Sunday, 8 July 2012
A little tact goes a long way.
However, she’s a friend, and friends help friends, right?
So, after hours (days, more like) of working on this project for her, I am anxious to show her the result. It’s about 8 pm. After dinner, not too late, her kids are teenagers so it should be okay to just cross the street and knock on the door… at least, one would think.
I only planned to drop by, show her what I had done, and return home to put Lily to bed. Five minutes tops.
With eBook reader device in hand, I walked across the street, through the gate, and knocked on their kitchen door. Well, you would have thought I was an intruder they didn’t know the way her husband responded. He ripped into me, asking me why I didn’t knock on their door like a normal person, who did I think I was, I should have called first, blah, blah, blah.
No, I didn’t call, but we’ve never done that. They’ve never asked me, too. And I did knock on their door, but it wasn’t their front door. A front door I’ve never used because they have always invited me over through this gate. (No, I’m not exaggerating. If I’ve been through their front door more than once or twice in the ten years I’ve known them, it’s only after I’ve entered through their kitchen door. Heck, I’ve even helped my neighbor break into her own house when she accidently locked herself out.) So, to suddenly insist I knock on their front door, call before I come over, and chew me out because I didn’t? That went over well with me.
When he finally stopped ranting, I told him that all he needed to do was tell me and not be an ass about it. He continued to rant. I left several minutes later. (Really, all he had to say was, “We are having a family discussion right now. Can Laura come over when we are done?”) Instead, he takes his frustrations out on me as, apparently, he feels that Americans are very intrusive. (I am not the only one who comes over without calling and uses their back gate.) It’s been going on for ten years, and no one has ever said anything about calling before dropping by. For Pete’s sake, we are across the street from each other. I need to call? It’s not like I come by every day, or even once a week. Not even once a month, sometimes, if we are both busy. Now, I don’t stop by at all.
I have not talked to him since. I don’t see Laura that much either. It may seem petty, but I wasn't raised that way. I was raised that if you are a friend, you are always welcome. You never need to call. If I’m not there, still in my pajamas with my hair standing on end, in a rotten mood, busy, etc., then that’s what you get. But I am available to you. If you need me at 3 am and come over to my house at that time, I will get up to help you. Yes, I will. I’ve done it. (Of course, that can be abused, but I’ve never had a friend who did, nor have I ever abused it.)
The saddest part about this is that the two of us used to get along and enjoy having lively discussions. Those won’t happen anymore. Not until he apologizes. And since he expects me to apologize (HAHAHAHAHAHA), it’s not going to happen.
Tact is essential in business. Heck, it’s essential in life. (And knowing when not to use it as well.) With a little tact, none of this would have happened. Yes, a little tact goes a long way.
Posted by Marci Baun at 06:00