Etiquette School is in session! > "I'm afraid that won't be possible."

No, I can't be in two places at once... Waterlight's Spine Story #1

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<BG>Though I work in HR, I'm sometimes called upon to do translation/interpretation where I work, since I speak fluent Lavenderese.  In this particular situation, I had permission from my then-supervisor to spend a couple of hours interpreting for an event at another work site--as long as I got back to the office in time for an interview with a candidate who was flying in from out-of-state, since Boss would be out of the office all day and couldn't be there herself.</BG>

12:05 pm:  The event is over.  Coworker #1 has offered me a ride back to my office, since I don't drive and I took the bus directly to the other worksite in the morning.  He asks me to wait 5 minutes before he drives me back and I agree.

Sometime between 12:05 and 12:10:  Coworker #2 greets me and asks what I'm doing at her worksite.  I tell her I was interpreting Lavenderese for Worksite Event.  CW#2 says, "Oh, really?  I need a Lavenderese interpreter for a meeting with a parent at 12:30."  The interview with the out-of-state candidate, which I've been specifically asked by my supervisor to sit in on, is also at 12:30.  I reply:

"Sorry, T., I can't.  I have an interview back at MyOffice at 12:30."

"But YourBoss can do the interview!"

Normally, all it would've taken for me to be able to do the Lavenderese interpretation for T.'s parent conference would have been a call to MyBoss to let her know where I was going to be and how long I'd be gone.  But in this instance, I'm afraid it really wouldn't have been possible.  I would have been disobeying a specific instruction from MyBoss to be back at MyOffice for the interview--and I would have inconvenienced not only a candidate flying in from out of state, but also three or four other interview panelists who were coming in to MyOffice for the interview at 12:30 and expected me to be there.

"Sorry, no.  MyBoss is out of the office today so I'm the only person in HR, and I have to be back at MyOffice by 12:30 for this interview.  I can't be in two places at once."

CW#2 was not taking no for an answer well.  She made some snide remarks about me "not wanting to work with the families"--which was "an interesting assumption," now that I think about it--before CW#1 let me know he was ready to go.

I found out later, from someone who'd worked closely with CW#2, that she had been a bit of an SS to work with under the best of circumstances.  Somehow I was not surprised.   ::) 

Wow!  You're batting them out of the park! 

This request was MUCH easier to say no to than the request in Spine Story #2.  In this one, I really was unable to accommodate T.'s request because of a previous commitment at the same time.  In Spine Story #2, I was able, but unwilling, to do it.  Situations where I can accommodate a request, but for whatever reason just don't want to, are still hard for me.  Situations with Special Snowflakes--especially screaming Special Snowflakes--are just hard for me to deal with, period, whether I'm able to do what the SS wants or not.

So I might've batted this one out of the park, but I still strike out often enough to need wise advice from e-Hellions  ;)

Maybe reading enough stories where somebody feels MUCH HAPPIER after spine polishing and telling somebody wanting something from them that "No, that won't be happening" will help us ALL stand up for ourselves when we need to.  Hearing how there is disapproval and fallout, BUT the world does not end is always good!

Yay, Waterlight!

I have to wonder though, didn't Coworker 2 know that the parents attending the meeting spoke Lavenderese?  You would think she would have made arrangements.  After all, she did not know you were attending the event where she met you.


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