The Revenge Insanity

By Jon Hillenbrand In Photography, Stories

Today some random nurse charged into me with the full voice of whatever crap is going on in her life. I did my best to use the, “Service Values Recovery Behavior Training,” to steer her back toward a constructive conversation. The situation was, I agreed to encode three videos by Tuesday (tomorrow). But the presenter wanted them by Friday. I told the presenter that I couldn’t make that deadline, but that I would do my best to have everything done by Monday. She agreed. This morning, when I came in to do the work, the tapes were gone. Later, at 1pm, this insane woman came in wanting to know why they weren’t done by last Friday. I tried to explain the situation, but in the end, the only thing that would satiate this woman’s thirst for blood was me laying down prone sprinkling salt and pepper on myself. At least it got her out of the room. But I was brought up to defend myself, especially when I was right. I feel that because of my childhood and some interesting dating experiences, I have the training to maim or kill with a word. Though she may have been securing the handcuffs, the blade I hide between my teeth would have been enough to carve her up for dinner.

Also, this woman was a lamb in wolf’s clothing. She was quick to anger, she lied without support, and she talked to me as an erudite Northshore woman might speak to a plumber or a janitor. The thing is, she’s not paying me. If I lose her as a customer, it’s one less wave of work in an ocean of unending tasks. I wanted to really let myself go during this argument, to leave her with a good scar to remember me by. But I let it go and agreed to do the video encoding project with just four hours left now to do it. She, of course, wrote a letter to my boss letting him know how rude I am and how this isn’t the first time she’s had a problem with me, which she also mentioned to me. I asked her during our 10 minute verbal scrimmage what other offense I had inflicted upon her. She said that it was two years ago. I laughed dismissively. Well, obviously, whatever happened back then, I must have already left a scar.

No amount of tribute dinners and royal endorsements will make up for a dark spot or two on your employment record at the place where I work. At this point, I feel that there’s no direction to move other than laterally. I won’t be promoted, they suck at giving raises despite my numerous awards and recognitions, and in the end, I’m left defending myself and my actions when I feel I shouldn’t have to. Time is ticking so loudly for me now. If only I could find some other place to work.

Followup to this story: The head of my department came down on me with both heels. He instructed my manager to “ding Jon on his Annual Review”. Raise gone. Promotion gone. And then someone who was a witness to this incident came forward and corrooberated my story. So my boss turned 180 degrees and dropped the whole thing. And I’m expected to go on as if nothing ever happened.

  1. Nadia October 16, 2010

    I enjoyed your blog and can’t believe how much I can relate to your experiences. In my 3 years working there I have experienced many of the same or at least similar frustrations and always thought they were mine alone. I have come to learn that what is said and done are very different and that SV are not something that everyone must live by. The last paragarph rings particularly true for me. I just wish I could go back to the beginning when I enjoyed my job instead of now feeling like a servant that’s just never quite enough. I struggle daily with trying to bite my tounge, because as I have been told it is my job to cater to others perception of me. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Jon Hillenbrand November 8, 2010

    Thanks Nadia. There have been a lot of complaints about unequal application of the service values across my dept. and others. Seems sad to hear it’s a global problem across the organization.

    Honestly, though, now I’m so busy, that I feel like I’m just along for the ride. I imagine it’s what it feels like to be swept away by a flash flood.


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