Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Things I Shouldn't Have to Explain (but Do)

This is a grumpy post. It's a grumpy sort of day. Don't get me wrong, this weekend was amazing in so many ways. The team I have trusted to help run my businesses were rock stars. If any of you are reading this, I assure you, this post is not about you. I can't thank you all enough for the amazing job you did helping run the shops, battle the mail, deal with red tape and weather and everything else.  My friends did everything they could to bolster me up. If you were one of the people supporting me this weekend, this is not about you, either. In fact, my heart swells. If you have asked me questions about your books and been polite, this post is not about you. It was a great weekend. There were a lot of laughs. My kids were in good hands. I got to slow dance to a live jazz band and play board games when the days were over and we made some money. And yet. . .

And yet there is this thing called queues. What that means is that you are in line. No, your project may not take that long. But there may be people in front of you who have a project that will take longer.I had an author get snarky with me recently. Something along the lines of "my book required no editing and already had a cover, where is it?" It is in queue. There's a process to this. And while yours may not take that much work (though, personally, I feel like there's no such thing as a book that requires no editing) there are others ahead of you that are taking up a bit more time. I've gotten a couple of calls lately about other things as well. "Can't you just take care of this? It will only take a couple of minutes." You're right. And man, I'll be grateful when I can attend to a task that a simple phone call will fix. But right now, I'm in the middle of bigger things that require a lot more than that.  No, I cannot bump you to the head of the line. No, I am not being inattentive. But there's a queue. That's just how it is sometimes.

And yet it's unfair for you to determine if this boundary I've set is reasonable enough for you to follow. I had a houseguest recently. Because of past experiences I set up some rules. Nothing huge, really. Don't leave dirty dishes when you leave, because I will be gone for a while and don't want to come home to moldering dishes. Pick up after yourself. Don't mail things here. And I come back to dirty dishes, stuff all over my house, and mail. Are these things major? No. 45 minutes of work and they were dealt with. But it's the point. Which is, if I say "I will do this if you do that," you don't get to let me hold up my end of the bargain and then not fulfill yours because you don't like it. It doesn't matter if I leave dirty dishes, I told you not to do so. Hypocritical? Maybe. But it's my house. My boundaries. And you need to respect those.

Along a similar line. . . and yet you don't get to tell me what I believe. It's election year, and this is all over. I'm so sick of seeing posts along the lines of "You are part of this party, so you do this." "You believe this, so you must think along these lines." Ironically, much of the time from the same people who implore me to understand that if I act or think a certain way then I am contributing to one problem or another regardless of my intent because that's how the other party defines it. I'm sorry, you can't have both. Please stop telling me what I believe or how I think because nearly every time you are wrong.

And yet, it's important to follow through on your word. If you say you are going to do something, do it. If you have been paid for a service, perform it. I understand life happens. Of all people, after these past 6 months, I understand patience. And grace. And selflessness. Because they've been shown to me countless times. But if there are people depending on you, a shrug and a "it's not my fault" is behavior I don't tolerate out of my kids. I don't much care for it in adults. Please try. Put yourself in someone else's shoes and try to act like you wish they would if you were in this position. Please.

So, there's my grumpy post for today. Thank you for your patience. Do you have anything to add to the list? Please do so in the comments.

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