Should I take it on the chin?

Let me ask you, who likes being abused at work. Abused, a strong word. A word that is uneasy to use. A word normally used in only extreme circumstances. A word we do not want to be associated with personally.

There is a dark side to being an estate agent. One that I have been considering since reading and seeing the posts about Mental Awareness Week. We accept within our industry that rejection is part of the game. That working late and at weekends is part of any success story and that given time and patience, expertise will build and become useful to other people.

Normally we have a set of rules and boundaries for our boss, our colleagues, our friends however, do we make different rules when it comes to customers / clients?

I have had a few instances that have made me recently question what is acceptable and the subsequent effect these have had on my mind and thoughts as an individual. This type of internal reflection is not common for me.

I have a few rules, so let’s start here. Work hard, do you best, learn from your mistakes, learn from others, do not take advantage, pay your way and if you can help, help. Recognise others, be honest, be decent, be polite. Stand up to bullies, do not use people, do not be used by others.

I think we agree that abuse at work is not acceptable. However, I have felt abused as an individual three times in one week by customers and potential clients!

I’m sure many of you that work in my industry and in many other service sectors will recognise these situations.

So I write this as a bit of self-therapy. And to say to everyone we are people, we do not permit you to abuse our time, our expertise or abuse your right to free speech.

The abuse of personal time

If you ask someone to meet you outside of what would be normal working hours, thank people for their time. It is taken away from their family and given to you, a lot of the time without reward. Do not take it for granted, the time given to you is costly and can never be returned.

The abuse of expertise

If you do not have expertise and you ask someone to help you and solve problems that you can’t, please do not dangle a carrot that you know will be withdrawn. We all work to pay mortgages, bills and to look after our families. If you need help and you do not want to pay, be honest! You will be surprised by how many people will help free of charge when given a choice.

The abuse of free speech

You may be frustrated, things may not be going the way you would like them too. But communicate clearly and decently. Check your facts and if unclear ask questions before jumping in feet first. Remember if you go in all guns blazing you have to be right, a 100% right. If your facts are wrong relationships are broken, normally irreparably.

Am I right to call out this behaviour or should I take it on the chin?

Credit for image: India Matthews (13)