Monday, November 4, 2013

Let Your Yes Be Yes!

Even when it SUCKS!

Which, to me, also means let your NO be NO!  (Even when it sucks!)  And when shit happens, and life changes, consider how it's going to affect other people and COMMUNICATE!  I've got room for GRACE, but this is something ELSE.

I have run into this SO much, and it really makes me BANANAS.  Bat-shit crazy in fact, it's actually deal-breaker behavior for me.  "Deal-breaker behavior" means behavior that breaks the social contract where one person treats another with integrity and receives respect.  That's the deal.  Please don't break it.

I would MUCH rather hear something true (even when it's bad news!) than whatever someone thinks I want to hear.  I would rather be disappointed up front than led down the garden path to someplace that looks nice from a distance, and turns out to be VERY UNPLEASANT for everyone.  Even if the unpleasant destination remains the same no matter what, I'd rather be PREPARED for the destination than have to deal with the consequences of being there BY SURPRISE.

For instance... several years ago I attended a Women of Faith Conference, and they were launching the Revolve tour, which is a similar experience to WOF but geared towards the next generation of 12-18 year old girls.  As someone who was plugged into our youth group at the church we were attending (and as the mother of two girls of an appropriate age at the time) I called our youth pastor to see if that was something she would support.  She said it sounded like a great idea, that it coincided beautifully with the weekend they were planning to take the kids on a retreat, and they were already planning to separate the girls from the guys that year anyway, so RUN WITH IT.

So I signed up as a leader, and it seemed reasonable to expect that with 10 months to prepare and a youth group of almost 400 students to draw from, that 40 student passes and 5 leader passes (someone's gotta drive from Seattle to Portland in 15 passenger vans and chaperone!) should be pretty manageable.

At the time I signed up, I was volunteering as a World Vision sponsorship assistant, so I was unable to attend the info session, where I missed the very CRITICAL INFORMATION that the payment for these passes WAS DUE IN 30 DAYS.  So when THAT email came through from WOF, lemmetellya, there was a mad crazy phone call to WOF and our youth pastor to try to get these paid for!

Turned out that WOF had more grace than the pastor did.  The pastor led me down a garden path full of "I'll bring it up at the next staff meeting" and "The council needs to discuss it" until WOF threatened to place it with a COLLECTION AGENCY!  At which point, I got someone in management at WOF involved and they let me out of the ones I couldn't commit to myself, which left us with 2 leader passes and 10 student passes.  Which I paid for myself.

The next thing I know, I'm hearing from my daughters that they would rather go ON RETREAT with "everyone else" for the SAME WEEKEND.  Because this youth pastor has now made other plans!  And has no intention of supporting the trip to Revolve at all.  Yes, REALLY.  I had to take it up the food chain to a senior pastor at this huge church, who basically told me that it was my problem, and he's sorry if there had been any miscommunication, because he'd NEVER HEARD OF IT.  So I guess she'd never brought it up in the staff meeting or to the council or really, probably anyone at all.  And lo and behold, I wound up taking a friend and her daughter, my two girls and one of their friends and the daughter of another friend, and we just ATE 5 passes that never even got used.  And of course, the cost of the rental van (because of course, now the church vans were being used for the RETREAT!) and the cost of the hotel, but they at least let us cancel the block of rooms we had reserved for the large group we were expecting when we made the plan in the first place.

And hey, we had fun.  But I would have had WAY more fun staying home with my hubby and no kids and about $500 in our pocket to play with while they all went on the retreat with all of their friends.  No good deed goes unpunished.

There's currently a situation that has caused some really major life changes for us and has hurt us to the tune of several thousand dollars that is basically the same problem.  Someone wanted to "be nice" so they told us what I'm sure was what they HOPED would be true, or something that they were CONSIDERING, and we acted accordingly, and now that they've changed their minds, the expectation (and all the official paperwork agrees) that we're on the hook.  So we're paying it.  It SUCKS, and if they'd kept their mouths shut, it would have SUCKED even with plan A in place, but now it SUCKS in an URGENT way, because we made other plans based on their expressed change of plan, which has changed YET AGAIN, and they didn't have what it took to start the conversation with us because it was uncomfortable.  So they waited until we asked the "so what about...?" question, and then acted like we were crazy for thinking anything had changed... "it's been the plan all along, right?  We said what?! I don't remember that."  To quote one of our daughters, FUCKAKAKA.

So what is UP with that craziness?!  This is not even remotely isolated incident behavior.  I could whine for PAGES about being told one thing and having someone do another with no consideration for how that change might impact anyone else.  No apologies unless they're the lukewarm "I'm sorry you have a problem with it" variety.


  1. It's a pet peeve of mine when people won't just be honest. Sometimes, their hearts are in the right places - they don't want to hurt or disappoint. However, not being straight about things from the get go makes the hurt and disappointment far worse in the end!

    1. Yeah, it really does make it worse than it would have been in the first place! I just do NOT understand why people don't believe me when I tell them that I'd rather hear the TRUTH in the FIRST PLACE! GAAAH!