So, in my line of work, I mainly work with women. Most of our employees are women as are most of our customers. We found out early on, most (single and/or straight) guys just don’t think it’s that important that their dog NOT smell like dirty feet. That is until there is a woman in their lives. The tide is slowly changing, but for the last six years we’ve been trying to explain the benefits of our business to every man with which we’ve discussed our business. In any case, I am used to a certain way of making my way through this life. Being nice.
This works out really well for me most of the time. However, when we’re actually trying to GROW the business, we many times have to deal with men. Commercial brokers, bankers, contractors, property owners, etc. This would all be fine, except for the fact that again, most men don’t “get” our business. So, we have to explain it over and over while they sit there with a smirk on their faces. There have actually been times that I’ve expected to be pat on the head while hearing, “That’s so cute…”
Today was close to a breaking point for me. We are sub-leasees at the newest space, so have had limited contact with the contractors. However, this is our 5th shop (but 6th finish out) and we’ve done three THIS YEAR, so we know exactly what we need/want. We gave them detailed, exact plans with measurements, specs of our equipment, etc. Long story short, I found the contractor today to express my unhappiness with their plumber. There have been many mistakes and each one they have somehow tried to blame on us. Yet, we just keep smiling. Being nice. Today, however, I was just being straightforward. His response? “We don’t work for you. You’re a subleasee." And he was pissed. Really, asshole? Yesterday you were asking for our future business. Oh, yeah, and then he didn’t speak to me the rest of the day, which is super mature in my book. As you can tell, I’m still upset about it. It really bothers me knowing that his first instinct was to treat me like I was being a bitch when it was HIS subcontractors who had screwed up. What bothers me more is that I’m bothered by it at all.
It is not in my nature to be a hard-ass. However, these last 6 years have shown me the errors of my ways. Watch out world. Now I just need to work on not crying when I’m really, really mad :)