Why Is It When Someone Tells Me “No” That They Think This Will Stop Me?

We have become a country of lazy minded, verbally challenged, “can’t think outside the box” and “let someone else take care of it” kind of people. We blame all of our problems on other people or our perceived circumstances. What a bunch of pansies pants we have turned into over the last 20 years.

What happened to “work ethic”, “taking responsibility for yourself” and “going the extra mile”? Growing up in the South, you pretty much started working when you left the womb. There were always chores to be done, food to be cooked, laundry to be folded and so on. This did not change in adulthood, by the way.

I remember working my first “real” job when I was sixteen. I worked in a clothing store. I never seemed to have any money though. I guess that came from me buying all of my clothes with each pay check, but whatever. My boss was forever telling us how to make the store look better and instilling in us a pride in our work. My boss did not believe in the word “no”. She would just say that we needed to find another way to accomplish our goals. This has stuck with me for life.

In my past life, I worked in many hospitals and corporations. If you have worked in a work environment that was very large, you know change is as slow as molasses. I have had countless times when change was proposed that was intended to increase productivity and create a better work environment. Most times, the “upper management” just flat out said, “no.” Just no, not any reason, no explanation, no follow up.

Well, this never “set well” with me. I can handle “no”, if you have a reasonable explanation. It had to make sense to me, though. So, this started me off on a long career of getting in trouble for circumventing the “no” at work. I can’t tell you how many times I got “written up” at work for doing so. I was not exactly what you would call a “rule follower.” Most of the rules made no sense to me and just seemed to complicate my life, so I dismissed them.

It is my opinion that life has too many rules anyway. I find that many rules do not make much sense and curtail your ability to think for yourself. I think that all people should concentrate on working on themselves and their issues. This would give them much less time to work on what they perceive are my issues.

Back in the day, I was working at a hospital and was tired of having to “dictate” all my notes. For you younger folks, dictating was done on a hand held, tape recorder. You had to speak into the recorder, then another person would type up what you said. The problem was I could not see what I had just documented and spent countless hours replaying what I dictated. I would get so aggravated that I would write out the entire note, then read it into the recorder. What a freakin’ waste of time. Besides, you had to deal with typos, missed spelled words and some sentences that got completely left out. By the time I reviewed the dictation on paper, it looked like a two-year-old playing on a typewriter for the first time.

I made a proposal that each therapist type their notes into the computer right after seeing a client. It would save time and money. What a concept. What happened? A big, ole’ whoppin’ NO! There was no reason given, no appreciation for attempts at my cost saving measures and it “put me on the radar” to my superiors. Oh, great. If you have not gathered, I am not good at “no”.

So, I trudge on in the “corporate grind” in attempts to streamline our notes and increase our availability to see clients. Well, you would have thought I was Hitler by the way I was treated. I got so many “talking’s too” (Southern phrase for lectured) that I had to start being more discreet. I did not say I gave up, I said I got quieter. Giving up was not an option.

I slinked into my office and brooded over the incompetence that surrounded my upper management. I objected to how the powers that be could not listen to a person on the front line providing excellent services could be dismissed so readily. (This means I was pissed.)

I had an idea! I would join every subcommittee that was available at work that would allow me to share my opinions in a more “committee” fashion. Most corporations and hospital have volunteer committees to meet on various subjects with the intent to improve productivity, identify cost savings and identify new services/programs. All of these efforts are in attempt to increase cash flow. Do not fool yourself. These are all money-making ventures and need capital to stay in business. You want a paycheck, right?

Does the phrase “crash and burn” mean anything to you? I swear I tried so hard and the only things I got were raised eye brows and a possible pink slip. (Pink slip is old school for “you are fired,” BTY.)

As I moved along my spectrum of jobs to advance my career, I landed in a true corporation position. I had not been in one before but had been warned repeatedly that it was very different than a hospital. Boy howdy, they were all right.

Of course, I was so excited when I stared the corporate job. I felt like it was glamorous and really getting to do the work that I wanted to be able to do for my clients.

For the first few years, it was the bomb! I had a company car, they paid for gas, I had benefits and my salary was reasonable. I travelled around the state a lot, but it also gave me time to go shopping in between appointments. I met a lot of interesting people and the clients I had really wanted to return to work. Maybe some of my clients could have spoken to that guy I dated, that lived in his mother’s basement, about motivation.

So, once again I tried to make changes to the way we documented to save time and money. It was brilliant, if I do say so myself, which I just did! Short version of story, I came up with a way to decrease the amount of time documenting and increase amount of time with clients. You see it coming, right. Big, fat, juicy NO! This time, I got an explanation. Are you ready? “This is not how we do things.” Um, I am aware, that is why I am trying to change it. Response: NO.

I have been known to be a bit of slow learner, but this time it hit me like a frying pan to the head. I was doomed in the corporate world. I had also gotten “warned” to behave myself or I was going to be back on the radar of the uppers. I was officially done! Pie baked, bacon cooked, bags packed and mentally on my way to a private island in the sun.

As it turns out, I was not the only one in business trying to make changes. Others were just better at it than me. However, I stuck to my principle that “NO” only means find another way.

I encourage you to think for yourself, remember you are of value and know that you have the ability to make positive change in all aspects of your life.

There were times that I was able to make good changes to things in the face of “no.” Sometimes change took longer than others, but success can be sweet, at times.

All I want you to take away from this is “no” does not always mean a real no. Do not let others diminish your intents and goals. We have become “mentally flabby”, by this I mean weak. If you have an idea, search out people that nurture it. Do not listen to the nimble minded people that nay-say what you believe in doing, most of them do not understand what you are saying anyway. I love the words “hair-brained”, “crazy” and “eccentric.” I consider them compliments.

So, the next time you are told no, think of how to create the yes. (This excludes dating, cause when someone says no and you keep on, this is called stalking.) Other than that, rock on!

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