Statistically speaking, out of seven billion people on the planet, I cannot be the only one struggling to be an adult. Bumbling my way through each day, hoping that some day I will catch up to myself.
One day I might be able to gather my thoughts and remember how to breathe. Sometimes, I forget. I don’t forget how, but I forget that I should. I forget that breathing is something I am supposed to do. I’ll catch myself in the middle of something, my chest tight, and it’ll occur to me that my lungs stopped. Then I’ll have to consciously take a breath to kickstart the process. Then I move on, like it’s the most normal thing in the world. In my world, it is.
I was spoilt as a child, but the main thing that people protected me from was making decisions. Making decisions that didn’t matter, and making decisions that did. Now, I really have no idea how to do that. How to make the right choice. How to live with the wrong choice. How to read a situation and tell when someone is bluffing. I just assume that people are honest. All the time. It doesn’t occur to me that they might lie.
Lying doesn’t serve a purpose except to hide from yourself. At least, that’s how it is in my world. As a kid, if I lied then it was because I was afraid of the consequences of my actions. These days, I don’t really do anything I’d feel the need to lie about. I don’t really do much of anything at all.
A few months ago, we made an offer on a house (#stamp duty holiday!) and the seller said they didn’t have the time to negotiate. They said “best and final offer.” I panicked. Hard. How could they just take away the negotiation? The house wasn’t worth the asking price, but I wanted it. I mean, I understand wanting to sell and trying to pressure people into making a higher offer but…that kind of finality just makes me shut down.
What if. What if. What if I lose out? What if I was wrong? What if it isn’t just a tactic and they really don’t want to barter with me? What if someone else sneaks in while I’m trying to come up with a suitable answer. What if I’m really not ready for this?
Aren’t adults meant to be good at making decisions? I’m 27, I have a child, I was a manager, and I was trying to buy a house. I was a grown up, right? So why was this still so difficult?
They were lying. I went in with an offer and they came back and negotiated. All that energy, wasted. I mean, I can have the house, great. Now, we do have the house. But still. Precious heartbeats, wasted by the palpitations the whole situation brought on.
We spent three months going back and forward with solicitors. Trying to get them to pull their finger out. And I’m stressed. I’m angry. I’m frustrated. I don’t know how to get them to listen. Surely, they’re doing everything they can do? They’re going as fast as they can? We explained we needed this done in a timely manner. They must be doing the best they can for us. Of course they are; I’m paying them enough so of course they are.
So, the seller threatened to pull out of the sale because it was taking too long.
Logically, that couldn’t be true. Right? Like, they would have spent even longer with someone else, starting the process all over again. But, suddenly, the solicitor sent five emails in a row with all the ducks lined up because the seller emailed their boss. Some of the paperwork was dated three weeks before. But they sent it that day. They asked for more documentation, related to things I sent them a month prior. The solicitor hadn’t replied to any of my emails, and hadn’t returned the seller’s calls. But their manager gets involved and everything is done within a day.
Why can’t people just be conscientious, and honest? If you’re being paid for a job, shouldn’t you maybe be doing it? I’m not working right now, but I work so hard when I’m at work. I care about every query and every customer, and I do my best for them because they are people. They have lives and my actions affect them. The work I do affects the work they can do. The work they can do affects their income. Bottom line, it affects their ability to feed their family.
Customer service matters. People matter. In work, as in life, your actions can have a massive impact on others. Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. It doesn’t cost anything to be considerate.
The last thing I needed, the last thing any of us need, in these “trying times” is more stress.