Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Crunching My Way To Humility

And how do you like your crow?” he asked.

”Well done, “ I replied.

I heard a barely restrained self satisfied laugh on his end of the phone while I felt my face turn brick red on mine. Several months ago I’d sent him a good natured, yet firm inquiry, about a detail that he'd promised me he'd see come to fruition. One that once taken care of, would help me in the day to day operations in our office. He apologized graciously and said he’d fix it right away. A few weeks ago I was still waiting for the matter to be resolved so I called to see where things stood. Puzzled, he told me he had taken care of it immediately after our last conversation. He sounded a bit flustered and said he’d look into it. I am at the bottom of the pecking order when it comes to company hierarchy. He is at the top of one of the rungs. I've spent a goodly amount of energy in my life with an "I sure showed them, didn't I?" attitude. I thought that was behind me.

Apparently not.

This morning I looked inside our last inter office courier envelope before I slipped my documents inside. Once a week these envelopes travel several hundred miles between us and our head office where Mr. Apologizing Graciously works. Staring me right in the face was that envelope I’d called him about two weeks ago, my name in bold black letters on the front.

Um, yah.

I estimate it took me 2 months to get to the bottom of the pile of envelopes.

I thought about taking the easy way out by emailing him, letting him know it had been my mistake that had prompted my last phone call to him. I instantly knew the right thing to do was to pick up the phone and fess up. I also knew there was a good chance that today’s courier might hold a replacement envelope and I really hoped I didn’t have to eat a double helping of humble pie. I phoned him and said,

I’m going to have to eat crow so go gentle on me, okay?

I explained what I’d found this morning. There was a missed beat or two before he chuckled. Damn, I deserved that laugh. I told him it was a good thing he had no idea how deeply I blush because my face was brick red as we spoke. He graciously told me the conversation would self destruct as soon as we both hung up the phone, never to be spoken of again. I wouldn't blame him if he high fived someone the moment he put down the phone.

Eating crow is crunchy and tastes awful.

But it does wonders for keeping the ego in check.


Kathy M. said...

Great post. I had a boss once who had a sign in his office that said, Dear Lord, let my words be tender lest I be made to eat them. :-)

Anonymous said...

I like the part about the conversation self destructing after you hang up. Sounds like some real down to earth folks hanging out on that ladder.

Dianne said...

I like listening to that 2nd inner voice which says, Please tell me, Why I wouldn't correct this problem......?

well done and well expressed, corporate politics or not.

the word verification this time is
ovoidess. I think we should coin it! over-avoiding-ess