About two years ago my (then) flat mates and I took a day trip to the lovely spa town of Karlovy Vary. We spent some time swimming in an awesome and enormous outdoor swimming pool. As I was walking back to the showers, I noticed a guy – not in a bathing suit – just hanging around. I went in the showers and looked for a comfortable place to rinse the chlorine from my body. That’s when I saw the hand holding a cell phone under the crack in the door taking pictures I ran out the door and yelled, “What are you doing!?” The guy – the same guy – ran off.
I ran after him.
When I worked at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco a few friends of mine were fired for such things as “being unfocused” or “making death threats”. Um, yeah. You would be unfocused too if your mom had cancer and months to live. Death threats? Ever had a bad day and said, “OOOOOH! I am so frustrated, I could just kill her!” Well, my friend did and got fired for it.
I said something.
I have been told on NUMEROUS occasions that I need to learn to keep my mouth shut. Maybe that’s true. I am guilty of being opinionated and sarcastic and sometimes even caustic. I have been told I need to learn diplomacy and when to let things go. But, the more I think about it I think the opposite is true. I think more people need to learn to speak up. People are scared to death of consequences.
“If I say something, I’ll get in trouble…”
“I don’t want to rock the boat…”
“It’s really not my place. Someone else will handle it.”
Well, I got news for you. Someone else does handle it. Someone else speaks up every day so you don’t have too, and because you don’t want too.
So, yeah. The language school I worked for got wind of my sentiments toward them (from a little backstabby snitch) and decided to part ways with me. And then ask me to help them fill out paper work. And take a LOT of money from me. James Cook Languages did exactly what I thought they would – fired me. It didn’t have to end the way it did, but they pushed me. They lied to me and then…? I got nasty. I KNOW some people out there think I deserved it because I was telling people about their bad business practices. But you know what? I am glad. I can sleep at night knowing I was doing the right thing. I feel good knowing that my friends know what kind of business they could be working for. And I am SO not alone. Check out this thread… All three pages of it.
My point is this. I might have a big mouth, but at least I know that I stand up for what I believe in. When I see someone being wronged – myself, or some stranger in a shower – I try to make it right. I feel great knowing that I am not the type of person that will just let someone else fight my battles for me, take the hard hits because I am scared or just take care of my own. If I had it to do over again, well, I guess I wouldn’t have signed with them in the first place, but I would still speak the truth. I blew my little plastic whistle as loud as I could.
Yakety Yak. Don’t Talk Back.
Some people never learn.