Post 296 Taking responsibility for anothers happiness and “fishing”

’08 May 09 4:47 am Last Saturday night the owner of the fish and chip shop was off and while we were not short staffed, we became over whelmed because one of the new girls was, what I would call, “playing” games or “slacking off” that was also affecting the productivity of another new employee. We were in the middle of the supper rush so we coped as best we could. I was second cook and working out front and was frustrated with the unorganized order form and the coded scribbles that even the experienced people, including the owner, had trouble with. Several times in the past, I had mentioned to the owner, the need to change the form as the only person that knew what was going on was the person taking the order, but nothing was ever done. Needless to say, trying to interpret and work with that form gave me a restless night’s sleep.

Ever since I’ve been working there (and having been in my own business for twenty five years) I’ve made several time and money saving suggestions as well as addressed some safety issues and even made some devises, free of charge. Some she adopted and others she quashed. I wanted to see if what I had on mind for a form was practical so on Sunday morning I spent a couple of hours making up a new order and tracking form. As I was going to be in the area on Monday, I dropped by the shop but the owner wasn’t in, so I went though the form with a couple of the women on duty who said they liked it and would try it out and give the originals to the owner.

I worked on Wednesday but it wasn’t until Thursday evening that the owner mentioned the form and while said she liked it, I could feel that something was off, that she was trying to set me up, to bait me. She said that she just wanted to make a couple of changes, and I was OK with that until she explained what she wanted, which was basically to have her old hand drawn form done up on a computer. She asked me if I had saved the document and if I could make the changes. I told her that yes, I had saved the original document, but that what she wanted, would require a new form and I wasn’t interested in re-doing her old form that wouldn’t change anything and since I only had two more days to work, I could work around having to deal with trying to make sense out of the existing form. I could feel she was shocked by my reply and I knew she was reluctant to offer to pay me to make the form, so I told her that as she had a computer, she could do it the way she liked. The conversation shifted and was quickly dropped.

Saturday May 10, I was out on the deck getting some sun before going to work (my last day) and Marian came to the patio door and said in a cheerful but with a baiting undertone in her voice. “Yes, this is where I though I’d find you.” She then went on to say that her left leg wasn’t hurting as bad as it had been the past few days, and that today was a nice day to clean the inside of her car.”

As she was talking I felt her “fishing”… trying to bait me, wanting me to offer to clean her car because she had a sore leg.. But I wasn’t biting. I told her that if her leg was sore, that she could take it to a car wash, but she complained that they didn’t do a good enough job. I then said, “Well, you picked a nice day for it.” As I changed my tanning position, I commented that I’ll have to clean my truck one of these days too.

Later she came in and complained that her leg and back were now sore. I know that on the surface it appears that I’m selfish, cold and incentive, but there’s more to this story. While she claims to have a sore leg, (which is a truth) she has no trouble going out and about, meeting her friends and doing things with and for them, and then complaining to me about her leg or back. This is the classic “Oh poor me” trick that I used to fall for when we were married, where I’d take responsibility for her happiness, but not anymore. Not for her or anyone.

3 thoughts on “Post 296 Taking responsibility for anothers happiness and “fishing”

  1. John,Yah, "That's the way we've always done it." is NOT always a good reason for doing something stupid. But change is scary.No, I take that back. It's our perception of change that either scares us or makes us feel like it's an adventure. Attitude is everything isn't it? I don't know, but from your picture, you look like you've got a great attitude.Karen

  2. John,It's a sad fact of life (one that hopefully we learn sooner or later) that the only person you can really, really count on is YOU. The other thing is – if you don't take care of yourself you can't expect anyone else to do it either.Just my thoughts. What happened with the form?Karen

  3. Hi Karen,Nothing.. It was just dropped and I feel she is sticking with the old one. I feel she's also afraid of change. She has been in the business for 23 years, (owner for 10) but some things are still being done in the same way that the previous owner did them in the 60's…I'm picking up my last cheque tomorrow, and if she doesn't want what I designed, then I'll just delete it…John

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