Those of you who know me, may not be surprised to know I’m quite an intolerant person. There are certain traits in people that quite literally get my back up and fill me with rage. A few examples are;
- Selfishness – I honestly cannot stand it! I’m a firm believer in things being fair and doing what you can for others. Would it kill people to just consider those around them before making a decision/opening their mouth?
- Condescending – Don’t condescend, just explain. You usually find condescending people are those with over inflated egos. Maybe not in general, but with regards to the topic in hand. Yes, very good, you think you know what you’re talking about, but if you could kindly not talk to me like I’m a fucking idiot that would be just swell.
- Narrow Mindedness – Having a conversation with someone who’s not open to new ideas, possibilities, cultures, beliefs, or the fact they could be wrong, really annoys me.
- Belittling – When someone in a position of power, thinks they have right to talk to someone they deem as ‘lesser than’ with contempt. Oh. My. God. This boils my blood. This person may be a senior to you in your work place, or just be someone who comes from a more privileged background. This in no way makes them a better person than you, worth more than you, or give them any right to speak to you like shite. We are all people at the end of the day, and regardless of job title, earnings or over inflated ego/self-worth, we should all be treated with the same level of respect. As I always say; Respect is earned, not commanded.
- Disingenuous – So many snakes in the grass! I will not associate with disingenuous or two-faced people in any way. As I said in one of my earlier blogs, I’m a straight up person. What you see is what you get. I don’t mince my words, there is never an undertone to what I say, and no-one will ever leave a conversation with me wondering what I actually meant. I say what I mean, and that is that. Which is why I surround myself with like minded people. I like honest and direct people, so I always know where I stand and visa versa.
Where is she going with this? I hear you ask. Well, in recent months I have had to bite my tongue so many times. Not where I’m concerned, because let’s face it, I’m not exactly shy in coming forward. If someone does/says something to upset/directly affect me, I have absolutely no qualms with saying so. My issue is with how those around me are being treated. I hate seeing others being mugged off and feeling like they cannot say/do something. It makes me want to step in, but I know that would be out of line.
I have had to sit and watch someone being chastised publicly for something that wasn’t even their fault, but rather the person doing the chastising. This boiled my blood so much, that my face actually started to glow, and you probably could have fried an egg on it. I so badly wanted to jump in and be all “See you Jimmy, stop being a dick!!!” but I couldn’t. I raised it with this person who was being chastised in private and asked them why they didn’t say something, why on earth didn’t they bite back? I know I would have! Their answer “I’d rather not have the argument. I’m not confrontational like you…” I’m not confrontational. I don’t seek confrontation and I’d sooner avoid it, but if it comes to that? Fine, bring it on. I won’t stand for someone making me feel stupid or less than, to appease their own self-worth/ego, fuck that for a game of soldiers.
I have also had one of my besties go through the mill at work lately, all due to one other colleague who was acting up as a manager for a short time. This new sense of power seemed to unleash an unholy amount of cuntiness in them, and they made my friend ill. Literally. They ended up signed off work with stress, and this upset me so much that I suggested we get on our balaclavas and go slash some tyres. Unfortunately, this friend declined my offer, but said they were thankful that I had their back. Umm duh! Without a doubt I’ll have their back. Their situation was just horrible, and they felt rather hopeless for what they can do. Now my bestie is like me, quite forward in what they say, and don’t mince their words, but on this occasion, because of who this person was, they felt they couldn’t do anything about it. They felt like they had no-one to turn to. This really angered and upset me, to think they were feeling as shit as they were and felt like they had no-one. I’m pleased to say that after a lot of upset, they no longer have dealings with this individual due to moving department, but, the person in question was never held accountable for their actions. The injustice in that is what really boils my blood. They’re getting off with it and will probably just continue to do it to others.
I’m a firm believer that if someone is upsetting you, say something! A lot of the time the person may not realise how their actions are affecting you. How can someone know to stop doing something that is upsetting someone else, if no-one tells them?
In the last year or so, I had a problem with a colleague that I had to work closely with. At first it was thought it was because I was a woman, as a lot of the comments were condescending and chauvinistic, but as time went on, I realised they just open their mouth and shit falls out. I don’t think it’s said with any malice, it’s just how they are. I’m not justifying how they made me feel, far from. I hate when people justify an absolute asshat with ‘Aww but that’s just how they are’, or ‘They’re really nice once you get to know them’. That’s just a way of saying ‘Yeah they’re a total cunt, but you learn to live with it’. I don’t want to learn to live with it. I cannot fathom why people chose to either. Why accept someone who treats you and others like shite? Perhaps their tolerance levels are just really high. Anyways, this person was making my working day unbearable. So much so I was actively seeking another job for a long time, because I just couldn’t do it anymore. I had also convinced myself that it was because I was too sensitive and just not cut out for working in this environment, so even considered going back to Customer Service. This was until another colleague of mine raised how this person had been toward me and said they couldn’t believe what they were hearing. I couldn’t believe it. It wasn’t all in my head, they really were treating me like crap. As much as it was a relief to know it wasn’t all in my head, it really saddened me that someone I liked and respected would treat me this way. It affected me very badly and was making me very sad all round.
A very long, long, long story short; I raised it with this colleague on a few different occasions. I did so face to face, via email, Lync etc. I would always let them know when they were taking things too far, or just being a bit of an arse. It didn’t stop them though. Eventually it got to a point where it was unbearable, and other colleagues had now raised concerns with management on my behalf. This person was spoken to and did say they didn’t realise how badly they had come across and were very sorry for it. Myself and this colleague spoke at length about it afterward and they very genuinely said they weren’t aware of how they can come across, it wasn’t intended, and they were very sorry. It also transpired that their attitude was very much dependent on their stress levels. The more stressed they get, the cattier they become, and I guess I was just the one on the receiving end of it because we work together. Not a great excuse I know, but better than them being a condescending chauvinist, right? This was a long road, but I’m so glad it’s sorted now. I no longer dread going into work like I once did, and we’re working together so much better. I always liked and respected this person, and I have always said that we got on well on a personal level. So, I’m glad that we’re getting on all round now. As let’s face it, we spend more time at work in our lives, than we do with our families. It’s important to get along with those we work with, otherwise it makes for a shit time. Having good work colleagues and being able to have a laugh at work is half the battle in my honest opinion.
So simple but true; ‘Treat others how you want to be treated’. Basically, don’t be a dick! Now, I’m not suggesting that I’m perfect here, or that I have never spoken to people like crap. I totally have. I get my grumpy moments and I can get arsy with people. It’s something I’m aware of, I do my best to rein it in, but on occasions where I have failed miserably, I will always apologise to the person. We are human at the end of the day. We all have our off days, and we will not be on point all the time. There may well be someone out there, who looks at me thinks I’m a dick! Who knows? All I can do is try to be mindful about how I am with others and do my best to be as respectful and considerate as I can.
If someone is making you feel less than or treats/speaks to you like crap. Raise it! It doesn’t have become confrontational, nor does it have to be done in a shitty way. Maybe this person doesn’t know how they’re affecting you, and until you tell them, they wont stop? Or, maybe they’re just a complete dick, who is aware, but doesn’t care? The latter is highly doubtful if you ask me, because I think that everyone cares how they’re perceived, even if they put the pretence on that they don’t. Only one way to find out though right? I get that a lot of people out there see raising concerns as confrontation, but it doesn’t have to be hostile. If you’re not comfortable speaking to this person face to face, then raise it in an email. If you feel that you’re not good at articulating what you’re trying to say, then speak about it with someone else and take time to draft what you’re trying to say. NEVER write an email in anger though. I have made this mistake, and it just becomes an incoherent waffle of word vomit. Don’t do it. Take your time, be sure and raise the real points of concern, but do so in a nice way. Also, be very careful when choosing to articulate anything through text, because what you have written can be taken completely wrong, depending on the mood/attitude of the person reading it. So, pick your timing for sending it wisely. Don’t be sending an email detailing points of concern when the person is clearly in a bit a of a mood. Also, if you find this person to not be approachable at all, then do not be afraid to take your concerns higher! If how they’re treating you is borderline bullying, or probably is actual bullying, then keep a record of all times they’ve done/said something to you, and once you have enough of them, send them off to someone higher than them or speak to your union rep. NO-ONE should ever feel miserable because of someone else.
If you want to buy the badge in my image, you can get it here. I have no affiliation with Etsy, or the person who has made this, I just thought it was pretty cool 🙂