Business is Business

by Lisa Donovan

I have learned a hard lesson. I have always wondered why people are hard nosed (and mean) when it comes to business. I never understood why - I always thought “well, geez, lighten up”. Now that I am dealing with sloppy ex-tenants/careless landlords and the contractors that we are paying to clean up their mess, I completely understand. If you don’t find a way to get the message across that you are not going to tolerate being taken advantage of, people will unfortunately walk all over you. I have been fighting this admission my whole life, but I am coming to find that it is (90% of the time) an accurate statement.

A few years ago, my very best friend adopted quite a tough minded mean streak. Through our teen years she was always the one sticking fun-yuns up her nose and doing cartwheels down the hall. She was as light of a personality as you could find. Then in her mid-twenties, she became very edgy and dealt with any money exchange manners in a way that I felt was, at the least, very counter to her personality. She was just downright mean - a ballbuster to the ‘enth degree. She came right out and said that it was because she was tired of being taken advantage of because she was nice. “Oh” I thought, “that is so horrible… You can still be nice and expect to be taken seriously”. What I am finding out is that what I was interpreting as her being a hardass was, indeed, just her being very clear and direct about what it was that she needed and what she expected and what she felt she deserved. It doesn, entirely, come across as difficult - but I am finding that it is necessary in this world to make sure that you aren’t getting steamrolled.

So, I am trying on my stern hat and (after the housecleaner left the house unmopped after I wrote her a check for $150 to scour the place from top to bottom) I am going to have to handle this move with utter directness. The days of me acting like a kid who doesn’t deserve to be given the same quality as a rich middle aged businessman are over. My money is as good as theirs and, quite frankly, is much more difficult to come by. Hopefully, though, I will find a way to marry my inherent consideration for others with my necessity for quality assurance. I have a feeling it will come off as smoothly as Goldie Hawn playing the role of an intelligent woman though - not very convincing. Wish me luck!

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This entry was posted on Monday, May 8th, 2006 at 9:30 am and is filed under Communication, Communication, Daily Living. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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