Concept of rank - what an earth is so difficult in it?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by SuZir, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I don't know if this is an aspie trait/different wiring issue, a difficult child issue or just difficult child issue, but I really don't understand how impossible the concept of rank seems to be for my whelp. I understand one may not agree that whole rank business is right or useful, that can be something to be debated. But how on earth does someone so intelligent as my son really not grasp that it is a fact of life? And that not respecting rank comes with consequences every frigging time?

    I can't remember I would had ever had difficulties understanding rank and what it means, neither does my husband. And easy child has understood it very well from very early age. But my twenty year-old adult kid, who most likely is a person with the highest IQ in the room most of the time and who has fifteen years of not only normal socialization to the concept of rank but intensive sport training, there coach's word is a law, still don't get that if someone outranks him, they do, despite his feelings about the matter and if he doesn't respect it, he will pay the price. Or maybe he does get that there is price to pay for not respecting rank, but at least he still finds it worthwhile to whine about it instead trying to even pay a lip-service to rank.

    I mean, I do know I have had some teachers and bosses I have considered totally useless. And I can't say I would had always followed their directions just because they have outranked me. I have paid lip-service to them and done what I wanted behind their backs. I have to admit I have even back stabbed and trash talked few behind their back. And certainly questioned in front if I have thought that useful. And I certainly haven't liked it, if I have had a moron teacher or boss. But that is life. And I really don't get why that is so very difficult for difficult child to get.

    He thinks his new positional coach is incompetent and useless. I do not know if he is, or if difficult child just doesn't like him. But yes, his credentials are not impressive and he is very inexperienced and I have to admit difficult child certainly is more apt to judge what someone knows about his profession than I am. In fact he may be more apt to judge than people who hired this guy, it is very specialised skill set that even most in his sport don't really get. But still fact of life stays. His coach outranks him and he is only making his life difficult and causing more bumps to his career by not even paying a lip-service to the rank. Throwing tantrums because you don't trust your coach only works against you. Even though his actions on the field are currently gaining him lots of leeway. But when he hits a rougher patch he can be sure it will come back to bite him. And that is something he doesn't seem to understand or care.

    Of course I don't know how he has behaved, but what he tells me and how he talks to me, I would guess something between holy terror and total jerk. Okay, it is his butt this will bite and I could put down the phone and not have to listen his whining and ranting, but heavens that he can be frustrating to deal with.

    There may indeed be an error in the world, but how about just dealing with it even a one time? :919Mad:
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
  2. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    I live in a world of rank. LOL Being a military spouse one of the first things you learn is "never burn bridges." Why because even though the military is a huge entity we always seem to run smack dab into the same people over and over. IE: husband's roommate in Afghanistan is now one of our neighbors. Granted he doesn't outrank my husband but one of them could easily get promoted….and then what? You pray that either you haven't ticked this person who now has power over you off or you are confident in your friendship. What difficult child needs to keep in mind is that this "moron" may not know what he is saying but because he is a coach and a part of the upper level of the sport he most likely has contacts. Those contacts will call the "moron" before hiring difficult child. Maybe that won't happen this year or next but in the long run it will most likely happen.

    Even as a military wife I have had to learn to play nice with other military spouses. Whether I like them or not I nod politely and say what I need to in order to survive. Those other spouses can and will come back to haunt you!
  3. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Yeah, and for some reason this simple thing seems to be totally outside of his grasp. Sport world is extremely connected and you always end up with people you know again and again. And even if this "moron" doesn't have much connections (at least no one of those who do have lots of connections seem to know about him at all) and if he truly is a moron he may never develop ones, but there are other coaches in the team, who certainly do have connections and there are other players, some who are already in short track to other side of the bench. And they are all seeing what difficult child says or does. And even when/if difficult child's gripe in something is substantial, they may have hard time seeing it, because they may not have know-how to tell the difference. Things are very specialised and those not specialised to that even in the sport are often totally clueless.

    difficult child's only defence is his age. Kids at his age, and especially ones playing his position, are expected to be quite rough around the edges. So people will still grant him few years to mature and man up. But as said, we have been working at least 15 years with concept of rank and it really still doesn't seem to dawn to him even a bit. Drives me crazy!
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013
  4. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    My difficult child got tossed out of boy scouts because he told his leader that "respect had to be earned." In turned out that many people agreed that his leader was a jerk and he joined another troop and made Eagle but it's very tough when they don't respect rank and can't at least play along in the game.
  5. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I have to say that I totally agree with your difficult child and I'm glad it worked out for him in this. But one really hopes they would learn to play the game, or just even really understand and make conscious choice about it. Respect as a leader has to be earned, but making a show of respecting a rank (even if you don't have much respect for the person having that rank) makes one's life so much easier.
  6. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    This is actually good advice for all of us to remember about the people in our lives, whether we are military, or civilian.

  7. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I think, in fact I'm sure, that my difficult child intellectually gets the concept of rank. He also recognizes that not respecting rank gets you into trouble. And, heaven forbid, he even agrees that rank is necessary - when it comes to others. When it comes to himself, it seems he always ends up stuck to what we call "there is an error in the world"-situation.

    I can't count how many times I have tried to reason with him about the matter over the years. Done everything right. Waited till he was in the good mood. Took him the calm place. Asked how he saw the situation, listened and worded his thoughts and feelings back to him. Made questions to help him think the other side of things. Slowly and carefully guided him through the process with excess empathy. Asked his solutions to the situation, guided them to more reasonable direction. Got him there and it all seemed so awesome and I was ready to pat my own back for job well done. And BOOOOM! "It is still stupid/shouldn't be like that/is still wrong, though!" And back we were in the beginning. Argh!

    Okay, he is a big boy now and that isn't my responsibility any more. But doesn't mean he would be learning on his own either.

    My whelp do have the social skills to easily fake respect for rank (after all, faking it is what most people do anyway, so faking it is mostly considered acceptable), but he doesn't want to. Or at the moment may be too anxious or stressed to do so. With him it is all too easy to forget that what he can do sometimes or usually may be very different from what he is capable when anxious or stressed. His anxiety, PTSD and dissociative symptoms are very real and distracting for him and effecting what he can or can't in any given moment even though he is very good at hiding and masking those issues. I know they are there. I know they are bad. Still even I can easily forget them and not to even remember to consider how they affect his ability to do things in any given moment.