March 8, 2011

Someone asked me the other day, what gets me upset.

What a big question, actually. It also depends on what my (or THEIR) meaning of ‘upset’ is.

According to, ‘upset’ means:

[v., adj. uhp-set; n. uhp-set] Show IPA
verb, -set, -set·ting, noun, adjective
–verb (used with object)
1.   to overturn: to upset a pitcher of milk.
2.   to disturb mentally or emotionally; perturb: The incident upset her.
3.   to disturb or derange completely; put out of order; throw into disorder: to upset a system; to upset a mechanism; to upset an apartment.
4.   to disturb physically: It upset his stomach.
5.   to defeat or overthrow an opponent that is considered more formidable, as in war, politics, or sports.
6.   Metalworking . to thicken the end of (a piece of heated metal) by hammering on the end against the length of the piece.
–verb (used without object)
7.   to become upset or overturned.
8.   an upsetting or instance of being upset; overturn; overthrow.
9.   the defeat of a person, team, etc., that is considered more formidable.
10. a nervous, irritable state of mind.
11. a disordered or confused arrangement.
12. Metalworking .
a.   a tool used for upsetting.
b.   something that is upset, as a bar end.
13. overturned: an upset milk pail.
14. disordered; disorganized: The house is upset.
15. distressed; disturbed: She had an upset stomach. He is emotionally upset.
16. Archaic . raised up.
Use upset in a Sentence
1300–50; Middle English: raised up; see up-, set

—Related forms
up·set·ta·ble, adjective
up·set·ter, noun
up·set·ting·ly, adverb
un·up·set, adjective
un·up·set·ta·ble, adjective

1. Upset, capsize, overturn imply a change from an upright or other stable position to a prostrate one. Upset is a familiar word, applied to simple, everyday actions: to upset a table, a glass of water. Capsize is applied especially to the upsetting of a boat or other vessel: to capsize a canoe. Overturn usually suggests violence in upsetting something supposedly stable: The earthquake overturned houses. All three are used figuratively, also: to upset the stock market; to capsize a plan; to overturn a government. 2. unnerve, disconcert, fluster. 5. depose, displace. 10. perturbation, disturbance. 11. mess. 15. disconcerted, agitated, perturbed, annoyed.

2, 3. steady.

I think I’ll have to go with the verb meaning, #2.

Now, over the years here in Taiwan, I have learned to control my temper. However, even in Taiwan, there are times when my temper does get a little out of control. I admit that.

To me, upset can be anything from the cats pooping on the floor, to someone pissing me off! Not listening to me (whether you agree or not), or turning your back on me. A piece of machinery (of ANY kind) breaking down or failing to operate at a crucial time, students who don’t do homework because video games are more important, or butting in line or butting into a conversation while I am trying to have a conversation.

Okay, so how different am I from anyone else? When you are trying to talk to someone, having them flip through a magazine, or going on with their work, or else, just ignoring you, is, in my opinion, just cause to get upset.

Trying to photocopy 100 pages or printing off some work, and having the printer or photocopier break down just at that moment, is, in my opinion, just cause to get upset.

When I am speaking with someone, especially here in Taiwan in English, and have some other person just butt in and start speaking Chinese to the person I’m speaking to, whether it be adult or child, is, in my opinion, not only RUDE, but just cause for getting upset.

Of late, I have been having a situation occur that I never thought would happen. It matters not what the situation is, as I want to protect the other party. I don’t know why I feel this way. If this had been 10 or 15 years ago, I would have had no problem letting the world know who the asshole is, as well as the situation. However, as I’ve said, I’ve learned to [somewhat] control my temper, and become more of a diplomat – at least for now.

There is a person in my life here, who just doesn’t listen. This person claims to understand English, even though they did study in the USA. This person has a unique way of ‘passing the buck’, so-to-speak. In other words, not being an adult and admitting to an error on their part. This person has openly violated a trust between us, and contacted a couple of my employers, thus creating a situation that has become, to say the least.

I have asked this person to do one small thing that would be ‘legal’, however, have been told that this is not “… the Taiwan way… “, and that the way things are done in North America, are not necessarily the way things are done here in Taiwan. And yet, Taiwan people are always questioning why they are not admitted into the United Nations.

But that’s a whole other issue to discuss.

To reiterate again, my first and foremost reason for coming to Taiwan, is to teach English. Not get involved in the politics of the country. To be paid a fair wage for the tasks I perform. To be treated with the same respect that my age and experience deserve. To not break any laws, or otherwise cause any problems that would be a hindrance to myself or any other person.

When someone goes against my efforts at being a ‘good’ person, and refuses to take ownership of a problem, and then pass that on as MY issue, yes, it gets me upset. More than upset. Angry… pissed off… perturbed… agitated… annoyed… mad… Use whatever synonym you wish.

The only ‘blessing in disguise’ I can see, is that I no longer teach classes for this individual, due to this person’s breach of contract.

That’s it, that’s all… for now!


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