2006-08-29

Be Nice

I've got this major client.

And if they only knew how much they stress me out all the time, they would probably be inclined to send me flowers every week and maybe even a nice gift certificate for the movies or something.

Of so many clients that I work, this particular takes up an actual, measurable percentage of hours in my day.
I have become admittedly resentful of this.

I have other things I want to grow and other areas that I want to focus on and because I am called in a way that is not dissimilar to the way latch-key kids call their mom all afternoon while she's trying to finish up so she can get home.
"Mom can I take a shower?"
"Mom can she eat grapes right now?"
"Mom can I let the dog outside?"
"Mom when are you going to be home?"

I'm so busy looking up answers for them and trying to track everything they need from me that I never have time to get to the actual issue.

I never hear a thank you or a good job.

that's totally not uncommon though.
Not that I help people for the thank yous but you knowÖ. You get tired of doing for other people what they seem to think is owed to them by nature of their existence.
Nothing is owed.
Not even to you.

You would think that there would be a little more gratitude when I pull off a miracle for people, and believe me, there are a lot of things that I'm asked to try to do. I'm even successful but there are limits.

For example, if a contract says one thing and you imagined that it might have said something different 8 years ago but you haven't read it since then and you now think that the things I pointed out to you in our last 14 meetings, the differences in your contract from then to now, were unclear, you might have mentioned that to me before now, when you are telling me unkindly to take care of this for you because you are important.

I'm important, too.
And guess what?
That's doesn't mean I get preferential treatment, in any area of my life.
Life is life and you DO it.
There's never a Perry Mason moment (thanks Phil) or an epiphanal wash or a sudden stop where you are suddenly infinitely clear and perfect and therefore OWED.
You are not owed.

And people who think they are owed tend to think that I owe them. Part of expressing this is their constantly amazing ability to not be very nice. Why would you be mean to someone on purpose, unless they had hurt you or tried to hurt you or something?
Why?
I don't get to make people feel bad on purpose just because. I might have to vehemently disagree with you or pick a snarky fight about something stupid but to set out with the intention of taking out a stranger because I have something to prove seems like pretty destructive behavior.

I don't need to make people (at Sprint) who I have shredded into tiny, disgruntled customer service reps feel like when they finally see the light and admit that 18 dropped calls in not acceptable; I would never forget to completely change my tone and thank them profusely for coming through for me.

There are five people who I don't like very much. You know, personalities, whatever. They are at work and in derby and I can't not be around them. I would never want any of the five people whom I currently avoid as much as possible, even though we are stuck in mostly the same circle either at work or in derby; I would never want them to know that the sounds of their voices and the sneers on their faces make me want to slap them.
Hard.
A lot of what I donít like about them is stuff that I see as being "less than" or "not as" or "unwanted".

I can't be mean to people just because I think I am better than them or because I think I deserve something that they got instead of me..

I just....
I'm really wishing........
unrealistically, whatever.......
that I could magically make people be nice to each other and be respectful and quit thinking in terms of "he fucked with me" or "she didn't do this right".
Even me.
I wish I could be nicer sometimes.

Because even thinking in those terms isn't fair and their unfairness perpetuates some of the reasons why I get so many phone calls form the same place, trying to tell me that irresponsibility is actually injustice.

It's not.

You have to take care of yourself.

Maybe I'm too nice. I said something snarky not too long ago, about a person, and a friend of mine turned to me and said, no lie, "It's good to hear you say something mean. You're always so mice."
It made me start to think about maybe people do see me as being really nice and therefore not very needy of their affection and their praise.

They're wrong.
As, to be fair, am I.

I'm not as mean as I've been over the last two years and I think I am starting to hear things that are outside of my internal monologue and I like them but they donít jive with what I've mostly been for some people that I care for a lot and I don not know what to do with that.

arizonasarah at 11:55 a.m.

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