The Time Rage Got the Best of Me

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone! I hope you enjoy the day whatever you're doing and whomever you are, or are not, with. Special shout out to the single ladies away from family today; may the day be fun for you in non-traditional ways!

NaBloPoMo prompt for today: Have you ever rage-quit a job?

Not exactly. Well, not in a dramatic, say something rageful and inappropriate, then storm out the door kind of way.  But I did have a rage moment a few weeks back at a meet-up group I host... As background, I didn't advertise it well or early enough, plus a few people didn't show up. Sidenote: why do we do this? because I do this too, sometimes, i.e. sign up for an event, then bail shortly before it happens. I try to remember to change my r.s.v.p. but admit I don't always do so. So frustrating for the event planner. In any case, this led to meeting with just one person that night.

As fate had it, the restaurant we normally meet in had a band playing that night, so it was loud and I had to advocate and follow-up with the manager to get a table. While I was waiting, I had a glass of wine. So, I wasn't in the best mood, and I'd been drinking. I'd like to think that's why I became emotionally reactive. It WAS annoying and tiresome, but not worth the reaction I had.

What happened? Well, the one person who came jumped right into telling me her entire career story and talked non-stop for about 15 minutes (fine and even welcomed for a counseling appointment but a free meet-up event at a restaurant, not so welcome), until I finally interjected and said I wanted to suggest an activity, as well as explain my role in leading the meet-up and get business stuff out of the way, such as a sign-up sheet and collecting a small donation to cover costs of the meet-up.

I had barely finished my sentence, when she went into a tirade about how it didn't say anything about the meet-up costing anything (I double-checked later to confirm that I did in fact mention a donation would be requested to cover costs) and that maybe she would understand it if we were meeting in a rented space, or something, but in this case she didn't understand what she's paying for, that it wasn't worth it.

At this point, to put it lightly, my temperature rose. My thoughts were that I have a graduate degree and over 12 years experience in the career counseling field, and it takes effort and time to plan and facilitate these monthly events, plus paying monthly dues. I do benefit by sometimes connecting with a new client but not always. So, the fact that she felt entitled to waltz in and get free career counseling and take advantage of meet-up benefits without contributing at all really made me mad, and at some level maybe offended me or hurt my feelings. And not only not contributing - we've all been short on money at times and I would have totally given her a pass - but she lamented that the experience was not "worth" even a few dollars.

I think part of my anger was because I've made huge strides in my business over the last year or two in valuing my time, and other coaches and professionals time, as well. I guess I do believe in that value now, which is the silver lining on this story - recognizing that I really do value my time and counseling skills and believe I should be paid fairly.

To finish the story, I said that yes, it was in the event description, then told her I actually felt offended that she said the only value was in renting a space, and not the content, time, and effort, etc. She continued to argue. I stopped her and said I did not want to argue, that I wished her lots of good luck in her career and hoped that sharing her story tonight was helpful for her, and excused myself.

In retrospect, I think I did not need to take it personally and it wasn't a huge deal in the big picture, but I'm not sorry I left versus spending another hour listening to and helping a woman who wasn't appreciative.

Returning to gratitude...I'm thankful that experience is over and I learned from it and thankful for all the good things in my life right now: my sweet dog, Zoey; my health; my great work environment and ability to contribute at the non-profit; doing interesting, fun, and meaningful work with my clients; my planned trip to Oregon to see family over Christmas; my family and nieces and nephew; and my excitement and hope for building a family in the near future. Now off to have a Thanksgiving cocktail!

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