Getting Your Hand Smacked For Doing The Right Thing

not my catsIt is a cruel, cruel world sometimes. You can do all the right things and feel like you are being punished, ignored, looked over or penalized. This falls into the category of “well that’s just not fair.”

No, it is not.

But it happens.

Although I accept the premise that it is not fair that you do the right thing and get your hand smacked what I reject is our natural reaction to question ourselves.

What did I do wrong, what could I have done better, what could I have done differently etc.

Knock it off.

Bottom line – some people are just peanut-butter heads. When my son was young we came up with “replacement” words for things he would hear from grown ups: he thought of this one and it stuck with us.

My mom is dealing with a peanut-butter head right now. They have wild cats in their neighborhood. One had a couple litters before she was able to trap her and the kittens. She called the IndyFeral Inc. in an attempt to handle the cat situation in the best possible way for the cats and neighborhood.

Basically it boils down to this: with this organization they spay/neuter the cats, tag and id them, give them all their shots and register them as a “colony”. I giggled at that one. In return you have to sign an agreement that these are unowned cats, you pay for all this out of your pocket, upon completion of their vet visit you have to release them where you trapped them and provide food, water and shelter to minimize or eliminate neighborhood nuisances.

They have done all the same. There are no more cat fights in the middle of the night or bad cat behavior throughout the neighborhood. They have food and water bowls, kitty liter box and shelter at my moms – not in her house, they are not her cats.

Well some peanut-butter head has begun a very nasty little complaint party of one, sending letters addressed to “you cat people” and complaining to the homeowners association. She showed the HA the agreement and that she was complying and it was her attempt to lesson the cat nuisance in the neighborhood. They were cool with it.

Not peanut-butter head.

Here she was trying to be humane to the cats and resolve a long standing issue in the neighborhood and she is getting her hand smacked by a peanut-butter head. Hello – did anyone else try to get the cat before the second or third litter and take it somewhere? Did anyone else pay for this out of their own pocket from a good heart?


So back off.

We are addressing the issue now as ignoring the peanut-butter head has not lead to her getting over herself.

In your work you may find that you are doing all the right things for all the right reasons but still not getting the recognition, advancement or opportunities that others seem to be getting or that you deserve.

This is not the time to go to your bosses office and stomp your foot and say “that is not fair”. You may want to but I would not advise it.

No, instead in a calm and professional manner gather your evidence and schedule a meeting. Talk to your boss. Find out what the situation is, what the determining factors are and the reasons behind the decisions.

What you might find is this: you just are not going to get that chance.

You work for a peanut-butter head.

Is that where you need to be? Do you want to continue to beat your head against the wall for nothing and feeling like you are underappreciated or worse that you are doing something wrong?

You are not doing something wrong – you work for the wrong company.

Use this as an opportunity to define what it is you want, how you can contribute and the value you want from your job. Then start a plan of action to find the right place.

Define yourself in your resume, talk to your network letting them know exactly what you are looking for – not why you are leaving. No one wants to hear a boo-hoo story or “I’m leaving because they are mean to me”. Be professional and make it about you – you have a lot to give and you are looking for the right place to give and receive.

Remember, you did nothing wrong in doing the right thing, you just did it for the wrong company or person. Now pat yourself on the back for being the bigger person and continuing to do the right thing and go find your happy place.

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

2 thoughts on “Getting Your Hand Smacked For Doing The Right Thing”

  1. Drove me crazy when my dad responded to my “it’s not fair” complaints with “Nobody said life was fair.”, but now, after many years, I get it and can drive my kids crazy with that phrase. Peanut-butter heads exist (love that phrase!), sometimes bad things happen. We can either chose to stomp our feet and whine or we can make our own changes.

    1. My mom’s solution to our whining was to reply with some cute little phrase like, “if ifs and buts were candies and nuts oh what a wonderful Christmas we would all have.” You stopped whining just to not hear things like that lol. And yes, I have said that phrase to my son – amazing how we turn into our parents….

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