Stop it now, you both…

I do not know whether it is just me, but I seem to be running into this situation quite often these days. It goes more or less like this: the characters involved are DV (Designated Victim), OCA (Obsessive Compulsive Annoyer) and ENNO (Evil Non-Neutral Observer).

The scene: ENNO and DV are chit-chatting. OCA walks into the room, and with his characteristic angry and frustrated demeanour approaches DV:

OCA: Hi ENNO — DV, I was just looking for you. Why did you not do xyz ?
DV: Oh ?
OCA: Yes, yes, don’t you act now as though you don’t know what I am talking about, you were supposed to do xyz
DV: Excuse me…
OCA (in an aggressive tone): No, I won’t excuse you this time, I am sick and tired of this nonsense !
DV: OCA, man, what are you talking about ? We had decided that you were in charge of xyz, remember ? I was supposed to do wtf instead, which I did…
OCA: Er… oh… yeah, well, whatever, if I cannot give you a hard time over xyz, then how ’bout abc then ? What do you say about that, huh, huh, huh ?
DV: abc ? What does abc have to do with anything, now ?
OCA (shouting): It has to do whatever the hell I say it has to do with anything, you hear me ?
DV (finally getting annoyed): OCA, buddy, I don’t know what the hell is the matter with you today, whether you have forgotten to take your medications or something, but I won’t let you talk to me like that, you hear me now ?
ENNO (until then silent): OK, now, enough of this, you both !

(OCA walks away mumbling some unintelligible stuff rhyming with “buck”, quite likely looking for someone else to harass, as DV has made it clear that he won’t take any more garbage from him).

DV (to ENNO): Excuse me, what the hell was that ?
ENNO (chuckling): haha, this OCA guy is crazy… I thought at some point you were going to punch him…
DV: no, actually it’s you I wanted to punch, man — why did you stay quiet all that time and remembered to have a tongue only when I started fighting back ? And what’s with that you both malarkey ? He is the one who verbally assaulted me for no reason, he is the one who was looking to pick a fight…
ENNO: Yeah, but you know how OCA is…
DV: Yes, I know how he is, he is like that precisely because he gets away with it, because of people like you who pretend to be neutral but take his side instead !
ENNO: What do you mean, “take his side” ? I was just trying to diffuse the situation…
DV: NO. You took his side. You. Took. His. Side.
By ignoring what he was saying to me early on, be choosing to make no comment over his abusive behaviour and by intervening only when I decided that I had had enough, and by making it sound as if both OCA and I were equally responsible for that unpleasant exchange, you have insulted me and betrayed me. And, what is worse, you have basically sent to him the message that it is quite all right for him to act like that, toward me or anyone else, for he will find no opposition (if anything he will get support) from you.
ENNO: Oh, come on, now, you know how I feel about OCA… I told you many times…
DV: Sure, in private, but with your actions you have made it clear to me that you will tolerate and approve of his abusiveness toward me, and will be expecting me to take it quietly. That bothers me, ENNO, very much…
ENNO: You are just like OCA…

I am sorry, ENNO, I know there are some OCAs all over this world, but it’s the ones like you who are really getting on my nerves these days… and there are many, many more of you than there are of OCAs

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7 Responses to “Stop it now, you both…”

  1. ruchi Says:


  2. Massimo Says:

    Ruchi, yes, it is amazing how widely applicable that is…

  3. Cherish Says:

    I can’t stand enablers…

  4. N. Peter Armitage Says:

    I HATE it when ENNO does that. HATE it….

  5. Schlupp Says:

    You know what I hate most about the related issue of “taking sides by believing that someone who whines/rants/bullies must have SOME point”? When I catch myself doing it.

    • Massimo Says:

      It’s different, Schlupp. If you are going to intervene to sedate a dispute, then do it right away and make a clear attribution of responsibility. OCA might have a point, I am not even getting into that, but the point is that ENNO kept his mouth shut until DV started fighting back, and only then did he intervene, making a statement aimed at attributing the responsibility to both, equally. That is dishonest. That is unfair. That amounts to taking the side of the bully.

      • Schlupp Says:

        Oh yes, ENNO is worse, granted. Did DV finally punch him?

        What I mean is that every once in a while there is a situation where I pretty much know that A is right and B is trying to cheat/bully A. But if B just acts outraged and entitled enough, he gets me to doubt AGAIN, although I know he’s pulled the trick, eh, about 500 times or so, before. Which is harmless enough, I guess, but occasionally makes me wonder about my sanity, or whatever may be left thereof.

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