Throughout the course of my life, I’ve learned a few things that remain true to my character: I hate confrontation. I like to make people happy. I often take on more than I am comfortable with. I have difficulty saying no when people ask me to do them a favor.
Does this make me a pushover?
Well, possibly, until pushed too far.
Allow me to present a scenario. So I have this relatively new job – teaching piano lessons through a local music company. I sort of like the job, but certain aspects of it really annoy me. Such as the lack of professionalism in the office. Or the lack of respect for personal boundaries. Or the way a certain employee describes a particular parent as a “bi***.”
Yesterday, I went in to teach my lessons and discovered that I had a new student that they hadn’t yet told me about, and that would be my last lesson of the night – 8:00 to 8:30. I was a little annoyed, but whatever – Doug was on a business trip, so I didn’t need to rush home. Plus, extra $7. Oh, did I forget to mention that I only make $7 for a half hour lesson? When I was taking lessons, I paid $10 for a half hour lesson, and that was only because I had several siblings also taking lessons, so we got a deal.
Anyway - after one of my lessons was over and I was waiting for my next student to arrive, a certain employee asked me if I would mind subbing 3 lessons (3. THREE.) for a teacher tomorrow (which is now today). I agreed, although I certainly wasn’t thrilled about it, because I’m picking Doug up at the airport tonight and wanted to have enough time to primp and curl. So, he/she said my first lesson was at 5:00 and they were all really young kids. So, I figured they’d each be half hour lessons, so therefore, I’d finish at 6:30 and have plenty of time to get dolled up and go to the airport.
This morning, after thinking through it a little more, I decided I should double check on the times of the lessons, just to make sure I’d still be able to get to the airport in time. Good thing I did. A certain other employee answered the phone, and I explained that I was subbing, which he/she knew. So I explicate the situation.
Me: “I have to pick up my husband at the airport tonight, and I wanted to double check the times of the lessons so I can be there on time.”
Him/her: “What time do you need to be at the airport?”
Me: “His flight arrives between 7:30 and 8:00.”
Him/her: “Okay… you have a 5:00, a 5:30… a 6:30… and a 7:30. So you’ll be done by 8:00.”
Umm… that’s 4 lessons. 4. FOUR.
So, I calmly and professionally inform him/her: “Okay, well, I’m going to need to cancel that last lesson, because I need to be at the airport by then.”
Him/her: “Why? Can’t you leave here at 8:00 at get to the airport in time?”
Umm… “No, his flight comes in before that.”
THEN he/she says……… “Do you think your husband would mind waiting at the airport for a little bit?"
My first reaction was to respond with either:
a. “Actually, I’m sure he won’t mind walking home from the airport.”
b. “You know what? Let me just call his airline and see if they can just delay his flight. I’m sure no one else has anything to do – they can all wait a little bit!”
Thankfully, I’m not as rude out loud as I am in my head, so I caught myself before I blurted out one of those responses. Instead, I told him/her I would need to check with my husband and call him back.
Am I overreacting? I mean, I’m doing YOU a favor. And it’s not the first time stuff like this has happened. When I was first telling them my availability for lessons, I agreed to do Saturday MORNING lessons. Apparently this was unclear, and I wound up saying I would teach 10-1 on Saturdays. So, this same guy/girl calls our boss to have me added to the calendar, and tells him I’m available 10-2 on Saturday. After saying this, he/she turns to me and says, “Well, could you do a lesson at 2, so you’d be done by 2:30 or 3?” I’m sorry, what part of MORNING or even 1:00PM do you not understand?!
So… maybe I’m a terrible person. But after talking to Doug on the phone just now and explaining the whole ordeal, I’ve made a decision.
No. I am not taking on the fourth lesson this evening. I WILL be at the airport to pick up my husband ON TIME, after we have just spent our first night apart since being married.
Oh, and I am turning in my 2 weeks notification this evening as well.