Wednesday, August 15, 2007

$#!+ Like That pt. 2

"$#!+ Like That" refers to encounters where other people's mental laziness, low intellect, or maybe willful ignorance makes life more difficult than it needs to be. It's hard to explain, so here's another example - this time from the workplace.
Supervisor: "Okay, everyone, you all owe us $20, which we'll need by the end of the month when the gift is delivered."

Me & co-workers: "How's that?"

Supervisor: "Management ordered Ursula's retirement present. Remember when we had that staff meeting six months, ago, where we talked about the [x,y,z]? At the end of that meeting, someone suggested that we might want to get Ursula a retirement present."

Co-worker: "I think I remember that, but I didn't hear anything else about it. I'd forgotten all about it."

Me: "Same here. No one told us the plan, asked us if we wanted to participate, or showed us the gift."

Supervisor: "Look, West, if you just don't want to contribute to Ursula's retirement, you don't have to."

Me: ". . ."
See, it's shit like that right there that gets on my frickin' NERVES. The point isn't Ursula or her retirement. The point is that we deserve to choose whether we donate, how much we donate, and what we're donating it for. Telling us that we owe, how much we owe, and when we're going to pay is overstepping, to say the least. It's especially inappropriate coming from those in positions of power over us.

Call me crazy but, personally, I like to "help" decide what gift my money's going toward. My expressing this fact does not automatically mean I don't like Ursula or don't want her to have a gift. It means the situation wasn't handled as well as it could've been.

It's not just the fact that this is a management issue (I'd have felt the same if these were friends or family), but one should recognize that having the guts to speak up to one's "superiors" isn't always an easy thing.

The proper way to respond to thoughtful objection or constructive criticism from a friend, family member, or employee is not to assume that the speaker must be a cheapskate.

See, it's shit like that right there that pisses me off.


B. Good said...

Yeah, I'm not feelin' that either. The audacity of some people.

First they tell you that you gotta contribute X dollars to X gift. And THEN, they tell you that you don't gotta do it if you don't want to.

Ooooooo, that gets on my NERVES! I know I don't have to do something that I don't wanna do. I don't need you to tell me that. Just as I don't need you to tell me how much I gotta contribute to something that I didn't necessarily agree to

The issue isn't whether I want to do it or not. The issue is that I never got the chance to make that decision before you committed me to it.

Yeah, that isht right there. Grrrrr......

chele said...

Don't play with my money.

You are right in that it's not about Ursula ... how is somone going to tell me what I owe on something that I haven't even seen? I'm not cheap but I'm not stupid either.

Keith said...

Your company is cheap as hell! I'm glad you publicly questioned it. I guess you should contribute and all, but I've never heard anything like this before (and I work in non-profit where saving a buck is the name of the game).

Miz JJ said...

I gotta co-sign with chele. Do not play with my money. Do not tell me that I owe you money for a present I have never seen. Uh uh. That is beyond tacky. Of course the supervisor thinks $20 is no big deal, but what if it is to some people?? Ridiculous.

Liz said...

Whatever happened to companies footing the bill for retirement gifts? West, the kind of stuff you're talking about happened at my old job all the time. I don't miss being told I should shell out cash for presents that sure could have been purchased more cheaply somewhere else.

CapCity said...

speaking UP against the "majority" is NEVER easy - no matter where or what the situation. try being vegetarian when meat eaters are trying to decide where to eat;-)....great intro to yr spot, West.

nikki said...


that has never happened to me, but if it did i don't know if i'd have had the balls to do what you did. i'm glad you said something.