In my (fabulous, well paid) job, I often have to tell people something that they do not particularly want to hear, and something that they are going to have to pass of to someone else that is does not want to hear it. In that case, I am often asked how they should address this with the other person.
Now, I will say that I often ask for advice on how to say things. I am not always…uh, ever…the most tactful person and I sometimes ask for advice on how to “pretty things up”. I’m pretty blunt, and that seems to come across as rude. I try not to be rude. (That, however, doesn’t always work either). I understand when you need help getting the right words together.
What I don’t understand is why, when you don’t have the balls to go to someone and say what needs to be said, you think that *I* am going to be able to make that easier for you. Case in point:
I just received a call from a woman whose employer is making her pay for the family portion of her medical premiums, and wanted to know if she can pay for that with pre-tax dollars. Now, as previously stated, I should never be allowed around taxes, and told her that we don’t deal with that issue. What I can tell her, however, is that our plan does not allow for her to pay for her family share (we stipulate that the employer has to pay for the full cost), so I am doubly unable to help her. Not only am I not a tax advisor, but they are doing something that we don’t condone, and therefore have no knowledge of how to address.
She wants to know how she is supposed to tell her employer that.
Frankly, I don’t give a flying rat’s ass how you tell them, or if you tell them. We are not in the audit business, and while we say that the organization is supposed to pay for the entire portion, we don’t check up on that. I’m certainly not going to call them up and make them do anything.
Which is exactly what she wants me to do.
I can’t tell you how many times I am asked to give someone a call ,or just “happen” to send something in writing indicating exactly what that person wants known. You know what people? Pull up your big girl panties and tell them yourself. If you have a problem with it, it’s up to you to let your problem be known.
Of course, living in the society that we are, this does not make someone shake their head and say, “Oh! Of course this is my responsibility to solve – I’m sorry I had a momentary lapse of asshattedness there. You have a lovely day, ma’am!”
Au contraire. This is generally when I hear myself being called a very nasty name as the phone is chucked into the receiver (who knew that so many people are still using corded phones?).
I’ve been having some flares of depression lately, and many times it’s due to shit like this. I know that I’m an idealist, and I find it very hard to live in a world where people don’t take basic responsibility for themselves, and in general try to be respectful of the people around them. I find it disheartening that there doesn’t seem to be any movement in a positive direction. I find myself reacting to people with less and less patience, which makes me feel bad that I am sinking to their level instead of trying to be a good example.
(But, to quote one of my favorite sayings: If you can’t be a good example, you’ll just have to be a horrible warning.)