you blew your top?
I got a standing ovation from about 80 people (laughs). My wife even said to me, “Man, sweetheart, looks like you’ve been holding this one in for a while. That really hit a nerve!” Afterward, a lot of the residents —all ages — came up and shook my hand. It was a good feeling, for sure. I just couldn’t believe he would treat someone — an elderly woman — like that!
Do you regret such a public outburst?
Hell no. I didn’t apologize. It was great seeing him shrink, develop this uncomfortable laugh/stutter, and try to go about the rest of the meeting like nothing happened. He just shut down. Like I said, he wasn’t expecting some “whippersnapper” to challenge him.