Some People Are Just Embarrassing
There were many people at the gathering in Gouda whom we knew, and some we had never met before.
Generally, the behavior exhibited was very good. The visitors tended to split off into language-based groups, with the French speakers in one classroom, the Dutch in another, the Germans in a third and the English in a fourth. However, many were socializing around the different rooms or at mealtimes quite happily, chattering across language barriers and making new friends as well as catching up with old mates they'd not seen in a while.
However, I did wonder what one or two of the delegates were actually doing there. They didn't seem to mix often and made almost no attempt to open conversation with anyone. One person in particular had elected to bring his demons with him instead of packing them away at home.
During the course of the weekend, he:
- Confused the sleepy, rural town of Gouda for the teeming tourist trap that is Amsterdam, expecting drugs to be on sale openly and prostitutes to be on every corner.
- Became very, very drunk on several occasions.
- Was returned to the hotel at least once by the local Politie.
- Did not play nicely with others generally.
- Stole other people's drink and consumed it on the way to the airport at the end of the weekend.
- Ended up being arrested and held overnight for being drunk and disorderly at the airport.
Overheard conversations included the fact that he had not traveled widely outside his native country (hardly surprising, given his stellar level of behavior subsequently!), that he was not in a good place mentally, and that he was on prescription medication. None of that was going to go well with the amount of spirits he was chugging back, and all of it was excruciatingly embarrassing to those who attempted to include him in events.
I do believe that if he had been in possession of enough money and the ability to think straight, he would have betaken himself off to Amsterdam, there to live out his drug-and-floozy-filled fantasies for the rest of the weekend. As things turned out, I rather wished he HAD done that, as it would have caused us a lot less hassle.
I sometimes wonder if people like that are running from themselves as much as from the circumstances in which they find themselves, and just end up being more and more embarrassing to be around until they are forced to seek professional help to sort their lives out.
I'm sure many of you have had to deal with similar situations among your family and friends, or maybe are still dealing with the fallout caused by their behavior. It's the first time I've come across it in the retro-computing scene though, as generally the guys are friendly, open and old enough to have dealt with their troubles already.
Image Credit » https://pixabay.com/en/shame-disgraceful-evil-worthless-927085/ by johnhain