WHEN SOMEONE POKES YOU, POKE BACK
Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020
A few decades ago, that was an incomprehensible phrase, lousy grammar, and an incomplete sentence.
Today, we do that many times every day, often without much thought or proof-reading. And sometimes we read, re-read, proofread, and save as a draft ~ knowing what we send might matter, might have repercussions. Often we should hit delete, but we hit send anyway.
Before we had a send function key on every website, email program, and cell phone – there was a simple telephone. In those days, the failsafe act was to hang up before someone answered – and that worked before there was ‘call display’ and other tools to track who called.
Before that …
Before that, we had face to face meetings.
And duels, with pistols at 50 paces.
And baseball bats …
Seriously, our world has gone wonky. We all know that if you poke an animal, or a person, with a stick – or even with a metaphorical stick, they will react. Angrily. Poke them again, see what happens. And again. And again.
I had this happen recently – and I needed to have a serious conversation with someone before I went out to buy a baseball bat.
I’ve not worked in a salaried job in ‘forever,’ Still, I know people – smart people, responsible people, not-lazy people, who get calls, texts, and emails at all hours of day or night, on weekends, statutory holidays, and when on vacation – and they’re bosses expect them to take it. I suggest they buy pistols and leave one at the store …
Why do we expect people to be bullied this way and still expect them to perform well, happily, and loyally? The gig-economy is no help, because so much ‘work’ these days is done on a contract, consulting, or gig basis – the customer is equipped to poke their supplier by phone, text, or email at any time of any day as if they were a 24/7 servant/slave. I’ve had this happen in small ways from time to time - I usually ignore it, push back softly with a satisfactory result, or tell the client to find someone else. Most of us don’t have that luxury of choice, or feel we have it, so we take it. One poke after another. And another.
The next time someone pokes you, poke back.
If they do it again, poke back again – more forcefully.
I don’t advocate using a bat or a pistol; I was speaking metaphorically, but we have to get their attention somehow. Good-natured, intelligent people should react positively to being corrected. But they don’t. It isn’t because they aren’t good-natured or thoughtful, it’s just that nobody likes to be called on their shite …