I was shocked at first by his accusation, and it was out of this shock that kept me quiet. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t mean I am not screaming back at the person inside of my head. I have the greatest comebacks, sarcasm drips off my lips and I say it all with confidence. Anxiety invades my peace and spreads like a poison through my body.
What’s his deal? Why do people all of a sudden believe that just because they can see a dirty look on your face that they assume it’s about them? I don’t know how else to say it, but I feel ambushed by a lack of respect that I keep encountering. It’s sharp, hides behind corners and hits hard and fast.
It went without saying that whenever my sister and I (growing up) received anything that we were either to give a verbal thank-you, a phone call, or we got out the fancy stationary.
We were taught to share the sidewalk with other foot-travelers, strollers. We learned to ride our bicycles on the road and learn the signals. Always be on time for your job, and anything else that was worth of showing our respect. We were taught what our parents thought and believed were no-brainers to be bringing up young girls. It still makes sense to my sister and me after all these years,
It’s not the same
Of course, it isn’t, I haven’t been a child for over 25 years (scary thought) but a lot of things have changed, and most of it isn’t for good. Yes, I had a hard childhood, but I have good memories, considering that I wasn’t kidnapped, abused by a family member, raised in a cult, or abandoned to become a feral child. I remember dancing in the rain with my sister in the summer, going camping, walking in the grass in bare feet.
In case you live in an underground bunker, most of what is considered respect towards others have disappeared. Somehow, when certain people come together, the idea of working together isn’t prized most. Being selfish wins hands down. It’s in my blood I think to move over so that other person can get by, or if I step on someone’s foot by accident, I apologize, and I acknowledge them.
The values that I was raised with like respect, courtesy, politeness has gone the way of the boars. Simply being kind and going out of your way is disappearing. There’s a lethargy that is spreading all around us.
Part of what has been happening at my work is the lack of respect that is being shown towards me by upper management. I work for a small organization, and up until October, I felt no real reason to not be proud of who I represented in my workplace. As of January 2017, I will get a new supervisor. None of my managers made the point of telling me what was going on. I found out from one of my clients that my supervisor had been removed from her position. In the handbook for employees, it states that employees should expect support from their managers, but from my perspective, no respect or even professionalism was used to deal with the situation.
My transition has been slow
I seem to keep running into heads first in the department of lack of respect that I am deserving as an employee. I could say that I feel I am not receiving the support that I need from management. Meanwhile, as I attempt to muddle through the transition I am accused of having an attitude. Many people work in environments that aren’t safe, nor are they being paid a salary they can survive or raise a family. It’s like the noose around our necks is being pulled tighter and tighter.
For the last few months, I have been depending on the Foodbank because even though I am paid more than my province’s minimum wage, it’s not enough to get by on. If we were all treated with dignity, kindness, and mercy we wouldn’t have this problem. We need community, we each other, but we would rather retreat inside of ourselves, partly due to the widespread availability of computers, and usage of social media. It’s supposedly our new way of relating to others, but how can you really get to know someone when a screen separates you, and it allows, and encourages the ability to remain anonymous. A vulnerability is still required. We build high fences so we don’t have to see our next-door neighbour’s backyard. New houses aren’t built with front porches anymore. Condos are built in rezoned areas that used to be residential thus destroying the area that used to inspire other families to move in and build lasting memories. Building a true and vibrant community isn’t about squeezing as many people in an area. Is this how not to be selfish? No, but I have learned that all you need to do is plant the seed of kindness with a smile.