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Monday, May 17, 1999

We had a fun little seminar today at work. This seems to be the season for seminars. We've had several in the last few weeks. This one was on disrespect in the workplace. It evidently started out of sexual harrassment problems but then expanded to include other forms of disrespect.

The problem is that what I consider to be disrespect, others would not, and vice versa. I have been told that I am unfriendly and cold because I don't hug everyone, but I consider people who hug and kiss everyone to be a little too familiar. With family and friends that's ok, but everyone?

I don't care if people go through my desk but others act like this is just a step above rape. Now I don't want people taking things and I don't want them in my purse, but the purse thing is because my credit cards and money are in there. My stapler is certainly off limits, but to get into my desk to look for something or even just get a paper clip, that's ok.

The real problem with all this is that some people think everyone is putting them down and being disrespectful. Anyone who does not MAKE them happy is against them. It never seems to occur to them that they are responsible for their happiness. These are the ones that never apply for a better job, but it's always someone else's fault that they don't get a better job. These are the ones that always look like they have lost their home, family, all their money and a couple legs, despite the fact that they have as much or more as other people.

Yes there are circumstances beyond our control, but, for most of us, we get what we choose to get. I live alone because I chose the avoid the hassle of getting a guy because I needed all my energy to raise my kids and I really didn't want to get involved with a guy, though I sometimes wish I had one around.

I have no money because I chose to spend my money rather than save it. Yes, even with raising kids I could have saved something, though we would have been able to do nothing but sit at home and read library books, while eating macaroni and cheese. Hey life's a bitch and the choices aren't always all that great, but we do have the freedom to make them and we are the ones who made them.

Sure people are disrespectful to others but we need to decide if it's deliberate or just their cultural or personality kicking in. Give a little. Relax a little. If someone is truly hateful and screaming at you, or just be nasty and sarcastic, yes, you don't need to take that.

But if someone just handles life differently or has different hangups while allowing you to live life your way, well, that's ok. I don't need everyone to be eternally "nice" because that would be boring and the people would be fake. I would rather have a little friction than hypocrisy and lies. If you really don't like someone, all the smiles in the world won't make you like them.

On the the other hand, I much prefer to be around happy people. I like people who see the humor in life and the absurdity in living. A little cynicism, as long as it's leavened with a little hope, is certainly enjoyable as anyone without cynicism is avoiding real life, but if someone doesn't want to be happy, that's ok, I just don't want to be around them very long.

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Biked - 8 miles

Rachel Aschmann 1999.
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