Whoooo wheeeee…am I on a roll about this one! Let’s see, how do I put it all into words. Oh I have plenty of words coming out of my mouth but writing about it is going to be a bit challenging…I think. We’ll see.
So in the course of dealing with my clients, there are times when I must interact with a client’s client (that’s just the easiest way to describe it). Actually, it’s pretty much a daily thing. Anyway, I have been trying to communicate with my client’s client for a couple of months now and Sub-client (that’s what I’ll call them for the purpose of this post) has been completely unresponsive to my communications.
Now when Sub-client needs or wants something, they have absolutely NO problem contacting me with their request. I make sure I respond right away and provide whatever is needed as quickly as I can. The last couple of times Sub-client contacted me, I thought, “Great! I’ll respond and ask my question again since they are emailing me.” I thought since they were emailing, I would at least get a reply back with possibly a, “Thank you and here’s your answer”. Nope, nothing.
After two months of non-responsiveness from Sub-client, I sent them an email stating my frustration with their lack of professionalism and outlined everything that was the problem. I certainly did not send this email without my client’s input, counsel and approval! I am the one responsible for making sure the work is getting done, and I am the one responsible for doing the work. I am the one Sub-client is not responding to so I felt I should address Sub-client directly.
This email was in no way meant to hurt or anger Sub-client. I did my best to outline the situation, stating the FACTS and providing examples, and offering suggestions and requesting to meet with them to discuss ways to help. I sent this email around 6:30 in the evening. Well, low and behold, I was slapped with a response within an hour!
Now in all honesty, I personally would have had my feeling hurt if I were to receive an email like this but then again, I am a people-pleaser and I never want anyone upset with me. However, I would have taken the time to reflect on what was said and whether or not there was any truth to it (there obviously must be if there are actual FACTS stated). I would think about my part in the situation before I responded and when I did respond, I would have tried my best to respond as professionally as I could and remove the emotion from it. I guess that’s only because of what I have learned over the years but we are not all the same, are we?
Sub-client’s response of course triggered all those codependent emotions. I immediately felt hurt because I hurt someone and someone was now upset with me. Oh the vicious cycle of codependency! Sub-client proceeded to tell me that I overstepped my position, would NOT meet with me and it was not my “place” to question their intent. Sub-client felt I was calling them a liar and a cheat, which I don’t see how they could possibly get that out of the email I sent. Sub-client also stated that, “if working with you in this capacity is a requirement… I will re-evaluate my commitment”. OUCH! That last line stung like you wouldn’t believe.
What do I do when I get hurt? Well, sometimes I cry and other times I get angry. Yep, this time I got angry. I was not going to respond out of anger and I didn’t have to respond at all. Sub-client cc’d Client on their response. I emailed Client all my “ugly” responses to Sub-client’s email. I had to reign myself in when it came to addressing the part about my “place”.
It is my “place” to make sure each XXX is doing what it needs to do to grow and flourish. It is my “place” to make sure each XXX is doing their job. It is my “place” to make sure each XXX is getting the help they ask for…but you have to ASK FOR IT! It is my “place” to make sure I receive the reports needed for XXX reporting. It is my “place” to make sure every XXX is entered into our system as quickly as possible and it is my “place” to send communications on behalf of the XXX. IT IS CERTAINLY NOT YOUR PLACE TO TELL ME WHAT MY PLACE IS!
I had to stop there because I could have gone on and on about what my “place” is in this situation and I certainly don’t like being full of myself but I also know…I can be ugly. Client responded to Sub-client so there was no need for me to and I wasn’t going to anyway.
It’s funny though, how after years of being a door-mat and a people-pleaser, and then years of learning to love, respect and accept myself, what kind of reaction this incident created within me. My first gut reaction was, “How dare you tell me it’s not my place!” and I had the overwhelming feeling of someone trying to push me down and put me back in my place. However, I DO KNOW MY PLACE! I know, in every situation/relationship in my life, exactly what my place is and I am proud of myself for knowing it!
I’m laughing at the situation now and using the humor in it all to be in a better place with it. Once initial emotions are worked through, I can take a step back and find some humor in it. Holding on to the anger and resentment does nothing but hurt me so why hold it? Sub-client sent me an email this morning with some information I had been asking for, for two weeks now and my response was, “Thank you Sub-client”. What more is there to say?