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The Human Advice Complex

9 Jan

Over my Christmas vacation I was talking with my parents about some of my goals and hopes for the future. The conversation turned to my career. Somewhere during this conversation, our communication broke down. I was trying to tell them my plans for the future and they were trying to give me some guidance. The conversation really broke down when my dad just kept repeatedly saying “you don’t listen to me.” His frustration was obvious.

Unfortunately this is where our conversation ended. I wasn’t willing to then try and listen to him, which caused more frustration from him. Here’s what I didn’t say and should have: “you don’t listen to me” was a favorite phrase of my ex.  He liked to utilize it often. He used it at the most inopportune times. Rather than offering a shoulder to cry on. Rather than expressing empathy. Rather than just being there for me with his support. The immediate response was always “you don’t listen to me.” Hearing these words from my dad in exactly the same tone made me snap. Well that was part of it.

The other part? Who in the hell asked you for your opinion in the first place?!

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3 Oct

This week is Employee Appreciation Week at work. Every October our Human Resources department works extra hard to bring the rest of us various events and ways of saying thank you.

The ironic thing about the week though is who’s doing the appreciating. The “top dog” actually isn’t around much this week. HR is working extra hard and there are many supervisors who dislike having to allow their employees to take part in various events of the week. I guess they’re just too focused on the work that has to get done to allow their employees a free breakfast or lunch. To this I have to say… seriously?!?! It’s the one week a year that employees get a little extra attention and instead of saying thank you, some actually lay on the guilt. So the week really ends up being coworkers appreciating coworkers, rather than supervisors appreciating employees. This is such a shame. Shouldn’t it be both?

There’s an interesting shift that’s happened lately due to our economic situation in America. Suddenly it seems that instead of supervisors saying thank you, it’s the employees who are saying “thank you for allowing me to work.” Lately I’ve been hearing a lot of “I’m just thankful I have a job.” There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. People should be thankful for the opportunity to work, especially when so many others are struggling so badly. But does this excuse supervisors from saying “thanks?” I think not!

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Forever, Kind of

2 Oct

I got to thinking more about my tattoos after writing my post yesterday. When I was going to get the first one I was telling my neighbor about it and he said, “yeah that will be good and you can always get it removed if you don’t like it.” Huh?!

Funny how in that moment this sentiment reminded me of marriage. Yes I’m comparing tattoos and marriage.

I didn’t go into marriage thinking if I didn’t like it I could get rid of it. I certainly didn’t get a tattoo thinking if I didn’t like I could get rid of it. But the truth is, we’ve created ways to get rid of these things that we don’t like or want in our lives any longer. Interestingly enough I hear tattoo removal is more painful than getting the tattoo in the first place. Funny how divorce is also more painful than the marriage in the first place. As it should be.

His comment made me wonder though – how many people go into these things because they know there is a way out? I’ve heard and read stories from people who claim they knew they weren’t marrying the right person, but they did it anyway. I don’t know any of these people personally, however, and it truly boggles my mind. None of my friends who have been through divorce felt this way. They all went into it truly believing that it was forever. And so did I. Same goes for the tattoos. I purposively got them in places that won’t embarrass me in 60 years… if I’m still around. My skin may get wrinkly and old but these tattoos should stay in tact for the most part.

Are some people really so spontaneous or crazy that they don’t think of these things ahead of time? Is this why we’ve had to create ways to get out of these forever situations that we put ourselves in? It’s my fault I was married. I made that decision. It’s my fault I’m divorced. I also made that decision. And it’s my fault I have ink on my skin that’s permanent. Let’s all take some responsibility here.

I’m torn on this topic. On the one hand, I really, truly needed a divorce. On the other hand, I don’t think we should all be so flippant about decisions in our lives that are meant to be forever. If you change your mind, fine. But there’s a reason these decisions are difficult to reverse. And they should be. Changing your mind shouldn’t be something we consider as we’re walking down an aisle or as we’re sitting down on a table with a needle nearby.

Forever love,