I reflect continually on gratitude, consider myself a positive spirit, and truly try to see the best in people. Subsequently, one of the things that I find most challenging in life -- particularly professionally -- is dealing with acts of douchebaggery. Or more specifically, the self-centeredness and complete lack of decorum that seems to take over when people have only one thing in mind: their own agenda. For example:
1. People who accost my friends or family to bridge introductions for them so they can “pick my brain” (worst term ever btw) or “get on my site.”
2. “Friends” who come out of the woodwork asking to pick my brain or get on my site. Often times I haven’t spoken to these people in years and/or can barely remember what they look like.
3. People who e-mail me asking about partnerships, followed by a painfully transparent description detailing a unidirectional relationship in their favor.
4. People who accost me at events without so much as introducing themselves, then start drilling me with questions about monetization and traffic and how they can create what I have created, by, say, next week.
5. Acquaintances I have made through completely different professional contexts who later find out about Boston Mamas and call my cell phone (a number they otherwise would not have) without bothering to set up an appointment in advance and then bombard me with consulting questions.
6. The woman who gave me a facial on Saturday and started pushing her to-be-published book on me, asking me to feature it on Boston Mamas.
Sadly, I experience almost all of these six acts of douchebaggery every week, but it was the last example that pushed me over the edge this weekend and prompted me to write this post. I can’t even begin to express how bummed out I was. There I was, five weeks away from giving birth, trying to do something nice for myself, attempting to enjoy one of the few areas in life where you pay to have it all be about you. And the person made it all about them. While she had me in the compromising position of excavating my pores, for f*ck’s sake.
Those who know me know that I love communicating with people. I love to welcome people openly and I try to be a helpful and generous person. I believe I am this person with those with whom I have real relationships. But I’m human and have my limits (and, as a freelancer, also rely on my consulting skills to help pay for our exorbitant out-of-pocket health care coverage, among other things). And while some days I can let these experiences roll off my back, as the volume of these interactions increases and my rationalizations (e.g., “Oh, maybe this person is: a) clueless; b) desperate; and/or c) missing part of their frontal lobe…”) lose their novelty, other days I feel incredibly sad about how these interactions prime me to be skeptical of others -- people who may, in fact, want to simply connect or create a true partnership or excavate my pores with the simple agenda of unclogging.
I’m hoping that putting these feelings to words proves cathartic and will help me deal with this week's inevitable acts of douchebaggery in a roll-off-my-back manner. Meanwhile, my free advice?
For the love of crap, don’t be one of these six types of people.