(Photography Credit: Jamie Beck | Ann Street Studio)
Let me start by saying that this essay isn’t what I’d originally intended, when I began writing today.
After waiting five (yes…five) excruciating weeks for my iPhone 5s to arrive, my new baby – Siri – finally appeared yesterday. I was going to tell you all about how much I love her; and how she’s already starting to make life a little more convenient. But, that won’t be what I’ll share about, today. Ultimately, I’d rather talk about something that’s meaningful. (Does anyone really need another, “OMG, I got my iPhone!” update, anyways?)
Instead, I’d like to talk about a recent decision that I acted upon… What lead to making it, why it’s meaningful, and the consequences that have followed.
Decisions are, generally, pretty simple things; right? Each of us makes them, every day. “What shirt will I wear today?” or “What will I have for breakfast?”… (Or, even: “Do I WANT breakfast, today?”) We decide on how to live out our days, with such ease that the choices become unconscious. That is, until something presents itself that is so striking, you’re forced to pause and really think about how you should act. How would you handle yourself, if someone accidentally spilled coffee on the shirt you’re wearing? Or, if you were served breakfast with an insect in your meal, how would you react? In moments like these, decisions have the potential to go from “ordinary” to “extraordinary”…whether we realize it or not.
For me, my typical nature is to be laid-back about things. My philosophy is that incidents like “spilled coffee” or a “fly in my omelet” are accidental…not intentionally offensive. Though it’s not in my spirit to behave assertively in accidental moments of disrespect, recently, I made a decision to take a stand.
What lead to making my decision? (And – What exactly happened?)
Well, I’ll tell you… In case you’re new to knowing me, I’m not just a blogger. I, also, have a background in marketing; and I work for an organization that produces nationally-televised shows on a major TV network in America. (One thing I haven’t mentioned, is that I’ve also been the Managing Editor of a women’s magazine…and that I’ve interviewed some notable personalities, such as Olivia Newton-John, Josie Bissett, and Denise Austin.) I disclose these things here-and-now, not to toot my own horn or pat myself on the back; but, rather, to explain that I’m someone who (though I’m still relatively young, at 31 years old) has a degree of journalistic credibility. In plain terms, I’m not new to writing articles or interviews. True, I’m not someone who has been published through Conde Nast or Meredith; but, I do know my stuff.
Not long ago, I reached out to an entity and proposed writing an article/interview, for this very blog. (For personal and legal reasons, I will not disclose the identity of this entity. I will only say it is an entity that is growing in popularity; but, is relatively new.) Without spelling out more info than necessary, the Entity declined my “pitch”. But, here’s the thing: the Entity was dismissive, toward my request. No – the Entity acted dismissively, towards me.
Nobody likes feeling rejected. (Especially, this little blogger/marketer/editor/suffragette.)
And, so, after taking some time to collect my thoughts… I made the conscious decision to reach out to the Entity again… This time, with a purpose to expose how things could have been handled differently.
Why is this meaningful?
Because, it’s been a great lesson in tolerance, professionalism, and tact. I’m always learning about myself; and, through this experience, I discovered where I’m really willing to draw a line…and “not” be passively-tolerant. I also learned that it’s really important to strive for “staying classy”, even in situations when you might feel emotional.
In my message to the Entity, I tried to strike a balance between being firm…but, also, being “kind”. Like the imaginary server bringing me the imaginary fly in my (imaginary) omelet, the Entity wasn’t out to upset me. Most likely, they were totally clueless that they’d done anything “wrong”. Therefore, I positioned my message from a place of thoughtfulness, so that we both (myself and the Entity) could gain something from our exchange.
What have been the consequences?
It’s hard to tell, whether my memo had much impact on this entity. Up to this point, the “E” hasn’t responded. But, I think…no…I know…that the Entity got my message, loud and clear. The “E” must have taken some of what I said to heart, because I’ve noticed a difference in the way that they interact with others who aren’t so different from myself.
So, do I have any regrets, in taking my stand? No. And, yes.
I’m proud of myself, for getting out of my comfort zone and directly expressing my views. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, particularly because I’m a gigantic enthusiast of this entity.
On the other hand, I have potentially risked closing the door on any future opportunities, when it comes to working with the Entity down the road. (Not happy about that. If anything, it saddens me.)
In the end, I just have to tell myself that I did what I felt was the right thing to do.