Category Archives: Books & Thoughts

Are You A Granola Push Over?

Just because you are vegan, love animals, want to save the planet or are in tune spiritually, does not give rights to others to push you around and it sure doesn’t necessarily mean you are a pushover.

I am unclear why folks really believe that being a pansy is part and parcel to living with ethics and for something greater than one’s self. And sometimes I end up just not winning, but not very often. I try hard to be fair-minded but take care of business and take care of my family while being fair.   But somehow, fair means totally giving in to other people and that is just nuts.

I had a tenant a few months back that invited someone over to the property who deliberately caused over $2600.00 in vandalism damage to my property.  There were beers involved, a fight ensued and rocks were thrown.  The home is registered historic and I keep up with it beautifully and mostly on my own dime.   I submitted to my tenant the two quotes my contractor provided.  When I got half of it covered, I was frankly overjoyed, thinking this is greatness, I will just end up eating only the other half of this damage.  With the rental in particular, I get so used to absorbing the loss, I just roll with it.  Well, when the ner-do-well that caused the damage paid a portion and the tenants’ insurance paid the other, I was ecstatic!  I thought this is terrific, now I can pay these people a deposit that would otherwise be completely eaten away on the rock tossing business.  But the tenants damaged the kitchen floor, and apparently had not ever cleaned in an entire year.  The grease on the rock countertop was a thick yellow that had to be chiselled away with a paint scraper and cans of degreaser.  My lawyer recommended keeping the entire deposit.  But I wanted to be fair.  And although these guys ended up getting most of their deposit back, they pitched a holy Hanna fit and claimed I got too much money for the vandalism, claimed there was only one receipt not two, that I somehow made stuff up.  I was threatened, belittled, berated, harassed, it was nuts.

Recently I had, or at least attempted to have, a bathroom remodel, with everything out of the bathroom and the entire room taken down to the studs.  I have been through remodel rodeo numerous times by now and understand the scope of what can go wrong and take as many preventive measures as possible.  In 3 hours, my bathroom was gutted.  3 weeks later it still sat gutted.  And what I had paid the contractor for, materials, work each week, was not happening with any reasonable speed.  Having been paid twice, I was concerned because we were 3/4ths paid on a job that had perhaps a weeks worth of work done so far.  Then the dude asked for another payment for the floor guy stating he didn’t have the money.  I had already paid him for the floor guy…red flag….when I nicely reminded him the final payment will be paid once all work has completed because we had already paid well over half the money due but were only seeing a weeks worth of work in the last month, his next words were ‘I don’t trust this situation!’ This was followed by a demand for money, attacking me because I ‘want it my way’ that he will NOT be managed and finally that we should be nice to each other until this project is done!’ I provided him an invoice on how much he owed me back and fired him.  Aint nobody got time for that drama!

Don’t let people corner you or push you around just because you are nice.  There is a big difference in being nice and being a fool.  You do want to pick your battles and learn to let go on the nit noidy stuff, but when you are being done wrong, it is ok to speak up!

I am a huge believer in endings being just as important as beginnings.  I see so many folks fawn all over the new puppy, the new job, the new car or house or relationship and then when things get into a routine, things get older, the attention span wanders.  People, it’s called maintenance.  And in the case of sentient beings, they need you.  Just because your dog is 12 doesn’t negate your responsibilities or his love and dependence upon you.  Cars are not throw away items to be trashed and abused then sold cheaply to become somebody else’s drama.  When you take good care of your things, you will find they last almost forever.  And so will your friendships too.  Think hard and long about what you want in your life and then treasure what you have.  When you move out of a place,  pay it forward by leaving it nice or even nicer for the next person.  Why not be kind?

At Sprint many moons ago, I took this training called ‘Manage By Fact’.  It was beautiful training because no matter how you feel about things emotionally, there are always the facts which we ultimately must manage by.  This is now labelled ‘Emotional Intelligence’ and is really a lot more practical than whatever your IQ is as it assists you in dealing with people, calming the emotions down where you can do things logically.

Emotional Intelligence is critical in any business dealings and I can spot the children a mile off.  Emotional Intelligence by Travis Bradberry
or this one by Daniel Goleman titled Emotional Intelligence, are two great books to help you manage your emotions effectively.

There will always be people who are not as evolved spiritually ready to push blame and problems on you.  By being mindful of what the facts are and protecting yourself accordingly, you can graciously but firmly push back and own your own power.