Here are a couple of things I know to be true. One, my first reaction to nearly any volatile situation is never the right one. And two, even when I succinctly and directly ask for what I need, there is still a damn good chance I won’t get it.
I wrote a few weeks ago about how I have taken on three new, major clients. There are some wonderful benefits, challenges and frustrations associated with each one. As expected. By and large, though, the frustrations are few, and I can already tell I’m going to rock them all. Eventually.
The initial fear I experienced related to two of the three has all but dissipated. Those clients love me, and I’m kicking ass on their projects so far. But No. 3 is a different story. I still have a lot of anxiety about how in the hell I am going to successfully pull off the mission I’ve chosen to accept without royally fucking up at least a portion of it.
No. 3 has a lot of moving parts, all of which I am taking over from what feels like an entire legion of people. Parts of the process have been smooth, but one has not. I have asked a copious number of questions in a myriad different ways, but I am still not getting the answers or the support I need from one member of the legions. I’m starting to realize that I am alone in that particular boat, and I’m going to have to whittle my own friggin’ paddle out of a log. But first, I have to chop down the dang tree.
*SIGH* I will figure it out, I know I will. Because I always do.
Yeah, that’s how I feel today.
Around 6 p.m. on Friday, however, I was wigging out. Why? Because I had just received an e-mail saying that this person was still, after a third round of carefully crafted questions and an outright plea from me, unwilling and unavailable to give me what I need.
Correction: she was not willing to give me what I want. Because truly, I can get what I need on my own. It will just take a shit-ton more time and effort. It is so irritating to have a resource RIGHT THERE that has essentially barred my access. (I also feel a bit like this person is talking down to me and treating me like I’m a moron, but that could just be my own insecurity talking.)
My first reaction was to fire off an “Are you effin’ kidding me?” e-mail in response. But I have a strong enough arsenal of coping tools that I knew that would have been a REAL bad idea. See? First reaction = wrong one.
My second reaction was to forward the e-mail to my main point of contact among the legions, and express (in a nice way) the roadblocks I felt were being lain in my path.
After that, I set aside my fury, went out with a girlfriend and had a fabulous time. Then, following a good night’s sleep, some prayer and meditation, I felt much better. Knowing for certain that I don’t have the support I was looking for is a blessing. I can stop waiting for it and choose a new plan of attack. Because this is ME we’re talking about, I already have a new to-do list in the works.
Having another couple of days’ distance from that ire-inducing e-mail has given me some additional clarity. Like, I have no control over how that seemingly difficult person perceives my requests. Maybe they are unreasonable to her. Maybe I have not done enough on my end to ease the transition. I also have no way of knowing the person’s true motivation for not assisting me. Maybe she really is too busy. Maybe she simply can’t understand why I would need more than she has already given.
I try to be accommodating and go out of my way for clients, friends and anyone looking for advice about starting a business. Because God knows there were plenty of folks who went above and beyond to propel me toward entrepreneurship. I am all about paying my good fortune forward. But I also have to set priorities and boundaries, or I would be so overextended that my head would explode.
I realize that it is not this person’s fault or problem that I need help. It is also not her choice to relinquish the reins. I would probably be a little resentful if I were her. And, if the tables were turned, I might even view the whole situation as a giant pain in my ass.
None of that matters, though. I have a problem that needs solving, and I have to change gears on how to solve it, bottom line.
On Sunday, I got a response from my main contact who has always been in my corner, confirming she has my back. Having her on my side is my single most important goal in this transition, so even though I have lost a battle of sorts, I am still winning the dang war.
Really, all I can do is my best, hope that it’s enough and let it go. If that means I now have to watch hours of tutorial videos and spend even more hours on rudimentary practice, so be it.
When my ass is on the line, THIS girl always finds a way to get the job done.
About Amy Higgs
A former newspaper columnist, Amy takes her random, slice-of-life stories to the web. After nine years, she's still just saying.