Sunday, August 7, 2016

{UNLIKED}

It’s an unfortunate part of life - not everyone is going to like you.

In second grade, I thought I was pretty popular.
I had a lot of friends – a large group of girls who I “hung out” with at recess, ate lunch with, and sat near in the classroom. 
Once a day I left my regular room to go to the A.G. (academically gifted) room for a few subjects.



Who knows how long "it" had been going on?
I discovered it one day after school as I was doing my homework.

Words like, “you’re ugly,” and “you eat your boogers;” only she spelled it “your ugly” and “you eat your baggers.”

I knew immediately who'd written on my brand new spiral notebook.

I was so proud of that notebook!
I’d just purchased it from the school store; it had 3 sections, instead of 1 like the skinny composition books.  It had cool dividers with pockets on both the dividers and the covers.  It was a “big kid” notebook and I thought I was hot stuff!

I’d been having trouble with the new girl for a little while.  {I’ll call her Tanya* for the purpose of telling this story.} She was fond of veiling insults as jokes and I was quite often the butt.  I always laughed with everyone else and tried not to let it bother me. 
It was rather confusing really; I honestly wasn’t sure if she liked me or not, but I got the impression it was NOT.

Yes, we were only in second grade.




I must’ve told my Mom some of this, because after discovering the notebook “decorations,” she promptly called my teacher.

Though I don’t remember the details of her conversation, I did sit beside her in the recliner as she talked.  Even now, I‘m a little surprised; my Mom and Dad weren’t into fighting our battles for us when we were kids {a practice I’ve tried to continue with my own kids}.  This was about 32 years ago, so I’m sure you can imagine it was a different time.  There were none of the “participation trophies,” and “everyone wins” mantras of today’s childhoods.  There also weren’t outraged parents lining up at the school every time their kid got punished.

Whatever Mom said, my teacher got the message that the bullying was not ok. The next day, the teacher called Tanya into the hallway.   
A little later, she called me and then made Tanya apologize.  

I’ve never felt so bad – so low.  Tanya was crying and her whole face was red. I felt terrible for getting her in trouble! The hypersensitive aspect of my personality often made me extremely compassionate towards hurting people – even if they were hurting because they hurt me first.

I guess I can’t know if Tanya was really sorry for what she did or sorry she got caught. But from that day on, until her family moved again, we were friends. She even attended my 10th birthday sleepover and that was a small group of girls.

This taught me at an early age, that sometimes you can be a nice as possible and people will still not like you. 




A few weeks ago, at the age of 40, I had a similar experience; it still baffles me, honestly.

I was dropping my daughter off at dance and had to ask a few questions.  I needed help from the lady at the front desk.
I wasn’t complaining and I ALWAYS, ALWAYS say thank you {sometimes more than once} to her every. single. time. she helps me with anything, no matter how small.
Apparently, I should’ve asked someone else for help with this particular request, but I honestly didn’t know that.
I was there to drop my daughter off for class.  Since I needed help with this other issue, I was in the lobby for several minutes – I’d say at least 10.

She had 10 minutes to let me know that Sweetpea’s class had been cancelled. 
 But she didn’t.
So I left my daughter there and went grocery shopping with my son, thinking I had 2 hours before she needed to be picked up.



A little while later, when I was completely across town, I got a call from my daughter to come back and get her. For some reason, I missed her call and got a voicemail instead.
When I called back, a second employee answered the phone.  She told me the class had been cancelled, a notice had gone out, and apparently I was the only one who didn’t get the memo.

This is a good time for me to say this: there is a serious communication issue at this business.  It’s been an issue for all of the 6 years we’ve done business with them.  They say it’s a certain email host that’s the problem, but my husband added his work email address to the list last year {totally different host} and he doesn’t get emails either.  Sometimes they come to my inbox DAYS after they are sent.
They recently started using an online message board system, which also doesn’t work, at least not without lots of finagling on my part. I get emails with a subject line letting me know about an addition to the class calendar and the body of the email is totally blank.   I sign in to the message board, search all the tabs and still can't see any changes.




Y’all? I am not technologically challenged! I've used all of these systems plus some for many years now.
Can I explain why everyone else got the notification and I didn’t? No I can’t.  I can say that now, I’ve downloaded the app for the site {which still doesn’t send me notifications} and I have gotten in the habit of manually checking the message board at least once a week so I don’t miss anything.  Isn’t technology supposed to make life easier??!!

So when I called back and a second staff person answered the phone, I was more than a little frustrated.   Unfortunately, my iPhone has a speaker issue that keeps me from holding a “normal” conversation on it. I can’t hear through the regular ear speaker – it crackles and the person on the other end sounds light-years away.  I have to use speakerphone or ear-buds but in my panic to call back, I just dialed  - no ear-buds. I didn’t want to talk on speakerphone in the grocery store, so I struggled through a regular conversation and, of course, 
couldn’t hear very well.

Even in my frustrated state, I do think I remained calm and was very polite.  I explained that I wasn’t nearby and that I would be back to get my daughter as soon as possible.
I’m guessing she got the impression that I was mad.  I really truly wasn’t, just frustrated; plus, I couldn’t hear her very well.




Anyway, a few minutes later my daughter was about to round the corner when she heard the two employees talking.
#1: “yeah, well, Sweetpea’s mom isn’t very nice…”
#2: “she can complain all she wants about not getting emails, but…”
#1 “WE aren’t going to do anything about it.”

When I picked up my daughter, employee #2 apologized to me in a sugar sweet voice about the mix-up. I thanked her and we were on our way.
We got in the car and Sweetpea says, “I don’t think she’s very sorry!”

I turned around and saw my sweet 12-year-old girl red in the face and looking more angry than I’d seen her in a long time – maybe, ever.
That’s when she recounted the entire ordeal to me. I kept checking her face in the rearview mirror on the drive home - boy was she mad!

Which was worse? The confirmation that they didn’t like me?  Or the fact that my pre-teen daughter had to be the one to overhear it? I can’t say really.

In hindsight, it was the “perfect storm” of events that cause conflicts. I later found out another employee had gotten her dates confused and not shown up for work that day. Employee #1 had to stay in her place.  I’m sure she was already having a not-so-great day before I got there with my list of questions and "needs." 

The upside was the conversation opportunities I had with Sweetpea.  I truly was able to find some positives in the situation and use it as a learning experience for both of us.



  
It was also very timely when, just a few days later, I received an invitation to participate in a new book launch for Lysa TerKeurst.
It’s called Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely.

One advantage of being on the launch team was access to the first 5 chapters before it was available to most people.  So far, I LOVE it!
There are so many great takeaways from the book and, really, they apply to everyone.

We’ve all been there…feeling rejected…lonely… unliked…uninvited…unwelcome; haven’t we?

Lysa gives practical advise for keeping perspective in the moments when it can be so difficult.

The book is officially available this coming Tuesday August 9th, but I would bet you can still get it on pre-order status and it will ship immediately.  I actually received mine yesterday.

If you like the book or any of the ideas in it, share it with a friend!  
Learning to live like the loved child of God we are is a valuable tool in a world that can be cruel.





No comments:

Post a Comment