Chit Chat: Professional Courtesy

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Chit Chat: Professional Courtesy
I am a huge believer in karma. I believe if you put good out there good will come back to you. With that goes being kind and practicing the Golden Rule. Sure you will occasionally get screwed and will have to deal with people who do not return your courtesy but overall I feel like the universe balances out. When you are kind or helpful to someone especially during a time period when they really need it more than likely that same kindness will be shown to you when you need it.

My job has been exceedingly stressful for the last year. It has involved a lot of tight deadlines, long hours, countless demands, and an extreme amount of hustle on my part. Which is fine. It is all part of the job but I also have a busy life outside of my regular job including a smaller side job that I work hard at. For the most part with careful scheduling I am able to accommodate everything but it does sometimes create a life that is very tense and exhausting.

A few weeks ago I was almost at my wits' end. I was double booked for two important job related events one of which was totally 100% impossible to move or reschedule. The other only involved a handful of people and although important was a matter that everyone was in agreement regarding. So the schedule event was technically only to get everyone together to enter into the necessary paperwork.

One great thing about my line of work is that everyone is pretty easy going when it comes to accommodating others. In five years I had never once asked to reschedule anything and although I hated contacting everyone asking to reschedule I thought it wouldn't really register as a big deal to anyone. I contacted the four other people involved with plans of reaching an agreement regarding the rescheduling to give the person over the meeting. Three of the four people were exactly as I expected but the fourth would not give her consent. Over the next three days I spent hours on the phone and sending emails trying to find some arrangement that would please this lady but she would not budge. Finally as a last resort I contacted the person over the meeting without an agreement to reschedule. My meeting was continued and set for another day but not in the way I would have liked.

I deal with the lady who refused to the rescheduling on a semi-regular basis. Prior to this I had always thought we had a good working relationship. When I first contacted her to see if she would agree to reschedule I was awestruck by not just her refusal but her harshness. She made statements that I felt were rude and unnecessary. In my line of work meetings are commonly rescheduled at other people's request. It isn't anything new for meetings to be pushed or rescheduled the day before or on the day of. Here I was giving everyone almost two weeks of notice that I needed to reschedule. It was not as if I was proposing something that would have harmed her in anyway. In fact, the reason for the meeting was because she was asking for something and I had been in agreement with her and was willing to consent to her request. All I needed was another few days before completing the paperwork. Her lack of professional courtesy created a more stressful situation for me, caused me almost a week of my time, and not only jeopardized my career but my professional reputation.

I saw her a few days after all of this occurred and she behaved as if nothing had happened. I was friendly to her but honestly for the most part decided it was best if I kept my distance. I am not sure how this situation has left our professional relationship.

How do you handle with difficult people in the work place?

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1 comment:

  1. That is a really rough situation to be in. I am like you, where I try to always extend professional courtesy and the benefit of the doubt to others, especially those whom I know also have high-stress jobs and work really hard at them. I also tend to shy away from conflict because it's one more stressful thing on my already overworked plate, but I think sometimes I might be dragging out the tension by not confronting the issue head on. Maybe try talking to her privately about what happened just to make sure everything is okay going forward? Perhaps she was just very stressed too and handles it differently.


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