I’ll admit it. I have trouble with boundaries. I run a gallery and do consulting and sometimes people come to the gallery and ask for advice. We started the gallery after some consulting clients asked about the art we had in our home and wanted to buy some.
I’ve learned to put my foot down when things really get out of whack and I know how to say “now is not a good time” when we have a big event and people want to tell me about their problems at work.
Last week I heard of a situation that has unfortunately gone beyond the limit. It involved someone else.
I was in a client’s office and I stopped and said hello to a woman I know who works there as as an interpreter for the CFO. The CFO just moved here, doesn’t speak any Japanese and relies [too] heavily on the interpreter for personal things as well as business things. She told me he even calls her at home when he wants a pizza, because he doesn’t know who to call and who to order. “What should I do”, she asked me.
“Teach him Domino’s number for English speakers, teach him how to say Pepperoni in Japanese and put your foot down now. You’re an interpreter for work, not for his personal life. Tell him very politely and clearly: Please Don’t Call Me If You Want A Pizza.”
You may not be called for a pizza.
You might be asked to take on jobs that were done by somebody else, or pick someone else up at the airport, but soon you have no time for yourself.
Stand up, say something, before it’s too late,
and you’re spending all your time doing other people’s work.
And you have no time for yourself.
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