Friday, 30 October 2020

Now address the small print

Avoid gestures that signal defiance or closedness. A lot of what I explore in this article applies to this moment, but I want to speak to it in a pointed and specific way. It could, like much of what I write about, be filed away under the uncool thing to talk about. Which is what shame does to us. It decides what is cool or not cool to talk about. And it usually haunts us over the things that, if we DID indeed talk about them, would set us free. In relationships of the romantic nature, we give so much more grace. Because of COURSE you will feel pain, on both sides. We have given ourselves societal permission to feel natural guilt for ending a relationship, shame if you did something wrong. We find ways to navigate this with how much help there is out there for romantic partnerships ending. But when it comes to a friendship or business relationship, or, now in the digital age, an internet follower you maybe don't even KNOW! The Dutch enjoy the shortest working week in the world, with flexible working hours considered a basic right rather than a luxury, especially for parents, who tend to share childcare responsibilities. Many women see working fewer hours as a lifestyle choice rather than a leap backwards in their emancipation, especially when kids enter the picture. And Dutch dads often try to squeeze their working hours into just four days, which allows them to take care of their kids at least one day a week. This day is lovingly called the Papadag, meaning `daddy day'. Allowing both mums and dads to spend more time with their kids, as well as pencilling in time for themselves, has had a beneficial impact on family life and is almost certainly a factor in Dutch children scoring amongst the happiest in the world (see here). Discuss with your employer the options for flexible working hours. Can you fit your work into a 4-day week, work from home or even cut working hours? Try to find a way of working that allows you to share parenting duties with your partner. Be realistic about parenthood

There is an argument that, compared to parents in the US and UK, Dutch parents have a more realistic perspective on parenthood, and are more forgiving of their own shortfalls. Avoid gestures that suggest apology, particularly failure to maintain eye contact. CUSTOMER: I might just try elsewhere. Resist the temptation to dare the customer to do just this. The customer understands that the most persuasive negotiating tool he has is his feet. He can walk away. You have to be willing to let him do this, while keeping the offer open to him. YOU: I am confident that you won't find a better price. But if you want to look, we'll be here to serve you when you come back. You won't find a better deal. Please remember that the deals I'm offering on extended warranty and freight, as well as installation, amount to $XX. We start to get really afraid and sad that . WE ARE FRAUDS. IF SOMEONE DOESN'T LIKE ME = I AM A FRAUD AN IMPOSTER OF A GOOD PERSON TWO FAILED FRIENDSHIPS = INABILITY TO BE A FRIEND TO ALL And it's all on you. Especially if this person has told everyone how fucked-up/problematic/bad you were. They must be right, and you must be wrong. Well, from the bottom of my own damn barrel, I am here to report: this is not true, and we must smash it with a hammer.

We must smash it like a geode that looks like a normal-ass rock, and then when you destroy it you find out that there's a fucking crystal inside of it. Perhaps it's down to their nuchtere volksaard - their pragmatic nature - but you won't often hear a Dutch mother expressing guilt about the amount of time she has spent with her children. She will acknowledge that it's important to find time for herself outside motherhood and work, as a happy and relaxed parent allows for a happier child. Accept that you can't be everywhere at the same time. Sometimes there is a big project at work that needs more attention; All you can do is your best. Be smart about how you divide your time Cut yourself some slack. Leave the laundry hanging if there's no time to fold or iron it. Some chores can wait until the weekend. Accept help. I mean, that's money saved that would otherwise be coming out of your pocket. CUSTOMER: Okay. I don't have the time to go elsewhere. Let's go with your price. Explaining Why You Can't Extend Payment Terms It is certainly not uncommon to renegotiate payment terms. Sometimes doing so is a matter of convenience for both parties involved. Sometimes the only alternative to such renegotiation is default and failure to collect anything. Again, therefore, the first step in responding to a request to extend payment terms is to avoid a knee-jerk no in favor of renegotiating terms.

If, however, renegotiating is not an option, the no must be accompanied by sound reasoning that will seem fair to the customer. YOU ARE THE CRYSTAL INSIDE OF AN UGLY ROCK. It looks like just another old thing on the ground, but it is not. So, you, my dear, sweet, perfect angel of a human on Earth, are worthy of new friendships. You are worthy of loving and liking yourself. You are worthy of new readers and new companions and new collaborators. The people who don't like you aren't bad. And you aren't bad for not being able to maintain a relationship with them. ON HARM/AMENDS/WRONGDOING/ACCOUNTABILITY (AND THEN WE'LL GET TO THE DAMN PROTECTION SPELL) I don't condone just throwing your hands up and thinking, WELP, THEY DON'T LIKE ME ANYMORE. This feels like an anger mask for guilt and shame. If you can afford it, hire someone to babysit the kids or to help with chores in and around the house. And if the grandparents offer help, take it! This will allow you to spend some time with your partner or by yourself. Collaborate. Work with your partner to create simple routines that will save you both time and headspace. For example, on weekdays they will watch the kids while you prepare dinner. Protect your boundaries. If you don't have time to make costumes for the Christmas play or bake cookies for the summer fair, be honest. Make your work commute me-time.

Listen to an audioarticle, podcast or your favourite music on repeat. TIP: It is a bad idea to appeal to such authority as company policy as a reason for not negotiating extended terms. Appeals to such abstractions frustrate the customer and make your firm appear rigid and without regard for customers and their needs. YOUR SCRIPT: TELLING A CUSTOMER YOU CAN'T EXTEND PAYMENT TERMS Here is an example of a no that relies on reasoned motives of fairness: Thomas, this is Ellen James at XYZ Company. We spoke yesterday about renegotiating payment terms for your widgets. After reviewing the whole deal, Mr. Thomas, I find that I am unable to alter the terms. The prices you were given for the widgets were based on the terms to which you agreed. Changing that now would unfairly change the deal for us. It's easier to think, GONNA CUT THIS CORD--BYE-BYE, than to look within and see where we weren't accountable to ourselves or other people. Do that first. Before we go into protection and cutting the cord, ask yourself: What was my part? Where did I not stay committed to my own course or what we had set out to do together? And then, if amends should be made, make them. First, ask them if they are willing to receive it. We don't make amends about what the other person did; If that person still doesn't want to remain friends, or worse yet, deems you unsafe/problematic/unworthy of love from any person and either holds that to themselves or spreads it around, we take new action. This is nuanced.

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