My Tail Between My Legs Comes at More than One Cost

dog tail between legsIn my last post I wrote about conflict. You can find it here if you want to catch up before reading this post.

I mentioned in the last post about attempting to confront, starting to confront a boss about not getting paid for a visit to walk a dog when I was pet sitting as an employee.

When I first started the job, I was briefed about policies by the owner, who was quite personable and I liked her a lot from the start. My schedule was emailed to me every Sunday night and she started me out slowly so I wasn’t overwhelmed and inundated. She seemed fair.

One policy was that if she’d put a visit on my schedule but I’d reached the destination without cancellation from the client and if the client decided they didn’t want me to walk the dog, I’d still get paid for that visit.

Well, one particular time while I was training a new employee, I  met said employee at a fairly regular client’s house who was on my schedule. The client was home, so this was a chance for the new employee to not only meet the dog, but also the human client.

When I asked if she wanted us to take her dog for a walk, she said it was too hot. So shortly thereafter, the new employee and I were on our way.

When I received my pay, which should have included that visit, the money for said visit was missing.

So I asked my boss about it through email.

She wrote back asking, “Why should you get paid for that?” And then she continued with “Just curious. Just curious. Just curious.”

Writing “Just curious” three times indicated to me she was agitated and probably felt that I was asking for something I had no right to be asking about.

I was confused. I immediately felt the stress from the fear of her response to my confrontation, building up. I didn’t understand at all why the sudden change in policy or her behavior. How was this different than other similar circumstances where she’d indeed followed through and paid me.

So I backed down. I told her too, foolishly, kissing her ass, that I didn’t want to get into it if it was going to cause trouble. AAAAAGHHHH!!!

I ruminated on this for a long time. The rumination I think is one of the most painful results of non-resolution. Even if she hadn’t given in to paying me (and I think I could’ve gotten her to, since I had a valid argument), if I had stuck up for myself and what I knew to be true and pointed out her own policy, even if I’d lost, I would’ve felt much better about me.

It’s not so much the outcome, although that’s important too, it’s more about how you walk away from it feeling about yourself I think. If I had stuck up for myself in this scenario, I would have still thought less of her and disliked her more. It would’ve told me more about her, while at the same time, I would’ve gotten the message across to both myself and her that I have no problem rocking the proverbial boat and that I will still say my piece in spite of any intimidation or contention.

A history of not standing up for myself in many situations has resulted in depression, rumination and lack of self confidence. In addition, those people who I backed down to, saw I would do just that, which gave them an easier opening to take advantage next time.

Of course the lack of self confidence was already there but that is a vicious cycle. It gets worse the more you don’t deal with conflict in a healthy way.

It has also chipped away at my self-respect, which is something else that was already absent in the first place to not stand up to conflict.

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3 thoughts on “My Tail Between My Legs Comes at More than One Cost

    • I kick myself when I ruminate about the incidents of backing down I’ve done.

      Your comment about the ‘just curious’ boss prompted a whole ‘nother post so I’ll write it out that way.

      Good to see you btw. I read your post about the tornado. Scary stuff and I’m glad everyone is ok.

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      • I’m looking forward to reading your post about ‘just curious.’

        I’ve done so little today, but I am exhausted. About all I did was get up on the roof and try to patch it, because it’s supposed to rain tomorrow and we can’t afford a roofer right now. Although I wasn’t up on the roof long at all — mainly just long enough to see that we must have a new roof — now I am wiped out.

        I don’t remember if I’ve told you that I have genetic hemochromatosis? Overwhelming fatigue is a typical warning sign that my iron level is probably toxic. That, and brain fog/muddled thinking, depression, ringing ears, aching joints, etc etc.

        Now that I am four years post menopause, I have no easy way to get rid of excess iron. Donating blood on a regular basis would help a lot. However my blood type is so rare that blood banks won’t take it, because they never need it. I try to avoid iron in my diet but that only helps to a point. I’ve been feeling so rotten lately that I have decided to pay a lab to check my iron levels after the first of November, when we will be able to afford it. If my iron is high as I suspect it is, I may try chelation, unless I can persuade my doctor to prescribe phlebotomies, so my health insurance will pay to have it done.

        Most drs. know very little about hereditary hemochromatosis. They typically don’t test for it, which is why I have to pay on my own for the proper tests. And even when the tests are abnormal, doctors rarely take it seriously, until the patient is almost at death’s door. Although HH is the most common genetic disorder, because the best treatment is simple blood letting, there are no pharmaceutical profit incentives for studying this disorder or for educating doctors on how to recognize and treat it, before irreparable damage is done.

        And…. I am not emotionally strong enough nor assertive enough to try to educate my doctor. Doctors typically hate when you do that, ya know? They tend to get an attitude like who in the heck do you think you are… and then the tail goes between my legs.

        Yes, definitely, we suffer in all kinds of ways when we aren’t assertive.

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