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Two instances happened this week that didn’t seem related at first, but after they occurred, I thought about it and realized they were something I’d like to share.

Every work place is subject to a variable amount of diversity. I try to be open minded and kind to all, but I am human, so I often fail at this goal.

Last week, I had a new client come in. She brought three children in with her, and these children immediately reigned chaos over the office for the entirety of their visit. I don’t dislike children in and of themselves, and even when children are cruel or crazy, I try to remember that no matter how irritated I become with them, I am not the one that has to go home with them at the end of the day. Everyone has good days and bad ones. I can call to mind on many occasions the fantastic dynamic experiences I’ve had with the future of America, but this was not one of those times.

This was Lord of the Flies.

From the moment they walked in the front door, they started disrespecting the clinic, their parents, my staff, and me. While I tried to be courteous but firm to the kids, I’m sure I had a sharp tone in my voice when I asked one of the little girls to do, or not do, something specific for me.

“You’re bossy!” she declared at full volume.

This hurt my feelings. Her parents were either extremely laid back, beyond tired of dealing with this, or were having an off day with their children. I’m not a parent so I have no desire to explore which of the aforementioned were true nor give advice. I don’t know why I thought this child and I could get along, but I recoiled and tried to avoid them until they left to avoid any more personal affronts on my character. I really don’t think of myself as bossy, but I know deep down inside I struggle for constant control of my life. This can be noted by my desire to pump my own gas and how it exceeds my lazy appreciation for sitting in my car during all kinds of weather.

The second part of this story happened a few days later. The word dagger still stuck in my mind when I was talking to a peer who was very sad with his/her life. After listening to the my friend confide in me, he/she ended by sighing and saying, “But of course I am, because I a doormat,” and I tried to provide comfort.

I was driving around earlier today completing my list of errands which is something that provides reassurance that if I am not the master of my own universe at least I’m a manager. I grew increasingly aggravated when I became lost while trying to find a destination. I don’t own a smart phone, I don’t have a gps, and from this, you probably assume that I ride my 19th century bicycle everywhere or have some kind of homemade Fred Flinstone vehicle propelled by my feet. Believe it or not, I own a car.

When this happened, these two events clicked into my mind. I heard “bossy” and “doormat” in my head until it turned into a question: are you bossy or are you a doormat?

As I gripped the wheel, sang loudly to the radio, and vowed to find the place I sought, I realized that I do not care if a small child thinks that I am bossy, because I have survived.

We can learn from both of these words. These are labels no one wants assigned. I never thought I could ever be hurt by the word “bossy,” but I can. Being a “doormat” sounds bad, and I agree that it can be. It can also be concluded that my friend in question has a strong, admirable, honorable, and caring spirit.

There is a saying on the internet: “Do no harm, but take no shit,” and it can definitely be noted that I try to not take shit from people although we could all do a little less harm in the world. I am a bad ass bitch, and that means sometimes I am disliked for this. It can also be assumed that if I demand certain things from life, for my family, friends, or for myself, that someone is going to love that about me. The balance of these two things is delicate, but we should also not bother spending too much time wondering what people think of us.