0147 - Taking the initiative - 2020.07.27



I'm pretty bad at reading people. I'm definitely bad at reading a group of people. It makes certain kinds of social interaction difficult for me, and requires me to think, consciously and intentionally, about what I'm saying and doing, which is hard and requires expenditure of mental energy.

I think that's why I like art, particularly the kind of art that I do. Jokes tend to make people happy, and, if they aren't in the mood for jokes, they generally don't seek them out. Nifty drawings tend to make people happy, and, if they aren't in the mood for nifty drawings, they generally don't seek them out. Weird porn tends to make people happy, and, if they aren't in the mood for porn, they generally don't seek it out.

As of this writing, I've been away from my customer-service call-center day-job for about four months, and, even when the opportunity to do so safely returns, I'm not planning on going back. People don't call in to their cable provider because they're in the mood to talk to a customer service rep, they call in because they have a problem and now they have to do a chore. Sometimes they're happy when their problem is solved. Often they're not. They definitely aren't when I can't solve their problem, which is definitely always a possibility.

I like making people happy. I like having enough money to eat food and have a roof over my head. If doing one causes the other, that's great, but I don't really require that causal link, they're just the two priorities that I happen to have. I'm a lot like Zoa in that way.

Well, I'm like Zoa when I'm having a good day, and I'm like Lee when I'm having a bad day. Which is weird, given how Lee is the one with all the resources, all the power, all the rights, and all the people who want what's best for them, and Zoa decidedly is not.

Although maybe that's not weird? Maybe it's a from-those-who-can/to-those-who-need kinda thing. Maybe when I'm having a Lee day, that's when I need the consideration, and when I'm having a Zoa day, that's when I'm able to cope with a harsher world.

Hmm. This comment file is a little more stream-of-consciousness than usual. Sorry about that. Where was I?

Ah, yes. Reading people.

I think knowing yourself is one of the key benefits of age. When I was twenty, if you had pointed out that I was bad at reading people, I might have committed to practicing and learning and growing and changing. Now that I am (as of this writing) thirty-eight, I think I have a handle on which skills I can improve and which I can't - and, knowing that I can't, I can focus on developing habits that allow me to interact safely with others regardless of my ability to assess their heart rates and pupil dilations. Self-knowledge is important that way.

Regardless of your ability to read people, you probably shouldn't seek out information about their emotional state by eavesdropping on their therapy sessions. That's bad.


0147 - 2167/07/06/15:55 - Lee Caldavera's apartment, front door.
LC: I can't believe you just let that... that... person eavesdrop on my therapy session!
Zoa: I. Don't. Take. The. Initiative.
Zoa: You. Need. To. Tell. Me. What. To. Do.
LC: Oh, don't give me that! You go around exerting your autonomy all the time! Did a human order you to wander the streets and suck cock for money?
Zoa: Acting as a rental sex toy was - until yesterday - the most efficient way for me to make money with the chassis I'm in. Money is what lets me stay functional. A human being programmed me to prioritize self-preservation.
Zoa: So... yes.
LC: Well, as of yesterday, the most efficient way for you to make money is through me, so your priority should be to not piss me off!
Zoa: And, I assure you, it is. Aside from observing your heart rate, pupil dilation, and penile tumescence, however, I lack the capacity to read your mind.
Zoa: Come to think of it, perhaps I should sit in on your therapy sessions more often.
LC: Maybe you should.
Doc (from the other room): NO.