I work in an odd situation, for most people, in that I don’t stay very long with companies. I don’t work permanently, I work contracts. This is partly due to my nature – but mostly due to the nature of my job. Since I work as a software architect/developer, I’m in need of new projects on a consistent basis, but most companies don’t start new projects all the time in IT, so they don’t keep architects and developers on-staff, they hire contractors. Of course most of you probably know someone in IT, so you know this. But this is not the oddest thing by any means at the moment.
I am working a contract right now with a large, rather well known computer hardware OEM and services company, in their services division. They do, unlike many of my former clients, write software on an ongoing basis, but they hired me contract to write a market trial, which is close to starting.
Now emmie and mitda are not the most subtle slaves in the bdsm world, they both wear collars in virtually all situations, mitda wears cuffs most of the time, and they make no bones about the fact that they are my wife and girlfriend, which is noticeable even to those who don’t know what collars and cuffs indicate. They have been around my work enough times that the people on my project, other than the ones who are absolutely clueless, know what the situation is at my household.
Well, surprise, noone seems to take much offense. In fact one of the members of my very small team turned out to be a TPE/IE Master with a live in slave. We went together to the recent GWNN conference (group with no name – a local bdsm group).
And this is what this meandering post is finally getting to. My colleague is very much a dom. He is ex military, very much into controlling himself and his surroundings, and confident in his ability to do so. He and I get along extremely well. However there is another member of the team who doesn’t share that attribute of easy going self confidence. He tends to be at turns blustery or sulky, or tries to be easygoing with a rather undeveloped sense of humour that can be either quaint or irritating, depending upon one’s mood. Because this fellow, although also a contractor, has been with the client for a good long period of time, while my other colleague and I joined for this project only, he is generally the lead on one of the main aspects of the product development.
Suffice it to say I openly have issues with him. And vice versa. But that isn’t the story here either. He, let’s refer to him as “J”, has major issues with my other colleague “B”. And vice versa there too. So here we go to a little vignette.
The project has been an extremely rushed affair. This is not that unusual in software development, and is part of the reason we were hired. There simply wasn’t the turnaround time to reallocate permanent employees to the project, so contractors were brought in. However as a result normal process methods have been somewhat lax as we rushed past checkpoints and approval items to simply get something done and working. Now B is the requirements engineer for the project, and as we move precariously closer to QA he has become more and more aware that there are major differences between the product we have in hand and any requirements documentation that may have existed for the project. As a result, and mainly with other business-side members in view, he sent out an email, strongly worded as is his style, asking that from this point on any changes be vetted through him. After all this is his job. And he wants to get these changes, however minor, documented so that QA can perform their jobs. If they don’t know what the current program is meant to do, it becomes a worthless task to test it. But the wording of the email put our friend J’s back out of joint. And in response he went into bluster mode, came over to where B and I sit, and began yelling. It’s not a big office and almost right away the entire project team was at B’s desk getting involved in the “discussion”.
B responded pretty calmly, repeated a couple of times “J., you need to calm down”. Eventually this advice did reasonably sink in and the crowd dispersed. However B. wasn’t happy with the situation. Once most people had disappeared for the day he took J. aside and to a meeting room. And proceeded to “rip him a new one” as it were for his unprofessionalism and poor behaviour. J. became extremely upset, to the point of tears, and told B. that he had an anger management problem. B. was nonplussed, telling J. that if he couldn’t control his a. m. problem at work, he simply shouldn’t be working.
Why have I wasted your time with this rather long vignette as part of an even longer post? Because it illustrates well, along with another comment J. had made as one of his rather quaint jokes, shortly after I had met him, something I started to talk about in a post earlier on this blog regarding bdsm and abuse. J. had said to me and others in the group when asked about his weekend “after you marry, one night when you’re fast asleep, your wife rips your spine out and you don’t make a decision after that”.
I’m not implying J. is into spousal abuse. I wouldn’t know and wouldn’t want to know. But with an anger management problem such as he has it wouldn’t be unthinkable. At least many actual wife abusers have anger management problems, that much would be accepted, I think, by most authorities on the subject. Yet it is B., who doesn’t comprehend or accept lack of self control even when caused by such a problem, that is into bdsm Mastery, and keeps a live in slave to that end. I have no doubt either that B. can be quite sadistic with his consensual partner. But he is not an anger management class candidate nor is he a danger to his partner, while J., whose comment on his wife spoke (non-bdsm style) submission, that is a real danger when it comes to spousal abuse.
Does this mean that Dominants are never spouse abusers and submissives are? No. Does it mean that most spousal abusers are not vanilla? No. But it does show the difference I had been trying to express between a Dominant and an abuser. Abuse comes from lack of control, over the self, over others. And this lack is what makes abusers pick helpless targets. A Dominant first chooses someone who wants to be dominated, and someone who is worth dominating. If for any reason you find out that your next door neighbour whose kids are on your kids’ basketball team and whose wife runs the PTA is secretly into bondage and discipline, domination and submission, and sado-masochism, remember that it doesn’t mean anyone there is in danger, physically or psychologically. It may be the nervous churchgoer across the street that is hurting his wife and marring his kids, in a way that is permanent and difficult to reverse.