Well you’re not really less important than others. But that’s what some people would have you believe. A situation at work was a good example of this. Yesterday morning, I was sitting at my desk working on a report. It was a daunting task that involved some statistical computations and required my full, unwavering attention. I was immersed in my project, completely oblivious to any and everything around me, even the busy thoughts in my own head.
In the middle of it, a woman came to me and just started rattling off some things about some her own project, seeking my input and feedback – directing me to a page on our intranet site. So, I told her I was busy and would need to look at it a little later, and I recommend we get together about an hour later. She said that was fine, but she kept on talking about her own project, telling me in words what she wanted to show me on the site.
Even after I said, once again, I was busy and didn’t have time to talk with her, she kept on yapping her mouth off about her project, which evidently was more important than mine. It was about 18 minutes later before she excused herself and left. The entire time, I just sat there staring at her, not really hearing all of her points as in my head, I’m saying to her, “Didn’t you understand me when I told you I was busy?” The old me would have said it aloud. So, I listened and gave her some brief feedback. The best thing about it is, she got what she wanted and I didn’t have to meet up with her later. The downside of it is (downside for her, not for me) I wasn’t able to give it my full attention like I would have given it later had she honored my request.
I am not an advocate of rudeness. Oftentimes – really most of the time – being stern and assertive is about the same thing as being rude. That’s the quickest way to alienate your coworkers. Of course it’s flattering that she stated up front that she needed my expertise and wanted to get my feedback. Maybe she only said that in order to manipulate me into listening to her. People definitely will do that, in case you didn’t know. You usually can see right through it, though.
Then a couple of hours later, a gentleman (and I use the term loosely) came to my desk while I was on a call — anyone could plainly see I had the phone up to my ear engaged in dialogue — and he had the nerve to ask me, “Are you on a call?” All I could do is give him a blank stare before he trotted off. C’est la vie! As the title of this essay states: Both of those people behaved as if their issue was more important than mine. I suppose they have what I like to call the ‘Queen Bee’ mentality (or the King Bee mentality, for the fellas).
No matter what other people may think, I want you to know you’re just as important as they are — and for some of them, you might even be a little more special. Don’t allow them to make you feel as if you’re less than. You’re more than enough.