Pause in the Programming

IMG02169-20121102-1007There seems to be a miscommunication I cannot rightly put under my thumb. It started with the post When.

Before we progress much further in this series of heart vs. mind, I really need to clear the air.

The comments in the latter section were all discussing saying no and proposing I say no more often. To be frank, I say no every time it is appropriate. Occasionally, I say no when I could say yes on the grounds it would make me have to say no to too many other people.

Perhaps, I skipped a paragraph. In the entire post, I am the one asking for help and getting no as the answer. I do not let no deter me when I truly need help. Until I find that magical yes, I am left in a situation which is frequently more than I feel should be asked of any one person.


I hardly miss an opportunity to ask you questions. Call it a talent or a curse. The questions from that post were:

When was the last time you said “yes” to something which would only give you a sense of accomplishment? How do we get more people to say “yes” in a culture where “no” is predominant? How many “no”s does it take for you to say “when”?

As a matter of routine, I help with any number of tasks to which I am in no way a beneficiary other than the sense of accomplishment I get from seeing someone else happy, a worthwhile compensation for my time. I have never felt burdened by these choices to help because they were the right thing to do. It is rewarding to use my powers for good.

I asked when the last time you said yes was to see if mayhap I was asking too often.

I am at a total loss for the second question. Recently, I have coined a phrase, as is my wont on more occasions than I am comfortable admitting:

Programmed for denial

It is a veil which passes over the eyes of the person so programmed. You ask for something, specifically something which reasonably would be in their purview. You ask them to examine the (lunacy, audacity, bone-deep stupidity) of their refusal to accept information. You ask them to perform the job which, as a matter of public record, they are required to do. The only answer they can give is


Nothing personal. They tell everyone no. A large part of the money spent on their job training was teaching them to say no and back it up with There is nothing I can do.

Occasionally, one is not 100% programmed and will temper this no with some folderol about making exceptions for you would mean making exceptions for everyone. BlahBlahBlahBlahBlah There is no exception when you are actually performing the job for which you are being paid, a service for which I have paid or to which I am entitled as a matter of law.

Hence, I asked you the second question for the betterment of society. How do we change this programming for denial?

Where is the line?

The last question is all me. How many times should I hear no before I give up and go back to my microcosm without the help I need?

Still wondering,

Red Signature

Hashtags: #no #justsayyes

Thank you for sharing The M3 Blog with hashtags.

© Red Dwyer 2014
Re-Blogging of this or any other post on The M3 Blog
is expressly forbidden.
Copyright and Privacy Policy available in The Office.
Previous Post
Leave a comment


  1. Hi Red! 🙂

    You just described the ongoing situation I have with the recycling people who refuse to do anything about recycling bins being misused by my neighbours who think rules only apply to everyone else! 🙁

    We have a name for them: “Jobsworths” because there are those who trot out the line: “More Than My Jobs Worth!” when asked to do something that is needed, but they don’t want to do.

    End result?

    Our recycling bins get stuffed with rotting rubbish and nobody takes responsibility.

    Fortunately our landlord (RBH) has been able to get them to do the job, but it took months in the height of summer, so you can imagine the smell and the maggots… 🙁

    SO: Given you are in need of affirmation I hereby bequeath upon you an ennobling YES!!!

    Not much use I grant you, but it beats the opposite!!! 🙂

    God Bless!

    Prenin recently posted..Monday – A crowning achievement!!!My Profile

    • I ran into a state senator in my living room who told me he did not get paid enough to get into politics outside the House. It took my eye a week to stop twitching.

  2. P.S: I regularly do things for others without asking, or expecting, reward and get more than my share of parasites as a result and persecution by those who can’t understand why you did something out of the goodness of your heart, looking for the darker reason – usually what’s darkest inside themselves that they would never admit to!

    So: I help others and become the Judas goat as a consequence.

    Oh Joy…
    Prenin recently posted..Monday – A crowning achievement!!!My Profile

  3. Bureaucrats get paid to say no. Been this way for thousands of years. I suppose the attitude of the people in charge is why pay a person to say yes or to help others. Much easier to follow rigid rules and say no.
    John McDevitt recently posted..Johnny is Back AgainMy Profile

    • It is simply job security. The more they say no, the more paperwork someone fill out, the more it looks like they are busy. *mumbles something about round files*

  4. Red,

    As promised, I’m here to comment, so, I’ll get started…. some day…. No, really, here I go, right now…

    I’m one who responded to that post, and may have contributed to any confusion with my quote from RAH, which actually doesn’t address any of your questions, except as more of a peripheral response to the first question of the three… The last two, I pretty well ignored, as I figured it was typical bureaucratic bs that has pricked thy serenity, and you were being rhetorical… besides, I had already said a lot, & felt my usual guilt for overreacting to stuff…


    That said, I’ll answer the latter two now… As to the second… having grown up in the world’s third largest bureaucracy, (US Army bases to age 10…), and, worked for the fifth largest for 29 years, (State of California…), I feel confident in saying that John is only partially right; they actually are paid to say yes; it is their own intransigence and dissatisfaction that makes them, instead, insist on only doing that which will maintain the status quo, for them, and for the bureaucracy. This, naturally, translates into action as the defensiveness, irritability, and obstructionism that those seeking the services they need, seen every time someone asks any of them to show any flexibility or make a decision outside the strictures of policy and/or procedure…It is their primary defense against experiencing any change….

    So, the answer to getting them to say yes, is to convince them that to do so, to provide the service, somehow serves their own personal interest… It may mean a threat to speak to their superior, or other situation (publicity in the media, with their name attached, legal action against them for dereliction of duty, anything that threatens their self-interest in maintaining that even tenor in their existence…) that will threaten the status quo, enough to convince them it is a higher risk, more than the effort of saying no justifies…. Or, flattery, or pride, or other emotions they feel about their work can be stimulated… there are many techniques available to either trick, or make, or otherwise get people to do things they are reluctant to do…. One must, at times, manipulate them, but, as long as it doesn’t do them harm, it can be worth the karmic burden acquired by the act….

    I doubt there is time to make the necessary changes to human nature to fix all the stuff wrong with our culture before it implodes, so, I just try to deal with each petty bureaucrat as a single problem, with a solution that changes, but remains the same, for each time it occurs… based on what is necessary to get that particular bonehead to do their job, whether threats, logic, or appeal to humanity (often missing altogether, but, it works occasionally, with those who are just feeling stuck, but are basically good people doing a shitty job for not much….)…

    Whew… I think I hit all the high points, and may get some static for some of it, but, what the hell? I just took a nap, & I’m about to eat a bodacious supper I’ll prepare with my own hands… so, I can take it…. & I’m used to it, anyway…


    See ya… and, I hope the difficulty for which you seek input passes, whether by your efforts, or by the passage of time, doesn’t disturb that serenity we all prize, and you wear so well…


    gigoid recently posted..Pulsating filigree in short pants…..My Profile

    • Often, my questions are a mix of rhetorical and genuine inquiry. I ask of my audience because you represent such a large swath of humanity. I have long known those who read here are as diverse as you are intelligent. Hope you enjoyed your supper. xxx

  5. I help others less now than I used to. I guess I’ve just gotten jaded.

    • Not sure if you are jaded or if you are more discerning. After having gotten burned, I scrutinize pleas differently.

  6. Gray Dawster commented on The M3 Blog:

    My thoughts are very similar to Binky’s, I used to help everyone out but with little thanks helping out wears a little thin on the ground these days, besides it is supposed to be a two way street and so far I More…

  7. Red of M3 commented on The M3 Blog:

    I have been burnt as well; still, it is not a statistic I follow. My successes are far more fulfilling and interesting. That goes back to the post I did about “failure” recently.More…

  8. I think sometimes No is I Can’t. Sometimes No is I don’t have it in me anymore. Sometimes No is I don’t know how.

    No sometimes is simply the easier answer. It isn’t the best answer, just the easier answer. Sometimes it is the only answer the other person has without revealing something about them they might not wish to share. Sometimes No, is their protection.

    • I have held the belief “no” is the catchall with far more definitions than the simple negative it is meant to convey, a shorthand if you will. Indeed, I do believe many find it easier. xxx


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.