For as assertive as I am, I have a terrible time telling people that I no longer want to use their services. I think it comes from the whole people pleaser thing I’ve got going on. Plus, I’m very empathetic and don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. But. . . and I might be going out on a limb here. . .I think I am getting better at saying “no thanks” to people that I don’t want work with.
Mr. Darcy and I have been taking dance lessons at Arthur Murray on some group on type dealio. The teacher we had for our one-on-one was very nice but the whole vibe of the place wasn’t for us. Let’s put it this way- the dance teachers struck me as the Stepford Wives of ballroom dancing. Every time we went in they would try to up-sell us and make us commit to our “dance plan” for our wedding. And! They would write notes about us in these binders. Besides, who keeps binders anymore?
On our last group class was led by this marionette of an instructor who was impossible to hear except for her 1-2-3-beep-bop-da call out. By the 5th time I alternated back to Mr. Darcy he was sweating and looking rather miserable so we cut out of there early. We had our final one-on-one lesson scheduled a few days later and I just knew I didn’t want to go. I couldn’t face our teacher doing her pushy manipulation disguised as sweet encouragement. Lying in bed the next night, I brought it up.
“I think we should not go back to Arthur Murray.”
“What should we tell them?”
“We should just not show up.”
“We can’t do that! We should at least call. . .We could tell them you are sick.”
“Lying to them is better than not showing up?”
“Yes! Because they have MY number and I know she will call me relentlessly to try to guilt me into rescheduling. I’m weak.”
“Tell her we’ve finally settled on our “Plan.” The “Plan” is we will stop showing up. It’s a concise plan.”
I sat there agonizing about calling and finally dialed. It was around 10:15pm so I was surprised when someone picked up the phone. I was only prepared to leave a voicemail not talk to a live human! So, I hung up. Mr. Darcy started laughing at me.
Then I decided we should just send an email. Mr. Darcy’s helpful stab at it was, “Dear Arthur Murray… It’s not you; it’s us. Well, mostly it’s you.” I went with something a little more fleshed out. It was clear but firm. And a little nice. I CANNOT HELP THE NICE.
I fully expected them to call me the next day. So far, no calls or emails. I think we’re in the clear and can go about finding a new dance instructor. But not at Arthur Murray. Never again.
Also, I might still kind of suck at breaking up with people.
We hired a lawn service shortly after moving into our house because it’s a lot of lawn and we don’t have a mower. Those are our excuses and we’re standing by them. The one man lawn service guy that I found on Craig’s List came by to give me an estimate, looked around the place, and told me it’d be $50 every two weeks for him to mow it. He doesn’t speak English very well but we managed to shake on a deal. He mowed the lawn that day and I told him I’d leave a check for him under the mat in 2 weeks when he was scheduled to return. Except two weeks went by and then a day and then two days and I finally called him and was like “what the heck?” and he was like “I come tomorrow!” And I’m like “OK but do you come every other Friday or what?” And he’s all “I come tomorrow.”
Uh, awesome. Great talking to you?
Then two weeks go by and Friday comes again. I leave a check but come home after work to lawn that has not been mowed. The weekend passes with no sign of him. Monday I come home from work and the lawn is mowed. Fine. Okay. Two more weeks go by and again, he doesn’t show on Friday, the weekend, or Monday. So Tuesday I call and our conversation goes something like:
“Hi I live at ….. and you are supposed to mow my lawn every other Friday.”
“Well it’s Tuesday and you have not come.”
“I come tomorrow.”
“No do not come tomorrow. Don’t come again. You are fired.”
“You can’t expect to keep jobs when you don’t keep to the schedule you agree to. Don’t come back. Thank you. Good-bye.”
I was doing so well until the damn thank you. I guess I am still in people pleaser recovery mode. It’s a long process. Give me time. I’ll be Donald Trump soon enough.