Dr X, a psychiatrist, had a brief post after this video of Rumsfeld discussing the nature of Rumsfeld's attitude towards the interviewer. Watch the video. It's cringe-worthy.
My husband who was in the room while I was watching, but couldn't see the computer screen from his vantage point, exclaimed,"Who is that?!" Even he could pick up on the nasty tone of Rumsfeld without knowing who he was, or what the context of the video was. Rumsfeld is manipulative and downright mean, objecting not just to the interviewer's questions, but making some pretty nasty personal comments about the interviewer.
It gave me flashbacks to a co-worker with whom I had briefly worked. We had been thrown together for a couple of weeks in my last job as a puppeteer/public speaker at elementary schools. I was taking the position of her former partner in the next year and was merely filling in the last few weeks of the current year. During our program there were specific points at which each of us were responsible for addressing the audience and either introducing the program, or concluding it. Each time I would be in the midst of my concluding presentation, she would interject things out of the blue. It was very distracting to me, especially because there was no rhyme or reason to it. She never interjected at the same point in the presentation, and she never said the same thing. It kept me off-kilter.
After we concluded one of the shows, in which she really threw me off and I stood there dumbly for a moment trying to remember where I was, I tried to explain to her that I was having a hard time keeping track of things when she interjected. I had switched parts from the time I had previously performed in this position and all of the material was new to me. I wasn't quite comfortable enough with the new material to easily get back on track if I got distracted.
I tried to make it sound as if it were my problem and I needed her help with it.
What happened next was quite similar to that Rumsfeld video. You would have thought that I killed her dog. There I stood, in the middle of a school cafeteria, with this lady going on and on about me and how I was so confrontational and she couldn't work with people like me and she didn't want to hear anything I had to say and she was "done" and on and on and on.
It was the most bizarre experience and baffling personal interaction I had ever had.
She took my request and made it into a personal attack and then raised her voice at me, slandered me, and accused me of all the things she was doing to me.
This all occurred between two performances. She stormed off while I tried to assure the school counselor that everything was fine and we would be ready for the next show. I figured she just needed to cool off.
She came back and we icily performed our second show.
As we packed up, I made the mistake of trying to make peace with her or talk about what had happened. Worst. Mistake. Ever.
She just moved back into Rumsfeld mode with more personal attacks and over-reaction.
I spent the last two weeks of working with her trying to kill her with kindness and refusing to let her drag me into any more of her crazy-head-space.