Rudeness makes me angry, and I've been angry a lot lately, though for professional reasons that anger hasn't been directed at the people being rude. Nor has it been directed at my family, although they've heard a lot about the situations that are causing the anger (and causing me to *poof* blog posts). The problem is that anger is also a kind of drug. The adrenaline reaction is just there, and you spend far too much time thinking about what you'd say, and "what if X says thus and so," and being sure that you're being fair to the person who has annoyed you, and all that. It interrupts writing time, for sure.
But look at our future 44th president. He doesn't seem to waste time with anger.
- "Obama's debate coach, Michale Sheehan, a veteran of many campaign psychodramas over the years, was struck by the senator's calmness. The candidate was always in control of his feelings. During one afternoon prep session, Obama begged off. 'I'm a little tired and a little cranky,' he told a roomful of aides. 'I'm going to my room for a half hour and I'll be in better shape to work with'" (104). First lesson: I've been working a little too long and too hard (but not on writing) lately, and I can recognize those signs of fatigue, so maybe, using the WWOD? method, I can chill out and take some time rather than trying to get back to everyone immediately.
- "In debate prep, Obama's advisers repeatedly instructed him: Do not get personal. Stay calm and in control. . . . 'Command and control: we told him, 'Write it down on your pad when you go in,'" said Joel Benenson, a pollster who was on the debate-prep team" (103). Second lesson: Command and control. Write it down. And implicitly: don't get backed into a corner where you will say something that will haunt you later.
- "Obama himself floated coolly over the whole flap[Geffen's support for Obama instead of Hillary] , telling a reporter, 'It's not clear to me why I should apologizing for someone else's remarks . . . that doesn't really have anything to do with our campaign'" (47). Lesson three: Focus. Choose your battles. Save your words for where it counts.
- And there's another example that I can't find right now where something goes wrong and Obama says, in essence, let it go; we have bigger things to worry about. Lesson four: let it go.
- Finally, there's a scene when Obama gets the nomination and starts joking with Michelle: "Obama . . . let loose his inner nerd. 'The lithium crystals! Beam me up, Scotty!'" (74). Lesson five: Don't let go of the inner nerd and the playfulness that goes with it.