Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Shooting the messenger

More than three years later, I am still angry about the way I was told I had cancer though technically all I was told is that I had something needing biopsying. As soon as I tried to question this radiologist, she would cut me off with a disgusted sigh. She was busy and she didn't have time to deal with my silly questions. I had forgotten her name within seconds of being told but I have since tried to find her by matching photos with names through staff directories. The only contact she has with patients is to tell them that they might have cancer. I wanted to give her some constructive criticism but I think she is gone.

But if I had been told 'nicely', would it of hurt less?

Flashback to when I was thirteen. This is the age when what your peers thought of you meant much more than anything else. My friend is relaying to me that the Queen Bee of our social group doesn't want to hang out with me any more because I am gasp!....boring. As Queen Bee, she had considerable sway and all would follow her though my friend assured me that she didn't think I was boring. I don't remember what I said then..maybe.well F her! I remember how I felt. First I hated the friend that told me this. There was just too much  glee in the delivery. I went home and cried bitter tears. I have no friends! This put me in a black hole for quite a while.

I got out of it eventually.

Over the years, people would relay mean things said about me to me. It didn't have such a devastating impact as when I was thirteen but I usually questioned the motives of the informant. I also vowed never to do this myself. I worked with someone who bitched non-stop about his boss. For the most part, he was just blowing off steam. Finally he decided to leave the company and did. The boss went to me and noted that he knew that we spoke a lot. Did he ever say anything negative about me?

Ah! Sue doesn't play this game! If I dutifully reported all I heard, I would be hated. Nothing will be gained except an enemy. I just told him that he didn't leave because of him. There was a situation that  had nothing to do with him. This was the truth BTW.

Oh but maybe the man could have some 'constructive criticism' and learn? No...not worth it. Not my job.

And just how good am I at receiving 'constructive criticism'?
Short answer: Not good.

Flashback to about ten years ago. I am now a big girl and should be able to deal with all that is dealt. A good friend gingerly tells me that I am probably not aware of this but I really can be condescending sometimes.
Big girl response: You are right. I am not aware of this. Can you provide me with some specific examples so I know not to do this in the future?

Sue's response: Immediately burst into tears and walk away. Issue never discussed again.

So am I condescending or not? Don't answer that..

I got part of the answer a few years later. I was with a good friend who happens to know many languages among them French. In the middle of a conversation, he mispronounces   soup├žon  . All I said was that the cedilla was there for a reason but he had a hissyfit. I had hurt his pride and I was a show off.


Teri Bernstein said...

I kind of like "soupKon"

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

I guess you do know what a cedilla is for. but then , you know all about Maitre Corbeau. Yep I am missing the caret over the 'a' and for the life of me I can't remember why the French have carets.
So is New Zealand still a go?

AnneMarie said...

I don't speak French.... don't read or write French. Dabbled in Italian (before chemobrain) BUT your message? Loud and clear. I tend to like to shoot the messenger just because it makes me feel better to be able to react INSTANTLY.. (kidding....I do try to hold my tongue...although, that has more to do with many years of therapy and learning how to "communicate properly" and all that good stuff....
Happy New Year!!!


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