I am feeling very hurt and upset tonight, and I’m getting some old urges so I feel like I need to blog to get my thoughts out in some logical order down in writing.
A situation has occurred over the past few days which has been upsetting, but more so the reaction of my father to the situation. Let me explain.
I work in property, and would like to think I come across as a professional agent. I have trained, have 8 years experience and am passionate about the law and making sure our clients comply. In other words, I spend a lot of time reading, following the news, learning about legislative updates and the like – so I am confident that I am knowledgeable enough to do my job properly. My work isn’t a game to me, and nor is it just a job.
A close family friend of my parents came to my mother (who I work with in the business) and asked for legal advice on an issue he was having with his tenant. My mother hasn’t really kept up to date with the legislation so asked me if I would be able to help. I agreed, because, well, I am a kind person and I try to help people when I can. If you want to read the whole story, it is in italics below, if you don’t, just scroll down past it – but the long and short of it is that the family friend used my good nature to solve his problem, then treated me badly once it was all sorted.
((The friend in question visited the office and I spent several hours of my time with him discussing the issues, explaining where he had gone wrong and explaining what I would need to do to correct the problem and sort the situation out. I served several legal notices on his behalf (normally chargeable but it was a favour) and negotiated with his tenant to ensure a smooth exit. Going forwards I dealt with a couple of other items he hadn’t done himself (so was breaking the law), and after all this I said to him I would like to take on the management because I was doing a lot of work for him, partly because I would like the business and partly to avoid him getting himself into this situation again.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, after I had solved all his issues over a period of several weeks, he then appeared in the office several days ago. He walked straight in, threw the management agreement paperwork down on the desk in front of me and said, I quote, “I shan’t be bothering with these, I’ve found another tenant myself” and walked out.
So, in short, he had used me to solve his problem, and then thrown all my hard work back in his face. Don’t get me wrong, I get it. Some people want to do things themselves. But if he didn’t want us to manage it, all he needed to do was to come in and tell me so, and thank me for all the hard work rather than treating me like he did – basically you’ve done all I need you for, so you are no longer of use and I’m going to make that clear.
I did actually have a letter from his tenant that I needed to email to him, so I took the opportunity to email him the following:
Please find attached a notice received from your tenant. Please advise her we will not be managing the property.
As a side note, I was very saddened with your actions today. I generously spent a lot of my time solving the multiple issues with your tenant – time and expertise that I gave you free of charge to save you a lot of money and trouble.
Whilst I appreciate you may not want to use us to manage the property, for you to throw the management agreements on my desk and advise me that “you aren’t going to bother with them” was disrespectful given the amount of time and care I have graciously offered you.
As I said before, I pride myself of being professional and I feel that this email was to the point but honest. Also, the fact that I didn’t react when he came into the office also felt like it was testament to my ability to be professional.
Anyway, later that day, I spoke to my mother about what had happened, and she listened but told me to just let it go. She asked if anyone else was in the office when it happened and I confirmed that yes, three other people were there (on both occasions) and they all witnessed how rude he had been. ))
The following morning, I dropped my dog to my parents house as I always do. My mum was already at work but my dad was there, and he was clearly very angry with me. He barely spoke two words, and didn’t even look up when he was speaking them. When I asked my mum about it, she told me he was angry with me because he had spoken to his friend, and he had said that I had “patronised him” and “made him feel like a child” on our first meeting weeks ago.
Now, when I reflect on this meeting, yes – I had to point out the errors he had made, because I had to explain what I needed to do to fix them. But I was professional and gentle throughout, and was not at any point patronising – and three other people have since confirmed that to me as they were sat in the office at the same time.
Fast forward again to tonight and my parents had looked after my children for a few hours while I had an appointment (that’s a different story entirely!). The plan was I would get back and have dinner at their house. While I was waiting for dinner to be ready, I asked my Dad if we could talk about his friend. Initially he said no, and then launched into a tirade about the fact that I had offended his friend by treating him like a child. When I stated by case that I had been nothing but professional, he told me that someone like me “couldn’t ever be professional”, and that if anyone in the office was “backing up my story” it was because they were “all afraid of me” not because I was telling the truth.
He told me I was a “young upstart” who “didn’t know anything” compared to his friend who had a lifetime of experience – and actually his friend had sorted out the issue without any help from me (not true in the slightest).
I started to get upset, so left the room to start getting the children ready to go because I had suddenly lost my appetite. My mum came in and tried to talk to me, and I told her that I was upset because Dad kept saying all these things about me, but I was nothing but professional, I was asked to do a favour which I did, and the friend totally used our good nature to get what he wanted, and now I had called him on the fact that he had behaved badly, he suddenly was bringing up this “story” from several weeks ago that I had offended him. It begs the question – why didn’t he voice this weeks ago when it happened? Why only now when I called him on his behaviour?
I started to get the children going towards the door and by now I was distraught and barely able to speak (read: ugly crying.) My dad shouts out that I am now trying to make him feel bad by crying.
It hurts me so much that my own father, when he has upset me by saying things to me to the point that I am crying to the point I can barely speak, not only doesn’t acknowledge that he has caused it, but then claims I am only putting it on to manipulate him into feeling bad. It hurts me so much, in fact it crucifies me, that my own father can never see the good in me, only the worst. He takes the side of anyone else over me, and won’t believe that I could be a good, kind, fair person.
He told me that I was obviously “aggressive” to his friend because he “knows what I am like”. I feel totally invalidated. Maybe he knew me 10 years ago, in the midst of my major mental health crises. I admit then I was a liability, I was volatile, I hurt people and didn’t care about it. But I have spent the last 10 years growing emotionally, growing as a person. I am not aggresive. I am not unprofessional. I do not like conflict. I am kind, I am thoughtful, I am empathetic (I am an empath but that is another story). My heart is sensitive but my own father thinks it is made of stone.
At the risk of repeating myself, it fucking hurts. It hurts that one of the two people who should always have my back, be in my corner and totally believe in me – does the opposite. It hurts that no matter what I do to gain his approval, it won’t be forthcoming. No matter what I achieve in my life, business or otherwise, was “given to me on a plate” or “I took the easy option so it isn’t worth anything”. I say that I have given up seeking his approval and come to terms with it, but I haven’t really, I was just playing a cruel joke with myself.
It hurts so much that when he sees me upset (especially caused by something he has done or said) he automatically assumes I am acting to manipulate him rather than being genuinely upset and sharing that emotion with him. I either accept or or change it, and I honestly believe the latter isn’t an option. Watch this space.