It's Not About What Happens, It's How You Take It
Yesterday, when I was at work waiting tables for Sunday Breakfast, the host Q-Ball (his name's Quentin, but I call him Q-Ball) was seating a group of three in my section. Just as I was about to zoom over and introduce myself, Ron, who was working the section right next to mine, swooped over and said to them, "You want to sit in my section? It's right over here." and ushered them to his area.
This is a no-no. It's called "stealing tables" and it's not really fair. The host (or hostess) seats by rotation so that everyone gets an aqual number of tables. Ron already had two parties he was waiting on, while my section was totally empty.
Suddenly, everyone's up in arms about the incident. Another wait confronted Ron and got into an argument (right in the middle of the dining room) about what happened, saying it wasn't fair, and it got really heated for a few moments there.
I, on the other hand, wasn't going to let it bother me for two imortant reasons. For one, going all ballistic wasn't going to change the situation or help matters any, and two, I knew Q-Ball saw what had happened and would seat me more frequently and with better quality people than he would Ron.
And I was right, Q-Ball hooked me up. While Ron had his three little parties, my section was filled.
"How could you let Ron disrespect you like that?" one of the other servers asked me.
"He didn't disrespect me -- because I didn't let him," I replied, "I'm not going to let the fact that he's a jerk ruin my day, that's all."
I swear, the worst thing is how people just don't understand where I'm coming from. That bugs the hell out of me more than anything else.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand.
Nobody can make anyone feel anything. Ron can't disrespect me if I don't allow myself to feel disrespected. Nobody can put me down unless I allow myself to feel put down. Nodody can ruin my mood-- or my day --unless I let it happen.
"He made me feel guilty because I didn't call when I said I would." No, you let him make you feel guilty. Should you feel guilty? That's not really for me to decide.
I just don't let crap like that get to me. Letting someone make me feel guilty, upset, angry, or depressed is giving them power over me, and that's not cool.
'Tis a far, far better thing to focus on what I can do to make the situation better (like taking extra special care of the guests I do have to make up for the table I "lost", for instance).
Anybody who has the attiude "I ain't taking no shit from nobody, nohow" has to be constanly on guard, from the cashier who shortchanges them a dime, from the whithering glance of a receptionist, to the words (or tone of voice) of anyone they encounter, ready to confront even the slightest of idignities. Anyone with that sort of attitude must be exhausted all the time or have killer migraines.
That sort of never-ending battle I just don't have time for.