Amazingly, the Note I Wrote Didn’t Say No

So, I wrote a note at work.  I said “yes, we can do this for you”  in a roundabout way.  I never even insinuated that I meant “no,” but apparently I didn’t write YES in huge red letters, so that was taken for a no.

WTH?

Yes, this actually happened this week.  I wrote a nice note, letting someone know that I could do something for them, while at the same time letting them know, very nicely I might add, that there were some limitations that they needed to know about.  Apparently, said limitations were enough to get my needle over to the “no” on the old attitude dial.

It’s amazing to me that, as a service provider in our organization, I am asked to say yes to many things that are not feasible.  We do.  We say yes.  If I say no, OMG, it’s the end of the world, or so you’d think.  We only say no when it’s absolutely necessary, such as in a life safety code area or such.  If we say no, we have good reasons, in other words.  It’s not just because we like the word “no” better than “yes”, as if one, just by having less letters or something, is easier to type.  Saving that one letter doesn’t make my day any easier.

I do like to, as we all have to, give the limitations with “yes”, though.  I think that people who leave those out are doing a disservice not only to those with whom they work but also to those who will have to deal with the consequences of those left-out syllables.  So, I do give the bad with the good, when it’s necessary.  This week, it most definitely was!  There are definite limitations with what we could provide.  If we had not told them ahead of time, then all hell would have broken loose when they did what they asked us to do, because then we would have been blamed for not telling them.  Sometimes it feels like a no-win situation.

I am a good communicator, or at least I really try to be.  A lot of people don’t like email, but I do.  I like things in writing, that way there are no miscommunications or hard-feelings because someone doesn’t remember what was said.  I don’t mind calling someone to follow up on an issue or complaint – that’s part of anyone’s job.  I do feel, though, that rules and regulations should be written out because if they are not, then confusion reigns and people don’t remember what the actual law is.

I will make a good attorney.  I know this because I care about my customers, I want the best for them, and I am willing to tell them the bad news when they need to hear it.  There are many people with whom I work who are vastly, deathly scared of this last part.  I believe, truly, that that is a horrible thing, because I also believe it’s the most important part.

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