Thursday, July 31, 2008

You Get What You Permit

Every parent and teacher knows that if you reward bad behavior, it's more likely to happen again. So you ignore the tantrum and dole out the time outs when little Johnny hits his sister. It seems so easy with kids.

As adults, we forget this valuable lesson. Out of college and looking for a job, I worked as an appointment setter for a realty company. Patty was the superstar agent. She didn't even consider representing a home that cost under a million. One evening, an agent called and wanted to view one of her homes. I refered to the file for that property and set the appointment.

Flash forward to 10:00 p.m. I'm at home and the phone rings. It was Patty and she was livid that I had made the appointment. She berated me. She questioned my intelligence. She was rude and ugly. Before I could get in a word, she was done and she slammed down the phone.

I called her back. I explained that I had followed her instructions and that calling me at home at night was inappropriate.

That Monday at work, I started cleaning out my desk. I knew I was going to get canned! LOL! Patty walked in and do you know what she did? She complimented my blouse. I never had another problem with her.

Patty acted that way with people who allowed it. Impressed with her sales record, the rest of the office cowered in fear. They let her talk to them anyway she pleased, and she did. You get what you permit.

I couldn't change the way she treated them; but I could confront the way she treated me.

That was a pivotal moment in my life. It's the moment when I began standing up for myself and demanding to be treated the way I should be treated. Among other things, that means:
  • You are not allowed to yell at me.
  • You are not allowed to lie to me or be dishonest.
  • You are not allowed to waste my time.
If you do, I will call you on it. That doesn't mean that I will be loud or rude or angry but I will say something. Keeping quiet and just going with the flow, says to the offending person that what they did to you was okay and you have given them the green light to do it again ... and again ... and again.

You've permitted it, you better believe you'll get more of it.

1 comment:

Cindy said...

I've had a supervisor that treated me like dirt over 10 years ago. I resented her so much for her nastiness and still do when I think about her and the abuse. It's definetely true that if you tolerate how people treat you, they will in fact believe that it's ok to treat you with lack of respect and dignity. I don't know if I will ever get the chance to confront and tell her how much I didn't appreciate her behavior, but if I ever do, I will NOT stoop to her level and be disrespectful and nasty toward her.