Turning from Fish to Shark

I rarely get upset. I rarely lose my cool. I think life’s best enjoyed if one is optimistic and happy not glum and sullen.
But I got mad and I turned from friendly fish to grumpy shark two days ago.
Because of some people’s impertinence.
Most of you who know me know I am the last person to explode and short-circuit. So it had better be something truly freaking mad to get my knickers all knotted up.
I can tolerate lots of stuff – from disorganization to messiness to unpunctuality, but if there’s one thing that throws me off tangent is rudeness. High and mighty rudeness gets me ruffled.
I won’t go into the specifics but it’s enough to say that it came from a potential client.
Over the years I’ve learnt that I will not promise what I cannot deliver. Far from getting excited over a new project, longterm though it may be, I told myself I ought to look deeper at the ramifications of this deal before I say yes and ‘burn’ myself. I tend too put too much effort into clients’ business to my own detriment. Yes, I can safely say I often want to help out a lot BUT often, I end up doing all the work and most people just piggyback and pretend not to see what’s happening.
So I learn my life lessons well (this of course comes from experience but I shall pay homage to Miss Oprah herself – her recent episodes on Astro’s Hallmark channel have been highly motivating for me) and I count to 10 before I say anything to the other party (usually clients lah), no matter how interesting, fun, fabulous the upcoming project might be.
I don’t want to start what I cannot finish or promise to do. That’s my motto these days. I have only 24 hours to give and I must first give to myself BEFORE I can freaking give to others. Call me selfish. But in the long run, being selfish gives me space to grow.
Coming back to the issue at hand, yes, it was rude. I was tempted, oh boy was I sorely tempted to email off a scathing reply. But I remember, one must be classy even if one’s in a row or fisticuffs. I let the email sit for a day before I craft my reply. I can be damn icy if I want to be.
My point is, I don’t care if you come from a famous organisation or big business. I don’t give a damn. I’ve seen enough corporate asses in my days of working in a big organisation. I don’t need that crap. And don’t hide behind your organisation or job title. I could care less. What I care for is that one should be polite in emails. Politeness costs nothing but gives you everything. Politeness raises your profile in the other person’s eyes. Rudeness on the other hand gives a bad impression. I brook no rudeness, not from my 4 year old nephew and never from a corporate person. Ever.
Which brings me to another email from a client’s advertiser. He was interminably rude. Some companies think they run the world.
You know what I did? I replied. Of course I did. There are ways you can reply and let every word seethe frost and deliberate kindness. That’s why one has a vocab. And not just reply – remember to CC the people involved. I do not usually go tit for tat unless I get totally angry. That’s the other side of the Piscean.
So what can you learn from these 2 mad episodes? It pays to be kind and gentle and polite. Being polite is one’s best tool, yes, even if one is being sarcastic. You can sarcastic and polite and still be a lady.

3 thoughts on “Turning from Fish to Shark”

  1. *turns on the famous tune from JAWS*
    Wow, I hardly hear about you losing your cool – except the accidental Facebook wall post that you held a rotan to scare that poor little boy…
    And I totally agree with you that being polite and sarcastic at the same time is one of the best combination one can express when facing such situations. Give ’em back with good ol’ poise and wit, eh? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. OH YES!!!! YES YES YES!!! This one really ruffles me too. I am a lot like you, can tahan anything on earth (except smelliness) but when people just don’t bother to be nice to you, it really….GURGH! No manners!
    This is the first time I see my dear Maya so knotted up, man. I’ve also sat down, wrote spicy emails before….and then left it in draft for a while while I cool down. End up, I send a very ‘nicely written’ email without bringing myself down to their level.
    You are right, being nice cost nothing so why be so arrogant and think the world of yourself, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Oh my! This person must be super duper rude to make u blow up like this. I have know you for more than 5 years and I have never seen you like this before. Well, some people are like that, they feel they are super good and giant in size so they can be rude. They think they pay, so they can be rude. Ada gaya, tarak standard lor. Take it easy. Go for your yoga and have a shopping with Nic to calm down.


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