Welcome to “Why I Yelled,” Fatherly’s ongoing series in which real dads discuss a time they lost their temper in front of their wife, their kids, their coworker — 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. Here, Jonathan, a fashion designer in LA, discusses losing his cool in a recent business meeting.
Who did you yell at?
My coworker. Most of my coworkers have their reasons for not liking this person. She likes finding ways of getting off work. She will act like she doesn’t know how to do something, then ask someone for help, and then she’ll push it on them to finish it so she takes no responsibility. One time she made a mistake and tried to pin it on me.
Well, I’m a pretty calm guy. Even when I’m upset I don’t really yell. At all. Really. I can’t remember the last time I even yelled beyond this one time. My coworkers saw another side of me.
Do you have a stressful job?
I do production tech packs for the NCAA every fall. So, my team is in charge of the entire fashion package for college sports, from everything starting at sketch to all the details. The most important thing here is the color call outs for every team. Each league has an art or color coordinator that sets up master pages that have each style with every color. This person submits these to each school to get approved. Once approved, I can go in and put the color information so I can then send it to the factories to be made.
What went wrong with your coworker?
She has to get the styles approved by each school, but you know, sometimes there’s an update the school wants to be made. She makes the change and she is supposed to let me know about any change because I send it off to the factory. But she didn’t tell me shit. Once it’s at the factory, it’s final!
This sounds like a big problem.
The factory noticed the mistake. And so did my boss. The entire time my coworker is not even attempting to take the blame so a big meeting is called. There are even executives at this meeting because the mistake is a money issue at this point. So my coworker is talking, and I know I’m in the right, and my boss does also. I was getting heated inside hearing her.
What was she saying?
She was basically saying I should have been psychic and knew she made a change. I’m not psychic! She should have followed protocol and relayed the information.
When did you reach your boiling point?
I jumped in at this meeting, in front of these executives, and let it out. I said, “First off, I’m not a fucking idiot I know what the procedure is! We all make mistakes, even me, but this is not my fault! You made an update after the fact and didn’t inform me and now you’re to trying to make it seem like you are not at fault. That’s bullshit!”
What was the reaction in the room?
Everyone’s face was priceless because they know me to be happy and laughing all the time.
How did it feel after you yelled at her?
It felt good to just let it out. She used to get over on people with similar things and people just take it, but I was not having it. You’re not throwing me under the bus for your fault. Fuck that.
Was there an aftermath between the pair of you?
I didn’t talk to her for like two hours after the meeting (laughs). I just said this can’t happen again because either way, whoever makes a mistake, it just doesn’t look good for us as a team.