Paying for Other’s Bad Behavior Is Making Me a Little Cranky

Lucy courtesy Charles Schulz via Cafe Press

Lucy courtesy Charles Schulz via Cafe Press

Now in my mid 40’s, I’ve officially experienced enough of life where paying (in time or money) for other people’s bad behavior, no-show tendencies, and last-minute procrastination is making me cranky. Over my adult life, when I or my kids have received unfair treatment, I’ve definitely handled it firmly, but always with respect toward others, even when they might not have deserved it. I’ve followed policies that were ridiculous because I “understood”.

Why have I attempted to do the right things? I have hoped to be a good example to my kids. I’ve thought that it would please God. Because I’ve observed that the senior citizens who are still nice after 80 years of living on this planet have made the effort to remain kind. Now that my kids are teenagers, I’m a little worn out from always doing the right things.

– For example, my son had his wisdom teeth out recently. I had written proof (and so did the office) that my insurance would cover the cost. The “policy” was that I had to pay $700 cash up front and wait 2 months for the office to write me a refund check. I was a little cranky. When I questioned the policy, the response was, “Well, so many parents weren’t paying their balance not covered by insurance.” But I’m not that parent!

– For years, the same 15% of the congregation at church did 100% of the work. Instead of being grateful, the 85% often complained about something. This makes volunteers a little cranky. The followers of the “serve your church” rule get piled with more until they learn that sometimes, you have to say “no”, and they hate to say no.

– One of my children takes instrument lessons and the teacher sent out a lengthy handbook about new policies. The book’s theme hinted: ‘I’ve been burned and now-no more.’ Extremely specific guidelines were printed and parents were asked to sign. Why? Because some Moms call to say they’re not taking their kids out of the pool for lessons. I’m not that parent. I’m a rule follower. I’ll bring my tired child to lessons even if they need a day off to rest because I respect the teacher’s time, not because I’m a Tiger Mom.

Other parents are paying late? Yes, I’ll be happy to pay in advance, even though I just paid the oral surgeon $700. But, when I’m asked to pay for days when I know 6 months in advance that I won’t be there – and, when I have to pay a mandatory fee for events my child isn’t participating in, I’m a little cranky. Guess what? The non-payers will still pay late or not at all. The same parents will still blow off their lesson times without a courtesy phone call.

– Three days ago, I applied for a new job online. I embarked on completing a tortuously-long application form, which took me over an hour and a half to finish. Every other paragraph inserted a “WARNING” that “IMMEDIATELY” after completing the application, a personality test was required, or the information would NOT be looked at. I submitted the application, resume, cover letter, and rights to a 4th child if I ever have one. Then, I began the insanely time consuming personality test. I followed the directions – “immediately” beginning the personality test, when really, I should have ignored the “warnings” like most everyone else apparently does.

The test was getting so complicated (I was doing algebra), I took a quick break and scanned my email. I emailed the application at 1:03pm and began the long assessment. At 1:05pm, I received an email from said company that after careful consideration, they would not be pursuing my candidacy. Two minutes after I submitted part one of a “mandatory” two-part process, I received the automated Dear John letter. I was already an hour into the personality assessment.

Not sure if I should laugh or cry at how I had just spent an afternoon of my life, I emailed the Corporate Recruiter a friendly suggestion about how his Human Resources division could operate a little more respectfully of qualified candidates who actually read and follow the directions. After a little investigating with them and another large institution, guess why testing is required? So many people lie on their application forms, they need a “better” assessment than a resume. Guess why automated “not selected” responses are sent 2 minutes after submissions? The companies aren’t always recruiting for an existing position, they are bulking up their files to demonstrate a “commitment to diversity” for possible future examination.

– I’m sure you have countless examples of your own frustrations. I won’t torture you or myself with the broader issues of national health care and the number of people living in America who impressively avoid paying their taxes for 20 years.

Those who brag about “beating the system”, and who circumvent every other routine responsibility that is a normal part of being a grown up:  have mercy on us do-gooders that you mock. Please obey the rules. Be honest. It’s getting really hard for us to stay sweet toward you. 🙂

“We can’t allow ourselves to get tired of living the right way.” Galations 6:9 GWT

12 thoughts on “Paying for Other’s Bad Behavior Is Making Me a Little Cranky

  1. Just today I’ve been really ruminating on where being kind and nice have gotten me. Usually last in this world. I just get so tired walking the Higher Road and seemingly getting squashed. Yeah a bit discouraged today. I just don’t have it in me to cheat, lie, or steal.


    • That is what separates you from the rest. Even if the good we do in this life goes unnoticed by most, I believe God is keeping track of when we’re “kind and nice”. That doesn’t make our days easier, but I do get some comfort from that knowledge. We must keeping walking that higher road you speak of… ❤ (I hope you are feeling much better this weekend.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you! I’ve not been this sick in years and still today not back to my usual self. I’m going to try blogging to see if I can do it. If not, I know I at least tried. And yes about walking the Higher Road. No matter what, I can look myself in the eyes, and I know when I review my Life, I can say I did my best with what I was given. Oh, yes, God knows ALL. ❤


  2. Thanks for sharing some of the sacrifices of following Christ along with the encouraging post. I agree that the world is full of people trying to protect themselves from people who will never consider the costs of their behavior. as grievous as it can be, I appreciate having kind and generous people in my life. God bless you.


  3. Can I just commend you right now for doing the right thing, Mom? I know that’s not what you are after, but I would like to offer it anyway. I’m a decade up on you but well remember so many of those trying times, especially trying to makes ends meet with all of the expenses related to family. I haven’t been reading here for very long, but I just want to tell you that you are doing a good job and tell you from experience that it does get a little better soon. Have a great day! 😀


  4. Whew! I’d be cranky too. I’m a rule girl, and that stuff about paying for the lazy jerks gets me going.
    No good deed goes unpunished in this backward world we live in.


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