Thursday, May 8, 2008

Sender's remorse

Yesterday was so frustrating trying to think of something to make myself feel better about the "betrayal" I felt from our web/database developer.

Today I wrote a strongly worded email.  I documented the source of my frustrations and outlined why my LLC would no longer be patient with Clown's inability to follow through with anything ever.  I wanted to write that he should not try to manage anything ever again or even try to do business at all until he was willing to be responsible and shirk the lazy bastard costume.  Of course I left that out.

At first, I wrote the email as a cathartic exercise in venting.  Then, I realized that it would probably not hurt to actually send it.  I had a panel (Bubba and my business partner) review the text for any instances of inappropriateness or personal attacks.  It passed the critique after some minor editing.  And I read this email approximately 86 times in the past day.

Then I sent it.

Now I have sender's remorse.  Not so much because I feel so bad about what it said - because it was ALL true and VERY professionally stated.  No, I feel a little twinge of guilt about sending a strongly worded email because the email might "hurt his feelings" and "what's he going to think?"

HOW SCREWY IS THAT???  When I think about this person, his FEELINGS are about the furthest thing from my mind as I mentally scroll through all of the bad words one can use to label another human being in order to choose the appropriate one to adequately describe this Clown.  So after feelings of "well, I sent it.....heh, heh"  I tell myself "I was justified! I don't care what this Clown thinks!  Everything I wrote was true!"

I think my feelings of badness and stress boil down to "what kind of reaction should I be prepared for?"  I don't really like surprises in anything, much less not having the upper hand in a stressful professional situation.  So I sit and stew and think about "well, if he reacts this way, I can say" or "if he thinks this, I can point out"...  And dream up a thousand scenarios.

But also, I feel like this reaction of mine is a very female reaction to reprimanding someone in a professional setting.  Like we have to apologize for having power or for wanting to change someone's behavior that is inappropriate.  It's reminiscent of Maggie's post on how a lot of us are "nice girls" and do what we're told and don't rock the boat but also don't recognize our worth.

Well, I sent the email and it was FABULOUSLY written, and I can only wait and see what his reaction is - I'm not responsible for that part.


Jess said...

Good for you for sending it! And yeah, I agree that women in general worry more about how our actions will be received than men. And that's part of why we aren't as good at advocating for ourselves in the workplace. So I'm glad you did it despite your worry about the reaction. I hope he responds appropriately.

maggie said...

I KNOW. I don't think I will ever not worry about that stuff.

I wish I'd known you when you were looking for a web guy. Those are my PEOPLE. Next time!

Manda said...

Way to go! Sometimes people need an ass kicking. THEY JUST DO!