Monday, October 13, 2008

Righteous Anger?

I just gave my management guy a verbal lashing. This is uncharacteristic of me. For one thing, I'm not a confrontational person. I didn't grow up learning to yell when I'm angry, or even be all that direct with my words. But I have to say that just now I raised my voice at him and spoke in no uncertain terms.

The situation is this: there is an electrical box not 10 feet outside our door (actually about 2 feet from our kitchen door) from which there has been a steady leak for the past three weeks. The water is actually running down the side of the electrical box and the encased wiring. I can't begin to say how dangerous this is. The management has been up to see it, and about a week ago they decided it was coming from our house. They shut off the water in our kitchen for a total of 4 days, but the leak kept coming.

Several days passed, then after pressure from the people on our floor the management came and shut off the water on the 7th floor. No change. This morning when I went out for a walk, there was a puddle 3 inches deep, and I snapped. I left a note on the management office door for Mr. Poon to come see me as soon as possible.

When I heard him out in the hallway, I went out and told him that this has gone on long enough. I am concerned for the safety of my family, as there could be a fire or other catastrophe at any moment. The man he hired previously to look at it was not actually a plumber, so I said that if he didn't hire a real plumber today, I would call one myself and send him the bill. At first he tried to give me the classic Asian brush off, with nods and mumbling about how he was taking care of it. By the end of my rant, he was insisting, "Ok, ok, I will call a plumber today."

I walked back into my house a bit shaken and surprised at my own emotion. I asked myself, "Is this righteous anger that I'm feeling? Does that make the fact that I just reduced a man to apologetic promises ok?" I think there was an element of it. It's a strange thing for me, exploring this idea of expressing anger in right and just ways. I think there are times for it - Jesus made that clear when he overturned the tables in the temple. I'm always hesitant to express it that way myself, but in this circumstance with this man I felt it was the only way something would be done. We'll see what happens.

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