‘She kept saying she was fine when she clearly wasn’t’
By Isabelle Orr, Entertainment Editor
Customers and coworkers alike we shocked last Monday afternoon when Linda Grabinsky rolled her eyes into the back of her own head.
What started as a regular shift at Has-Beans, a coffee shop on East Broadway in Vancouver, ended in a medical miracle.
“I asked Linda if she wouldn’t mind grabbing an extra carton of oat milk from the back,” Grabinsky’s coworker Alexis Tam recalled to reporters. “I think that’s what set her off. She said ‘No problem!’ in a tone that indicated that it might actually be a problem. When I turned around, all I could see was the whites of her eyes. I have to say, it’s a little nicer than her regular glare.”
Tam further stated, “I think she dislikes me because I’m younger than her.”
This wasn’t Grabinsky’s first foray into the deep, murky waters of passive-aggression.
“I absolutely love Linda,” childhood friend Tim Wong gushed. “As long as we’re only spending anywhere from one to two hours together, and there’s a ‘buffer friend’ between us. Alcohol usually helps too.”
But where does passive aggression come from? Staff at the Other Press talked to Harold Bupp, Cognitive Science professor at SFU, about Grabinsky’s case.
“I’ve seen instances like this before,” said Bupp. “It’s not unusual for someone who thinks that they are more special than everyone around them to have a deep well of annoyance and anger to draw from. These emotions work themselves out of the body in different kinds of actions. For example, those suffering from passive aggression may show symptoms of sighing six decibels louder than human speech, or commenting, ‘thanks for the invite :-)’ on event pictures that they weren’t invited to. It doesn’t matter if the event was out of town or if they would have been able to attend at all—they’ll still comment.”
Others like Grabinsky’s boss Beatrix O’Reilly, 46, had this to say: “You’ll never really know how a shift with Linda is going to go. There’s a lot of variables—like how traffic was on her way to work, whether or not she’s having a good hair day, or if she’s had an adequate amount of sleep the night before. Yes, these things are outside of our control. But to someone like Linda, who suffers from passive aggression, we are the ones to blame. I love the food and hospitality industry!”
“Sometimes being around Linda is a challenge,” Wong said. “However, it is humbling. You really need someone to scoff after every sentence, or to say ‘I love that for you’ when you tell them about a positive experience. It makes every hangout with her anxiety-inducing and draining. It really helps you appreciate your other friends.”
Reporters asked Bupp about how to deal with someone like Grabinsky.
“The best thing to do when faced with someone like Linda is to try and ignore the passive aggression and squish it into a teeny-tiny ball that sits in the middle of your rib cage,” said Bupp. “Then you can use it yourself to channel your own specific brand of passive aggression. I recommend writing comments like ‘Please leave shoes ON SHOE RACK, I am not a maid’ around your apartment for your roommates to find. It always works for me!”
When asked if Grabinsky would ever gain full use of her eyeballs back, Bupp shook his head. “Unfortunately, in a case like this, Linda’s condition is permanent. That doesn’t mean she can’t lead a full and fulfilling life. Well, full and fulfilling for someone like her, anyway.”
Here Bupp cleared his throat.
“Sorry, that’s my own passive aggression coming out. I’ll have to excuse myself from any further comments.