Dealing With Control Freaks
Used by permission from mohamed_hassan via Pixabay
You Are Not The Boss Of Me
Used by permission from NatArt_12 via Pixabay
"You Are Not The Boss of Me."
I'll take "Things To Say To My Wife That Will Not Improve Our Marriage" for $500, Alex.
No one likes to be bossed around. Humans have an inherent need for control. Not many of us are delegators, because that means relinquishing control, and if we do, that means someone else will inevitably crash and burn, which will only:
- Serve to reinforce our belief that we could have done it better
- Humiliate the delegate
- Allow us to mock laughingly and project mature epithets like “Doodyhead! Doodyhead!” I have a pending appointment with my 5-year-old to consult on other colorful variations. I just need to show him how to use Outlook first.
Being my own boss is precisely why I am an entrepreneur. I relish not being told what to do. It is in fact one of the main reasons why I am fat. I have no need of exercise instructors telling me to feel any sort of burn. I have no desire for fitness coaches who will feed me poppycock drivel such as “Your continuous diet of soda, Bottle Caps, and Taco Bell is just not good for you.” Nonsense. This is my life and my heart attack. Go slim down someone else, Coach. Oh! And bring me some bacon and a glass of hot fat when you return.
Exercise would be so much more rewarding if calories screamed while you burned them.
My appreciation for control is also why I enjoy doing voiceovers. “Now, Josh”, you may say (because that is my name), “you are in directed sessions all the time, with lots of people telling you what to do, directing you, telling you how to say things and precisely the way to say them. And then they have you say those lines over and over again in a multitude of different ways, maintaining control over you and lording their authority over you because you truly do have to do what they say, and they ARE the boss of you.”
To that I would maturely respond, “You are a Fartface Doodyhead. No one likes you.”
I am my own boss. I call my own shots. But even though I have established myself, some may say that I am calling my shots incorrectly. And I see them lambaste others day in and day out.
Dumb Doodyhead Fartface Jackwagons exist.....and they are among us.
Negotiating with Terrorists
Speaking of 5-year-olds, let us discuss the ultimate control freak. No, not your mother (although you really should employ more practical Martha Stewart home cleaning solutions. And why can't you be more like your brother? Clean up your room you abhorrent sloth.)
No. I am talking about my 5-year-old, Brennan. He is now at that age where he is very demanding, and can come unglued if we ask him to do something that he does not want to do. He may stomp and yell and throw things, like Winnebago's. All of this is because, in his brain, he knows best; and our own brains are apparently made of Top Ramen. However, my wife and I stand our ground and duck under flying recreational vehicles, because as our own nation-state we have resolved to not negotiate with terrorists. His little pint-sized fury does not quite shake us to our core yet. I may return with an update from the psych ward in a decade when he is a 15-year-old melancholy emo.
For now, Brennan does not like being told what to do. I respect his desire to become his own man. However, consider these examples of what and why I might "boss" him:
- “Those berries are poisonous, so do not eat them please.”
- “A train is coming; please do not stand on those tracks as I am not adequately prepared to father a waffle.”
- “That dog may bite you; please do not pet it.”
- “That plutonium is not ours; it belongs to the next-door neighbor who is always working in his basement and smelting nuclear weapons. Please give it back to him before he nukes you and you can no longer drink from your sippy cup because your skin is dripping down your skeleton."
You will note that I did employ please in each of those examples, which registers with him about as much as using the word collywobbles: for example, “those berries are poisonous, so do not eat them collywobbles.” “That dog may bite you; collywobbles do not pet it.” My pleasantries seem to fall on deaf ears when my little jackanape is feeling bumfuzzle.
When all is said and done though, Brennan is slowly learning obedience: that it truly is required if my wife and I are to remain omnipotent, secure in our seat of power with him as our indentured servant. I am kidding. While a bit obstinate of late, he is actually a pretty well-behaved boy. We are proud of him; eventually he will see that we are not trying to boss him around, and he will be just fine.
Provided he stops stealing the neighbor’s plutonium.
Talk to the Hand
Disturbing photographs aside, just how does this relate to voiceovers?
Ever meet that one person that likes to tell you how to do everything right, and likes to point out everything you are doing wrong? In this instance I do not refer to Dr. Phil. I confess that I myself have done this here and there. But I have repented, performed two-thousand Hail Mary’s, stopped, dropped, and rolled. That last part because I was gelling my hair behind a launching jet.
In voiceovers, the "my way or the highway" people never cease to amaze me. Many people think they know The Way, and they are ready to castigate anyone who apparently remains an unenlightened mortal. “The Way”, of course, being their way, or the highway. I could name those who are full of piss and vinegar and perhaps, due to a third-grade education stop, are only able to fully communicate their point through profanity. Well, let me bleeping tell you, Mr. Bleepity-Bleep, you are bleeping wrong, and you have bleeping damaged people and sent them away bleeping wanting. I am familiar with castaways who are now on the outskirts of the VO community because they went bleeping rogue.
The Facebook group that I started, The Global Voiceover Artists Network, was born out of condemnation. May I explain through a short history lesson? Thank you, I will.
I once attended the Seattle Voiceover Meetup and had mentioned that I use Voices dot com, which is, as I knew then, a no-no in some people’s eyes. I would like to clarify that for that evening’s meeting I was not wearing my “I heart VDC” sandwich board and ringing my bell. (They make for cumbersome dinner table seating.) Ultimately, however, my mention was evidently perceived as too much of a ringing endorsement of Voices. Had I mentioned that I breathe oxygen, I imagine that I would have been recriminated for that as well.
I went home, and, not liking having been bossed around, I immediately started my own North Seattle Voiceover Meetup, as well as the Global Voiceover Artists Network Facebook group. Though the Meetup has since disbanded after three years, the GVAN continues to thrive, and is a safe place for people to freely admit that they breathe oxygen.
But the fact remains: some people truly think they hold the franchise on The Way. They are under a delusion of grandeur that they are The Armorer from The Mandalorian, unaware that everyone has the right to go about it their own way, and there is no singular road to victory. "This is the Way" is a phrase that does not apply to everyone.
Nonetheless, some individuals will continue to bark orders and go on the offensive. Some are wired to condemn someone else for thinking outside the box and trying to become successful through differing strategies. The unconventional become the outcasts. The innovative are labeled rogues. The revolutionary are barred from the cliques.
How does this look from a practical standpoint? Here are some examples:
- You are frowned upon for using a particular P2P, or any P2P
- Kneejerk reactions to posts, misinterpreting the entire point, assuming the worst, and lacking a desire to understand
- Biting your head off for asking an innocent question
- Barring you from posting in their group because you are new
- ALL-CAPS emphases
- Rigorous reminding of rules
- Passive-aggressive humor at your expense
- Suspicion about your motives
Naysayers, bullies and bosses are no respecter of persons. As J. Michael Collins indicated in a recent Facebook poll, “the trolls are always bolder behind a keyboard.” They also like to gather people around them who will agree with everything they say, because they crave an echo chamber.
The truth remains that there is more than one way to skin a cat. Let us learn how to do that, as well as get arrested together, since skinning cats is illegal, and you just end up with some naked hairless slimy worm-creature skulking around your home, which is relatively unnerving for your other pets with fur.
Bottom line? Ignore the haters. Ignore them as you would anyone who pronounces it "Star Track."
May you be successful. May you sift through the noise. May you explore every avenue, and may the barks of those Bossy Bossersons around you be utterly silenced. May they be reduced to white noise, and may you follow your convictions to absolute success and voiceover glory.
In the immortal words of Fleetwood Mac, "Go Your Own Way."
In the meantime, my neighbor would like his bleeping plutonium back, collywobbles.
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Seattle Voice Actor & Voiceover Artist for hire