Friday, September 2, 2016

Stand Up

I am so proud of me. A little background will come first.

I am a person who does not want to hurt someone else's feelings. That is a virtue most of the time. But it can be limiting to me.

I do not like to argue. That does not mean that I cannot argue; I just do not like it.

I once made that comment to a co-worker. She took it to mean that I would always back down from a conflict.

I worked in the cash office and she was manning the service desk that night. If postage on a package was an unusual amount the service desk would come to the cash office for a metered postage stamp.

She proudly came to the window and ordered 87 85-cent meters. I told her to use the 85-cent stamps provided for her in her cash drawer. That is why the stamps were there.

She said there were too many packages for her to lick that many stamps. I said that was why there was a moistened sponge beside the weight scale. She stomped away.

After a time she was back at the window. She had 87 85-cent stamps that she wanted to exchange for meters. I again refused her. She stormed away.

She came back with a stronger demand for the meters. "Do you mean to tell me that the United States Postal Service is refusing to serve me?" I told her, "No. I am." She managed to get the stamps on the packages by herself.

To be honest I probably would have given in and made the meters which would have taken me from my other tasks if she had not come at me in such an imperious way. Then I would have been in trouble with my superiors for not having her use the stamps in the first place.

That is an example. I was not trying to hurt her feelings. She had a job to do but she wanted me to make it easier for her at the expense of me being able to do my job. She was obviously not concerned with my feelings.

But I digress.

I needed new tires for my SUV. I went to a tire shop. They gave me the price of the tires and told me I would have approximately a 2 hour wait. I gave my keys and went to wait. I had something to read with me so the wait seemed less than it was.

I was called up to the counter. I was ready to pay.

I was told that three of the lug nuts would need to be heated and taken off that way because they were fused to the wheel. It was estimated as a two hour job. I would be charged according to the amount of labor actually used so I might pay a little more or a little less depending on the actual labor time.

What choice did I have? I reluctantly agreed.

Almost exactly 1 hour later I was called to the front. My car was ready to go. All I needed to do was pay them.

The man presented me with the bill that included the charge for 2 hours labor to take off the lug nuts. I half-heartedly questioned the price because it took less time. He explained that the technician had charged for the full 2 hours.

I sighed and began to turn my head in disgust. I was going to have to pay for something I did not receive but what was I to do?

Then it hit me! Stand up for yourself, dummy!

I pointed out to the man that it had been only an hour since he called me up to explain the problem. He looked at me and begrudgingly said he would give me a "discount".

The discount was the same as 1 hour of labor. I stood up for myself. I was not rude but I was firm. I did not yell or cry or make a scene. I simply asked for my due. And I got it.

So yes I am proud. Perhaps not for the reason you might think.

I learned a lesson. That is the reason I am proud of myself. I did not hurt anyone. I simply asked not to be hurt myself. I am probably a little old to have learned the lesson but learn it I did. And I am proud I did. I stood up for me.


  1. I am no prone to argue, but there is right and wrong.

    1. Exactly right. If he had said at the beginning that it was a set price I would have paid it. But he was the one who told me that it depended on the amount of time and that it might cost more or less.

  2. I hate confrontation and grieve after having to do it. I have learned to be OK with it over the years. Being a people pleaser in life is a tough road but one you can learn to stand up for yourself as you did. Not fun initially but so worthwhile in the long run.

    Well done, Emma.

  3. It is always easiest to give in and not have to confront someone even though they are wrong. In both situations, you handled them very well and we're not taken advantage of...good for you, Emma~


  4. Folks who stand up for themselves when they know they are right make the marketplace --and the world-- better for everybody. You did good. Thanks!

    1. All this praise is going to go to my head. I thought I was puffed up before. You are right however. We have been trained to take the abuse offered by people we are paying for a service.

  5. Good for you. I'm easy going until I feel someone is taking advantage of my good nature. Then I get as firm as I have to get.

    1. I do hate to generalize because it goes against what I believe but... I think men are better able to deal with these types of situations. They have been taught to be in charge of their environment. Women have been taught to be "nice" and not to hurt someone else's feelings. What they forgot to teach us that it should not hurt someone else's feelings if we firmly stand up for ourselves.

  6. But it takes a long "cooling" down period after that.

    That is my experience.

    Very excited.

    1. I only need to cool down after being angry. I seldom am angry so I stay cool. I was not angry that day. I just simply wanted to be treated fairly. I felt exhilarated at standing my ground and achieving good results.

  7. Well done, Emma. I think it is worth to defend oneself in an unemotional way (if possible), and I then one isn't thought of as daft.

    1. As far as i can tell anger never really solves anything and usually only makes things worse. Calmness is much stronger.