Sunday, May 22, 2016

Disapproval, disappointment, and then, discouragement???

Have you ever gotten the 3 D's???  Disapproval.  Disappointment.  Discouragement.

First you receive disapproval of something that meant a lot to you personally, then you experience disappointment due to the outcome and finally you become discouraged and just want to give up.
Does that ever happen to you?

Well, it does to me.  This is a bit of a long blog, so if you don't have time to read it now, put it aside and read it later.....

It is so interesting to watch events unfold that you never dreamed would happen.
Let me give you an example.  This past week at my job, I was called into the clinical manager's office to notify me that someone in our office had a grievance with me.  Whaaat???  A grievance?  For what?  Well, it was for visiting patients in our nursing homes for hospice.  As a marketer for Hospice, my job is to call on the director of nursing, social workers and activity coordinators to get to know them and develop rapport with them.  Each visit, I try to develop a little more of a relationship with one of these key contacts so that they will feel comfortable with me and our company enough to trust us with their patients who might need our assistance with pain and symptom management, end of life issues, etc.

Well, as part of my rounds each week, I stop in to say hello to the patients we currently have on our service.  Just to say hello and see how they are feeling.  I openly tell the patient that I am not a nurse, social worker or chaplain, just a plain old marketer.  We visit for maybe 5-10 minutes and sometimes I leave what I call a "Sunshine" basket of snacks, treats, hand-sanitizer, kleenex, etc.  Pretty innocent, right?  Well, not according to one of our staff.

For over a month now, different nurses, aides, and/or social workers for our office have noticed that I have been visiting our patients in facilities.  Does anyone ask me why I am visiting - what is the purpose of my visit?  No.  Not one person.  Instead, it comes up at a clinical staff meeting as an objection.  Why is a marketer visiting our patients?  Is she trying to stand in as a nurse?  Is she acting as a social worker on behalf of our company?   Is she offering clinical advise to the nursing home staff or giving medicine to the patients?  Absolutely not!  I am just visiting and saying hello.  Offering a piece of kindness while trying to get to know the account better.  Going the extra mile to let the account know that we actually care about our patients and not just to get future referrals, but actually following up to see how our current patients are doing.  This should be a positive, correct?

Well, unfortunately, the person before me in this position, used to go around and act like a nurse and ask the facility to call her instead of our office if there are any problems, concerns or issues.  So, our office manager decides we need to write up a formal "Grievance" to state what my purpose is and what my intentions are for visiting these patients.  I had to sign a formal paper and so did the person accusing me of wrong doing.  Unbelievable!!!  I was so upset I wanted to cry and could not continue to concentrate on my job that morning in the office.

What in the world???  I am actually getting in trouble for being nice?  Has our world gone completely crazy???  How bizarre to have been accused of doing something so right and yet it looked upon as so wrong!!!  Couldn't one person have just asked me:  "Hey Pam, why are you visiting our patients?"  Nope!  Not one person.  My sales manager looked at the operations manager and asked him:  "Do you have a problem with Pam seeing our patients?"  His response was unbelievable.  He said he did not know what my intention was and we needed to set a precedent for this type of behavior so that boundary lines were not crossed in the future.  He was right there in the room with me and acted as if I didn't exist - talking in third party sentences.  Couldn't he have just asked what my intention was a month ago when it was first brought up?  Couldn't the person wondering why I was doing what I was doing just ask me?  Not one of them had the courtesy or decency of asking me what my intentions were.  Not one.

I am completely floored and flabbergasted at the unprofessional handling of this incident.  I had to leave the office that morning as I was so close to tears.  I had to lay it in God's Almighty Hands and ask Him to show me how to  handle my actions and reactions to what just occurred.  Interestingly enough, the Lord came through loud and clear!!!  Two days after signing the paper and putting in our "Grievance Log,"  the person called me late at night to apologize.  She never intended for it to become a grievance and she asked to have it revoked and or just torn up.  The operations manager and clinical practice manager both refused.  The believe we need to keep it on our books for future reference.

Disbelief and discouragement surrounded me...I not only was disappointed that her request was not granted, I was floored.  As I was sitting in a parking lot in Paola, KS reading the follow up email, I literally closed my eyes and prayed to the Lord for His direction.  How in the world should I respond?  Anger?  Disappointment?  Retaliation?  None of the above.  Instead He brought me to an idea that would NOT have been my first reaction!  "Think before you speak."  Whaaat?

THINK is an acronym for:

Is it True?
Is it helpful?
Is it inspiring?
Is it necessary?
Is it kind?

I had just written this acronym down from a poster in one of my accounts that morning.  Perfect timing, don't you think???

So, I wrote this response to the managers and all who were copied on the email:
"Dear so and so,
It is nice to know that doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do brings such notice!  Thank you for the opportunity to grow and learn from this experience."
Smiles, Pam

Yep! Smiles!!!  God gave me an incredible way to handle the situation and disperse all the anger, frustration, resentment and bitterness that was building up in my head and my heart!!!

Lay it down, Pam....Let it go, let it go - just let it go!!!
It is worth letting all the anger and frustration go.
It is worth laying it down and forgiving the person who had a skewed view of my intentions.
It is worth forgiving the managers who needed to make me an example to the rest of the staff.
It is worth giving up my right for retaliation.
It is worth the Peace that passes ALL understanding.
And, it is worth giving God all the Glory for His incredible intervention in my life!!!

How about you?  Would you consider "Thinking before you speak" next time something wild and crazy and very negative happens in your life?  Would you be willing to lay down your anger, disappointment and not become discouraged?

Instead, allow God to show you how to handle the situation.
Allow God to heal your heart and the person who has wronged you.
Ask God to give you His Peace!!!

It is worth it - every step along the way!!!

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