I got up on Saturday and went to co-facilitate the session as agreed during the week. When I got to the session the guy said, “We conducted that session after dinner last night.” I was stunned since the venue was one hour and 30 minutes from my house, in a rural area.
I responded “This is not cool. It is Ok to have the session according to the client’s needs but you could have sent an email or called to tell me that I was no longer needed.”
He then suggested, “You could have called,” and went on to blubber about the arrangements that we made and that both internet and mobile access were limited at the venue.
I noticed that as he spoke he did not look up from his computer, he made no eye contact with me and he never apologised. Instead, he offered that I stay for the morning session since he was discussing the 12 principles of innovation to which I said, “No thank you. I have no reason to stay.”
His last comment in our less than five minute exchange was that I should call his office on Monday so that we could arrange a meeting later that day. I responded that I won’t be calling him, since I had never done so before.
Then I left the room.
As I drove home, I decided that I would invoice him for the time spent discussing the workshop as well as my driving time, to communicate the value of my wasted time. Since I truly believed that he would not pay the invoice, this would be an indisputable unresolved matter that would naturally end the relationship.
Later in the evening as I sat on my friends’ verandah I was reminiscing about how my connections work. The people in my life show up for me, we make plans and more or less stick to them. We are considerate and courteous to each other, when we mess up we apologize and move on.
This morning when I got up I had a good laugh at myself. “Can you imagine getting dressed for dinner and when you get to the restaurant your date is burping and saying that he had the meal without you. Do you then send an invoice for the time you spent traveling to the restaurant or the time spent deciding where to eat? Will you date that person again if they pay the invoice?”
As I laughed at the ludicrousness of my previous decision I felt more aligned with how I feel when with my friends and I knew exactly what I should do.
- I am not going to invoice him for my time.
- I am declining from giving attributes to his behaviour.
- I am not responsible for making excuses or figuring out how or why it happened
- I do not want to work with someone who will not call to say the game has changed.
- I do not want to work with someone who can’t apologise for an oversight.
- I am not going to work with someone who can’t look me in the eye.
- I am not going to work with someone who ignores my feelings.
The most important decision that I have made is that I am still going to reach out to new persons and build new connections. I also accept that not all of these will be a good fit for me.
What do you accept in your professional life that differs with your personal life? What would it be like if you aligned the two?