Friday, May 20, 2005

Anger Management

Anger management! You want problem??
Here you got it !!- Road Rage!!

Last Friday, Teo and I decided to go to a fabrication plant in Corum Organised Industrial Zone, somewhere 240 km east of Ankara, Turkey.

Teo happens to be my friend for last 30 years since freshmen years of Ankara Middle East Technical University Mechanical engineering department. He had top public posts in Turkish Pipeline industry, then later decided to get retired and formed his own private company to service the pipeline industry.

The plant owner was also another friend of mine. We wanted to visualise the existing plant capacities and try to investigate if we can cooperate in order to fabricate some speacial pipeline products locally in this local plant as our sole exclusive subcontractor.

We agreed to meet early in the morning on Friday. Teo would pick me up at 0800 AM from my apartment, and we planned to drive almost non-stop to Corum OIZ to meet with our future partners for in-plant business meeting.
That morning was very cold. Although early April, it was snowing. I got up early, for cleaning, shaving and get properly dressed. I was ready with my proper business suit, with my documents, in black heavy coat. Missing item was my umbrella. I opened my car trunk, grabbed the proper size umbrella, waited for Teo to come. It was a small road with cars parking on both sides, leaving only one car to pass however it was for trafic on both directions.
Teo came on time with his new metallic Honda HR-V Jeep, I waived him to see me. He stopped in the middle of the road, to let me get in. I put my coat, umbrella, jacket, handbag at the rear seat, climbed to the right front passenger seat.

Then we noticed that a small Opel Corso, red color, with an angry young driver at the steering wheel, driving towards us, leaving nowhere to go, shouting and signing something awful.
Teo noted something as if saying and asking the other driving why behaving so insane.
The other driver got out of the car, leaving his wife or girl friend alone in the car, opened the rear car door, grabbed the heavy iron rod, which is probably the steering wheel lock to protect the car to get stolen. Coming towards us to threathen us to open the car direction. He was shouting "Nowhere in the world you can block the road in such-a-way !"

What to do?? I shouted to the other driver to calm down. There is nothing to get angry. We drove the car rearward, opened the car traffic. He returned to his small car, driving so angry, passed away to reach his hasty appointment early in the morning.

We had one loop drive and met the same red Opel Corso on the same red traffic light waiting for the green to turn on. Push him at the rear while driving?? No way, we let him go.
Later we had our review, whether to report the incident to the nearest police station?? or leave it and forget the incident as soon as possible.
We decided to leave the incident and let them to find his trouble in somewhere else.
Was that incident because of too much TV exposure?? So many crime series?? So many violence on the silver screen??

Since we are small contractors and we have the right to carry shot-gun legally to protect cash money and other valuables. So what if we were keeping it on board on that day and due to overexposure of threat, we would have decided to use, I do not want to think about that.
Then we executed the daily program, as we have planned earlier. Teo later interpreted that this road rage event was most probably because of his unsatisfactory early morning bed time activity. That could be the reason since the other driver was so young, so angry on that cold early morning, together with his beautiful wife who had so expressionless face during all that incident. What do you think?? Was that incident so simple??


You ask: What do I think? I presume you mean: What would I do in similar set of circumstances. Well my friend, I'm an easygoing, happy go lucky character, who is not easily discomposed (not to be confused with decomposed) but there comes a time when enough is enough.
In your position on that morning, my first instinct would be to back up if the other driver made it obvious he was engaged on a direct emergency. Perhaps his passenger was in need of urgent medical attention.
However, confronted with a driver brandishing an iron bar, I would stand my ground and having no weapon to counteract his, I would use my vehicle as a shield and drive at speed towards him. This would place him in a defensive position and hopefully defuse his angersufficiently for him to explain his attitude.
But that's me. I'm renowned for being slightly mad. I would not advise others to follow my example because; unless you are pretty nimble on the pedals this action could have seriousconsequences and could place you out of favour with the local constabulary.
To sum up my true feelings here: I will give way to any road traveller, especially of the fair sex but I will not abide the bully. On the odd occasion I am at fault and another driver raises a digit or two towards me, in an uncouth gesture, I react with a raised hand in salutary apology and a smile, for we are all prone to mistakes and it takes only a moment to admit your error.As always
Wings, in UK

I do not know. It could be either way… A sight of an angry men in the street a bad sign or a good sign? It depends on your disposition. I may not like the angry young men, as their reaction may underline a serious trouble and put my life and property at stake….. But then again, he has something to get angry about and has the passion to get angry. On a cold morning, while he was late to work; you friend was blocking traffic and you were getting organized calmly.
In a more civilized society, the streets will be wide enough, or no cars will be allowed to park on the street so that two cars can pass without blocking each other.
What would have happened if an ambulance or a fire truck was coming the opposite direction?????
In my daily life and travels, I came across the same; felt the same threat on occasion. I have also witnessed the passionless, listless, withering young lives in parts of the world.
There was no anger there; but also no passion.
For my taste; I will take the angry men any day. You have to have passion to get angry.
And this world needs more passion.
Alp, Houston, USA

We called it "Road Rage" over here. The phenomenon has grown over the last decade with angered drivers toting knives or guns. Sometimes the incident escalates and the angry driver actually kills the source of the anger–how preposterous! Best thing is to diffuse or drive away.
I’ve had one serious encounter. A man talking on a cell phone ran me off the road because he was probably late for work. Not my problem, I thought. When I got to work, my pager went off. The angered man had, in his haste, wrapped his truck around a tree. Lucky for him, my professionalism prevented me from duct taping his hairy body parts and then removing the tape very slowly. He never did figure out why I was smiling.
Carol, USA

What do you think?? I think you have done a good job of viewpoint, but the there's a little bit too much telling and summarizing. You need to dramatize the scene more to make the reader experience it. But, it was a good start and a good story. I'm pretty sure you were asking for a critique of this. The two other replies treated it as a "road rage" question and I don't see something like this ending up on a writing forum, so I think it's a story you wrote. Also I would recommend some quoted dialogue, not just summarizing what people said.
Wilkins, Australia

Thanks for your email and sharing the anger management situation. I applaud your responses and commend your and your colleague’s wise actions!! In America, this kind of situation is more common than it should be, so much so that there’s actually a phrase for it: “road rage”. If I remember correctly, people have even been shot and killed for things like “cutting” in front of another car to get a better place in traffic. Anger itself is a normal and healthy emotion, i.e., since someone violated your position in traffic, but how you react is the key. When first reading your email, the first things I thought of were the Bible verses: be angry, but sin not… and …don’t let the sun go down on your anger.
I discussed your email with my wife this morning, while she was resting on the couch, still recovering from her surgery, and we discussed a couple of other principles from Proverbs which seem to apply. 19:11 – A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is glory to overlook an offense. Also, 16:32 – Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.
Sometimes when I’m very behind on getting enough sleep, I’ve found myself feeling very angry out of proportion to a situation. It’s my problem. Maybe as you suggest, this young driver was too tired to be responsibly driving. Maybe his wife/girl friend was sick. Maybe he’d just received some bad news, possibly related to his own shortcomings. Maybe he was on drugs, etc. I wondered if your father had any cases like this over which he presided as judge. Regardless, I’m glad you made it to your meeting safely and hope things work out well for you. Our warmest regards to your and your family,
Peter, VA

His wife probable had just mentioned to him, “What are two good looking studs doing out so early in the morning? Maybe I could warm them up, rather than have such a cold hostile bastard like you.” Upon hearing this he had no alternative, but to try to start a fight with one of you to show her how macho he was. Seeing you with the umbrella, he returned to car and told her that she was crazy, it was just two contractors. Now had you had a shoot gun this could have been another story. You could have had him strip in the middle of the road, and sit on the wheel lock with the umbrella over his head, while you propositioned his wife.
Too many possibilities. But, what about the pipe plant?
Collins, Ky

So Teo has passed “driving with intimidation” test. My Greek friend in New Orleans says so. Bogut, Ankara

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