So true! I am always talking about jobs being like relationships, especially considering the amount of time we invest in them. I'm in sales and feel like all of my clients are my boyfriends and girlfriends, and figuring out exactly how they like things, what they respond to, what their moods mean, how to get what I want, etc., is just like learning a new significant other. The only issue is that it's not always the healthiest relationship, seeing that I need to make them happy but they don't necessary have to concern themselves with my feelings, well being, etc.
As others have pointed out, I've yet to find a doctor who doesn't hold my birth control ransom for a visit, paternalism in medicine still reigns supreme for female patients. But even more troubling is that I've now seen two different specialists after my GP thought something looked "abnormal" or just possibly questionable and wanted a "second opinion" to make sure she wasn't "missing something." All of the copays and parking garages and lab fees and actual bills later, I'm in debt and have found out that everything. is. fine. I was so sick of this doctor in the end, and as luck would have it she actually left and the woman who replaced her has been wonderful, until last week when she said "maybe just be to sure....." I feel like I've been going to the doctor every other month for three years for no reason besides fear of the unknown and insidious pressure from my doctors that took me this long to realize, "hey, wait a minute."
I come from a family of considerable comfort, and my parents have always given me more than I need and probably deserve, so I've always felt, even when I was in college and a "broke college student" to be that person who covers lunch or gives you a spare $40 cause you don't have any cash on you and never ask for it back, give rides and host people and cook dinners and all that. I have a lot, even if it has come from my parents at time and not directly from my own work, and I've always felt like I have something I can give. But even more so, I realize that not everyone is in that position, and that many may never be in that position, and I never look to those friends I've helped out and think "They've improved their lot in life, why aren't they paying it forward?" cause I know many have taken on bigger rents and mortgages in order to improve their life, or they have a car payment they never had, or they're finally getting to enjoy a vacation after years of staying home. I look at them and find happiness that they're happy. And then flash forward, I turn 30, make a bad career move, and decide to quit without another job and spend some time figuring out my shit. I can't tell you enough that without my friends and family I couldn't have gotten through it financially, both accepting some money from my mother and allowing my friends to treat me to meals and outings. When I had no money to spend on fun nights out, my friends made it a point to say "this one's on me" so I could get out of the house and we could socialize like "normal." My roomie bought us Indian delivery every Friday as a treat, never asking for a dollar, and it was such a wonderful time in my life to see that flip, to see that people want to help in whatever big or small way. I think you've got quite a lot of time left to contribute to people's lives in helpful and meaningful ways, never underestimate the importance of listening to your friend bitch and moan or cry or breakdown or just talk. Just because you're not having to rely on other people doesn't mean you're yet at the stage where you have so much to give, lots of in between and gray in there. There will (hopefully) be a time when you can give back in bigger ways, and there may be times when you need to accept help again, don't fret too much about it in a payback way, it all comes around. Related, highly suggest Adam Grant's "Give and Take," very interesting take about selflessness as a strategy for financial and personal success and a way to increase everyone's pie.
love this, thank you
I've always been puzzled by feeling such debt toward parents simply for having you, the same way I am not swayed by abortion arguments about potentially aborting future presidents and cancer curing geniuses. We did not ask to be born, and as infants and tiny humans we are unable to provide for ourselves. For at least half of our adolescent lives we are fully dependent, not because we refuse to do our part or are greedy little bastards, simply because that is the hand nature has dealt us. And if we are to count 18 or more years of a parent taking care of us under the guise of it being "out of the goodness of their hearts" and as a debt to be repaid, then how could we ever repay such a debt?! It would be immeasurable and impossible. And then what to say of the parent who, though they fed and clothed and put into the best schools and ballet classes and provided home cooked meals for their family, was emotionally manipulative, abusive in any way, cold and uncaring, or constantly let said child know that this support comes at a price to be paid in the future - are we to say this parent "deserves" the support of the child because they made the decision to become a parent? Some people often say that being a parent is a rather thankless position, and I'd agree, but I'd also argue that that is the position you are signing up for. It would be like a volunteer signing up to volunteer then getting upset that they aren't getting paid after the fact. It's not romantic or sentimental, but it's closer to the truth. I guess I think about the sway that less than good and some terrible parents still have over my friends' lives, even as they are independent adults taking nothing from these people and haven't in five, ten, fifteen+ years. Some of these friends even supported the family before government recognized adulthood, and continue to support bad parents out of guilt and shame. While my parents surely gave me a leg up in this world and provided for me well beyond the necessities, perhaps the way they have privileged me, the best gift they have given me, is the freedom of this guilt; they see repayment of their upbringing as me being independent, intelligent, and happy. Thankfully that's all they ask of me.
@erinep I was definitely channeling AAM on how I handled this! I looked through some old posts, but at this point I think I've internalized her and was able to reach out to the potential new boss in a professional, diplomatic, and ultimately successful way.
@inthepost I actually reached out to the future potential boss, who I've known for a few years as a casual professional acquaintance, and delicately explained that it didn't go so hot and I'd love to chat with him/get his advice on how to proceed. Over the course of the conversation, it was clear that it is known that this guy acts this way, that it's merely a courtesy to consult his opinion but not the make it or break it, and even though I was only gently hinting at this, he definitely picked up that it was giving me doubts and was very relieved when I told him it wasn't a deal breaker for me so long as this guy isn't someone I report to. In reality, this not so fun guy won't be a part of my world, and the potential boss confirmed this, and even said that he hired someone the other guy passed on several months ago and said new employee is thriving. Just had my second conversation with the sales bro, gave him a little of what he wanted, addressed a few things, and ultimately it went well. Fingers crossed for the offer!!!
I just had a TERRIBLE phone interview last night, was supposed to be a corporate check off of sorts, as the people here locally had already extensively interviewed and have told me I'm their top choice, but I got the most bro-tastic sales douche who grilled me on trivia, asked me what I did in HIGH SCHOOL, told him about my competitive sports AND my clarinet playing, which he derided "while it's great you played the clarinet, i want competitive people on my team, i want WINNERS." He basically cut our conversation completely, told me he questions if I really want the job, and told me to "do my homework" and call him back in a few days. Floored. How can i have five unbelievably good interviews with normal humans only to get this guy, who's not even the top guy AND isn't local/would have minimal direct influence on me, be so awful?! And all I could think is that he's probably hired only LAX brah morons because the two things he looks for in an employee is a high school sports history and the ability to memorize unnecessary data, and for that he's actually putting a cap on his commission. His loss.
How about when your unrequited love, to whom you professed your love and was painfully shot down, somehow finds and begins to date Alternative Me?!?! I hate her.