I try not to be a complainer. Nobody enjoys listening to people complain constantly so I try to avoid it. But today, I complain.
I am one of the easiest going people you will ever meet. If you are running late, no problem I will get a cup of coffee and wait. If you cut in line in front of me, I usually just smile and assume you are in a bigger hurry than I. If you ask me to help you move in the middle of summer, (after calling you names in my head) I will help. If you ask me to do a last minute project I will with out hesitation.
Unfortunately, after word gets out that you are a person who takes on projects or tolerates inconveniences, there are some who see it as an opportunity to abuse.
I work in a long standing family business. The parents who started the company are diligent hard working people. They built an amazing institution that has been serving the community for over 40 years. They dream of one day retiring. They are now trying to transition the business into the hands of their grown daughter.
She saw me coming and decided I was her shining hope to look good. At first the requests were small last minute projects. I took them on and made her look like a hero. Then it was bigger projects. I would still smile but my lip would start to quiver making me look like I was doing my Billy Idol impression.
Her requests started becoming more and more with less and less time to do them. At the beginning of the school year I was asked to be present to answer questions regarding the two programs I direct. I gladly agreed to do so. When I arrived, around 20 minutes early, another director was panicked. The princess had called ahead and asked this poor individual to “whip up a quick power point presentation” to show the new students. Fortunately I had already made one for an orientation specific to my students and was able to create a few more slides including the additional programs to make it complete. The other director was tremendously grateful. The princess walked in 5 minutes late, presented our power point and then turned to us and said, “I think that went well! WE make a great team.” I think that was my first urge to punch her in the throat.
I have fought the urge many times since.
What the princess fails to understand is that being laid back does not equate to “forever doormat”. Another unfortunate thing for Mexicans is the scarcity of good jobs. Most will take abuse and never say anything about it for fear of losing their job. There are not the labor laws that exist in the USA.
Yesterday, I had my fill. I called a meeting with the owners and their princess. I verbally bitch slapped the hell out of her. Her parents acknowledged the problems and also threw a few slaps her way.
Will the sting of the slaps last? Probably not. But it sure felt good at the moment. I don’t want to change who I am. I believe that most people will appreciate me for being good-natured, easy-going, and helpful. But a warning to all who like to prey on the good will of others: You never know if we are one abuse away from thunder-punching you in the throat.