You’ve come a long way baby!

A cat after my own heart!

This morning my Starbucks mocha was only about two-thirds full. That happens when the barista puts too much foam on top and it fizzes out. If I get it with flat foam I feel cheated. It’s not a buck a cup so when this happens I always speak up. They were happy to replace it and no one spit in my cup.

There was a time I would have taken it and grumbled. I would have grumbled to my friends, my spouse and anyone who listened. I would have wasted precious time grumbling that could have been used laughing or (gasp!) thinking! Solving world peace (or maybe the virus).

I don’t know exactly when it happened that I started to speak up. I was a shy child so it wasn’t then (unless Santa forgot something important). I got better in high school but only marginally better.

It wasn’t until I started to work that I realized if you want to get anywhere or be recognized you have to speak up. Sometimes you are right and sometimes you are wrong but that doesn’t matter. Expressing yourself helps you to grow.

I’m not talking about being obnoxious about it. Not talking over people and certainly not shooting people who disagree (although this seems to be a current trend). Just expressing yourself. You may lose a friend over it. Not all people want to hear the truth. (One exception is to never tell a friend her outfit makes her look fat! She doesn’t want to hear that!)

I could have gone through the morning feeling cheated or grumping to the beloved husband (who fortunately can’t hear so well) or I could speak up, get a new one and go on with life.

This is a small example but I’ve spoken up about incorrect billings, political discussions (not in my presence please!) and stories where animals are hurt (even if the ending is good, I don’t want to hear them). I have learned to speak up in doctor’s offices when I think they are wrong (and yes, sometimes they are wrong). Sometimes I wonder if people think I’m weird but then, they should speak up.

How about you? Say it or stuff it?

 

 

71 thoughts on “You’ve come a long way baby!

  1. I admit I’m not inclined to speak up. I’m willing to chalk up bad service, disappointing food, etc to a whole bunch of things and let it go. Yet ironically, I’m always encouraging others to speak up..

    Inevitably there are exceptions though – like last week when I was having a rack installed on our car for my kayak. I had an appointment for this installation and yet it didn’t seem to matter. I waited for 5 hours, yes, FIVE hours – outside – in the heat and humidity – for this installation to be complete. I lost it completely at one point and asked them if this was a hostage situation and my car was being held for ransom. Sigh. It wasn’t my finest moment, but at that point I looked and felt like an unhinged woman.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Always speak up. Life’s too short for substandard food and drink. But, at the same time, always remember the power held by someone who is preparing food and drink for you! The slightest snark, or even PERCEPTION of a snark, and that coffee’s getting a glob of spit. 🤣🤣🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I generally let things go, but if you catch me at the wrong moment … it is not so pretty. That said, you know I was a milquetoast at the dentist by not speaking up about the dropped tooth polish. You said you would have spoken up – I should have too. It’s 5 weeks ago now and I’m still here and didn’t die from any germs, but still …. As to political discussions, I don’t usually say anything because I’m Canadian and I have lived here in the U.S. on a green card for 54 years. I don’t want someone to say “well go back where you came from then!” But I had a good friend whom I knew through our law firm’s merger with their firm. I was very angry at how the current administration was handling the PPE situation with Michigan as there was harsh feelings between Trump and our female Democrat Governor. I could not hold my tongue any longer when praise was being heaped on the administration for the handling of the COVID crisis. I was told to rethink, then retract my statement and when I didn’t I was told to have a nice life. Funny thing … I don’t regret what I said.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good for you. You were right. At the federal level this virus has been a disaster. It’s that dentist experience you had that makes me speak up in the moment. It’s 5 weeks later and it’s still vivid in your mind. My dentist story is that the hygienist is very chatty. Always has been. She makes me nuts with her constant talking. She was talking using her hands for flair when she popped one of my veneers. I was so angry. Had she just concentrated on the task at hand, it wouldn’t have happened. I had to go back to have it glued back in (and that didn’t make me happy either). I have never said anything about how annoying her chatter is either to her or the dentist. This is one of the cases where I don’t speak up.

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      • Oh that would annoy me too – it is bad enough to go once to the dentist’s office during the COVID-19 crisis, but an unnecessary trip back would infuriate me. I hope they do not ding your insurance company to boot. I don’t have dental insurance and in 2019 I visited for a teeth cleaning/check-up and the new receptionist forgot to give ma 10% senior discount. It seems each time I go I have x-rays so the price did not cause me to ask about the discount. Several weeks later I was filing away some bills and noticed. I called down and she hem-hawed that it was a new month and would mess up their bookkeeping records. I could not press the issue since I am an adult who should check her bill before writing the check. The problem is we establish ourselves with a dentist or other doctor and are reluctant to go somewhere else. With the dentist, you have to go through all the x-rays etc. for the new dentist to get up to speed with your teeth history/mouth.

        I went with my mom to all her doctor’s appointments. One reason was she didn’t drive, but she was also hard of hearing as she was deaf in one ear, from a childhood mastoid operation. As long as someone didn’t mumble or whisper, she’d be fine, but she would ask doctors if they could speak a little louder so she didn’t miss anything. We had a couple of doctors who decided that asking to speak a little louder equated with my mom being feeble-minded and they would speak by addressing me and looking in my direction. It was as if she, the patient, wasn’t even there! I thought it was incredibly rude and so my solution, and I didn’t care if the doctor liked it or not, was to turn my gaze to the wall when they spoke to me instead. I would make no eye contact, thus forcing the doctor to speak to my mother. I don’t have a lot of respect for doctors – my mom, with her 42 orthopedic operations in her lifetime as a result of a car accident at age 11, had many visits to the doctor and only two or three of them impressed me. My other annoyance was when they dictated notes while we were still in the room. which I found rude and disrespectful … do it on your own time!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Sometimes I do, and sometimes I don’t. Like you, I pick my battles. I’m not always comfortable speaking up in a group if I think those around me are more experienced. I’m taking a (for now) online writers workshop and don’t always give feedback on the other writers’ work. I kick myself when I hear someone else giving the same exact input that I wanted to give. I need to start channeling Stuart Smalley and tell myself that “I’m good enough, smart enough, and, doggone it, people like me”. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I didn’t use to, but now I speak up or write and I always try to be polite but accurate. Recently, we ordered a take out dinner from a local well-known restaurant. I read the order off their menu. My husband picked it up. It was double the price. I emailed twice and was given a reason that made no sense to me. I asked for a refund but got no response. Now, I’m left with whether I want to bother making a negative comment on line or just let it go. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My siblings are all “say it” folk to the extent that I still cringe when I hear them going off on some poor waiter, sales clerk, hotel desk attendant, etc. I’m probably more of the “stuff it” type unless someone purposely goes out of their way to be mean. But a 3/4 cup of coffee that you paid for? Yeah, I’d have said something. I won’t be a doormat! – Marty

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    • I work at it too. My job required a lot of confrontation. Since I’m retired I like to avoid it if I can. This morning wasn’t at all confrontational but had it not been my favorite drink of the day, I may not have said anything.

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      • Three of us went to a steak house some years ago. None of us finished our meals and none took food home. Comparing notes later, we found all the food was much, much too salty. We should have said something to each other, which would have led to the chef knowing he was too heavy with the salt for normal people.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Something similar but different happened to me and two friends a few years back. We were going to a concert and had dinner at a restaurant a block away. I had done this before and it always worked. We were there 2 hours before the concert. We were clear about attending the concert when we were seated and expressed concern several times as we saw everyone else get served except us. We got the meal just as we had to leave. We didn’t want to let it sit in the car for 4 hours so we just left. I emailed the restaurant (nicely) with times and details. They were able to check it against the time input on the order (everything was computerized). Our waitress didn’t put our order in until 10 minutes before we had to leave. All we were offered was a free meal next time. The place is quite a drive away. They closed before I went to another concert at that location so we weren’t “righted.” It also was a very vague apology although the owner saw when we were seated and when our waitress put the order in. I wish I had flagged down the owner when we started getting nervous.

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          • Oh, my! What carelessness on the part of the waitress! John, his mother, and I went to a restaurant on the way to a Baroque concert years ago. We were seated but not given a menu. We got up and left while we still had time to go somewhere else to eat. We avoided that place from then on.

            It’s a shame you weren’t able to get a free meal, as promised.

            Liked by 1 person

  7. I worked retail part time and so expected good service because I felt I gave good service. I spoke up often if something wasn’t right. But these days with so many people quick tempered I just vote with my feet and walk out when it’s a business. I have a primary care doctor that I am ready to walk away from. I have had enough of her controlling personality. Very sad about Mollie, Kate. I am so sorry about how Mollie was treated by the vet.

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    • I vote with my feet a lot. Sometimes I have given feedback but nothing changed. In those cases, I have not remorse about walking. My last primary doc I felt a little badly not telling him but outside of an office visit I had no way of doing so. Any correspondence went through his office staff so it would be very unlikely he’d see it.

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  8. No one is a better advocate than oneself. Yours a good reminder to speak up whenever necessary. No one else will do it for you unless you’re two. And even then your odds are probably 50/50. It always feels good speaking up for yourself…so well done. 👍🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Definitely say it. There is a respectful, reasonable, quiet way to get your point across and get what you need, and it sounds like you are a master at it, Kate. I don’t understand these people who need to shout at and berate people. It’s a sign of weakness to me. Plus it just pisses the frontline person off, and you won’t get what you want…or you’ll get it but people WILL spit in your cup as you so astutely stated!

    Deb

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    • It depends if it matters enough. My coffee is sacred but many other purchases fall through the cracks because they don’t matter. The worst is if you don’t say something and take your business elsewhere and I’ve done that because I wasn’t interested enough to confront. I changed a doc because of his office staff but didn’t tell him.

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  10. From the picture Kate, I thought Gus had got hold of your coffee!
    NO is a small but powerful word and cost us a fair few friends, who actually weren’t and are no loss. I don’t like conflict, but I won’t be walked over any more so will speak up. Those who have been on the receiving end are more than a little surprised, but most accept it, especially they who passed judgement without even knowing me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is always the “pick your battles” thing going but I knew I wasn’t going to be happy about a half cup. It took me a long time to speak up at doc’s appointments but I’ve become much better at that especially when I either don’t understand or think something is wrong. Everyone needs someone to champion their cause.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Good for you! I think it is hard to speak up, especially for women raised to be people pleasers.

    But as you say, there’s an art to doing it without being an entitled jerk. Thanks to cellphones, we’re watching a lot of white women going way past standing up for themselves and marching into outright racist territory.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Kate, “no one spit in my cup” belly laugh. You made me think, about the concepts of “speaking up” “expressing” myself. Like you say, it depends how you speak up. It can still be done with kindness. I choose my discussions. Whether my time and energy is worth it. Know when to hold them, know when to fold them. Not my quote.🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I think you should say it! Say it with “honey”, but say it. The sweeter and nicer you are about pointing out a misstep on someone’s part, the better it will be received and corrected. Well, that is for the most part…unless you are talking to an orange politician!

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  14. Totally agree with you Kate. Always speak up if dissatisfied with something. Worse case scenario is that nothing changes. Best case scenario is the business is now aware of a problem and can correct same. The individual is aware of the problem, and you (the customer) not only get good service … but will probably receive very good service the next time you go there.
    Whenever I am faced with a “speak up or shut up” choice to make, I fall back on the saying “If you do nothing, then nothing will change.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s true. There have been a few times that I didn’t speak up (not at Starbucks) and I’m sure nothing changed. From a business perspective the worst is when you don’t say anything but take your business elsewhere.

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