Because you are one

Since it’s my husbands birthday today I’ll tell y’all one of his favorite work stories of mine.

When I was a young-know-it-all-staffing-manager I acted like it. If I knew I was right about something, I didn’t back down. If I knew someone on my team (errr corporate didn’t really feel like they were on my team though) was not going to be as nice as they could be to one of my customers I refused to let them talk to my customers. I prefer to handle it myself than have to clean up a mess after someone who knows nothing about, or even laid eyes on, my customer has been rude.

I had gotten in a situation where I did not want the person over AR talking to my customers anymore. I wanted her to tell me what she needed and I would go and chase it down. Any of my customers who talked to her complained about how rude and disrespectful she was, even if it turned out to be an error on our part and not the customers. I even remember the owner of the company saying she was “his bulldog.” I always shudder when I think about that because he said it like it was a good thing, some sort of twisted compliment.

On one of the visits from the owner he asked me why I didn’t like the person over AR. I didn’t answer him right away because I wasn’t prepared to give a business reason over a purely emotional opinion. I tried really hard to think about all the business reasons I could provide to why I didn’t want to talk to her, or let her talk to my customers but it really boiled down to the fact that she was a jerk. So I sent an email answer to the question (I had to send the email to the VP because the owner didn’t have an email address). In the email I answered his question and I flat-out typed that it’s because she’s an asshole. Plain as day, I used those words in black and white.

Now, I got a phone call and was asked why I would do that and specifically why I would do that in an email. Well, because I believed I was right. I knew for a fact that it was a correct label for her and that was that.

Here’s the kicker. The owner would use GD and other swear words on a regular basis when we would have meetings. Just pepper them allllll through the conversation. I had no reason to believe that I would get in trouble for using that word. I also thought it was perfectly fine to put it in an email because I stood by what I said.

What I can tell you I eventually realized is, you can’t always emulate the behavior you see. The owner and I were not judged by the same standards so we could not behave in the same way.

I think that’s pretty much true of the hierarchy right? You’re held to different standards depending on where you are in that. It could be as simple as how well you abide by the dress code to how you can get away with talking in meetings. I’m not saying its right, what I’m saying is be aware of it. When you can, you should step back from a situation and try to map out the possible consequences to your behavior and determine what you’re comfortable with. In that example, I would probably send the email again. I still believe it was an environment where the impression was it would be accepted and it’s not like I got in real trouble over it. BUT 33-year-old me is pretty much ashamed of that behavior because I know there are better alternatives to how I handled it.

professional fashion

Worst case, when in doubt call your mentor. Or just remember Justin Minyard’s advice that he gives me any time he thinks I’m leaving for work frustrated “Just don’t call anyone an asshole in an email today.”

 

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#HappyBirthdayCadence

This post is not like my normal snarky, ill-humored, HR related post. This post is very personal. This post will break your heart and it will challenge you.

On June 22nd of this year a dear friend of mine, Jessica McGuire her husband Nic and their two beautiful girls Cadence (6) and Brinley (2) were in a terrible car accident. The car accident took the lives of all of them except Cadence. Cadence was injured, but thankfully that child is a fighter. She quickly realized she was the only one talking and as people rushed to the scene they were able to help and save sweet Cadence. Through this tragedy Cadence has been an example of strength to all of us. At the funeral she wanted to make sure that we all knew she loved her mommy, daddy and baby sister. She is in the loving care of Jessica’s parents and she has a very loving extended family surrounding her during this time. Her birthday is July 23rd, so close to the tragedy this child has endured. I want to challenge everyone, every single person we can get these posts in front of, to send Cadence a birthday card. As she faces her first birthday without her family lets shower this child with love. I promise no amount of love we show this child will be too much. She loves to check the mail and I know she will be so excited when she sees so much mail for her! She has been receiving sad cards in the mail from people expressing their condolences to her and while that is incredibly appropriate let’s send her happy cards! Cards that will put a smile on her face! Share this challenge everywhere! Email, Twitter, FB, News stations, Pinterest, Instagram wherever… use hash tag #HappyBirthdayCadence I’m including the link to the family obit for reference. And a picture of the challenge for easy share. I will also post the challenge in text format. I’ve spoken with the family and they are so thrilled that so many people are willing to do this for Cadence. Please know your assistance in this is so very appreciated.

JessicaNicBrinley

http://www.cobbfuneralhome.com/obituaries.aspx?turl=http://hosting-439.tributes.com/show/nicholas-jessica-and-brinley-mcguire-96031234

The Challenge:

This month is Cadence’s birthday month. On July 23rd she will be 7 years old. Every birthday will be hard for her, but this will be the first without her mommy and daddy. She also lost her sweet baby sister Brinley who was only 2. I want to challenge you to do something simple. Send sweet Cadence a birthday card this month. If you have kids let your kids make her a birthday card. Just imagine how wonderful she would feel to get hundreds of birthday cards from us? No amount of love we show this child will be too much! Please join me in sending Cadence a birthday card this month. They can be mailed to Cadence McGuire 577 East County Road 122 Gosnell AR 72315. The obit for her parents are online at Cobb Funeral Home. Please share this on your own page and at work, church, with your neighbors, EVERYONE. I challenge you to spread the word and lets show Cadence how much she is loved! #HappyBirthdayCadence

#HappyBirthdayCadence
#HappyBirthdayCadence

 

This is sweet Cadence!
This is sweet Cadence!