Many of us have experienced the feeling of hope curdling into disappointment. How about when you show up to a job with the eagerness of a kid in a candy store, bring your qualifications and experience and suddenly this awesome opportunity turns sour because your boss or coworker begins belittling, disrespecting and generally humiliating you?
To say the least, you’re torn in two. One part of you wants to say F-off! Another part is still trying to figure out how to hang on despite the turn of events because you want / need to do the job so badly. So what can you do?
Let me give you an example of something that I recently experienced and share what I decided to do.
While I was excited about the opportunity to work with a trainer who had a lot of experience in the business, after a couple of meetings, that excitement turned into a mixture of anxiety and disgust.
I watched him interact with other clients during a group class and I was disappointed by the disrespectful tone in which I heard him address people. Picture this, there I am cycling away like a little gerbil while watching him bully his “target” until they would give in and stop protesting. Needless to say my motivation dropped significantly after this. I started to question what this guy’s training philosophy was.
After the class, I asked him if he could give me an idea of what the plan was for working together as I understood he would provide the clients, take a cut and I’d train them. When I asked him during the first meeting I couldn’t really get a straight answer, so I tried again.
This is when he decided to trash my credentials, belittle my training experience, and tell me that nobody trains his clients until they’ve learned “his” way. As if this weren’t enough he went on to say that I need to think about whether I want to work with him since I seem like I think I know it all and want to start my own business.
I called him on his claims and he had nothing to back it up. I also reminded him that he already knew I had my own clients, so why is it a problem now when it wasn’t 2 days ago? Again, nothing.
We were supposed to meet in a few days after I checked out another gym where I’d be training some clients. As time went on, I couldn’t shake this sick feeling building up inside of me. I tried everything I could think of to make it ok somehow, but I couldn’t work it out in my head.
Basically, it came down to a few of decision making questions:
1. Q. Even if he were respectful on the next meeting, would I be ok working with him on a
A. No. Because if a person can switch that much in personality from one meeting to the next,
it’s a set up for a world of hurt.
2. Q. Are our training philosophies compatible?
A. No. I believe in training people utilitizing positive reinforcement and encouragement. I’m
tough but in a way that I show you that you can do more than you think. He on the other
hand thinks that “breaking someone down” to get them to submit to his every whim is the
way to get results.
3. Q. Is this the only opportunity I will have to work with a well experienced trainer in my career?
A. Not if I don’t want it to be.
I think that number 3 is what trips a lot of people up. This was actually my hardest one. It is this feeling of foreboding that if you don’t make this work, then there will be no other chance. It’s fatalistic thinking. As if you should take the abuse and somehow you’ll be better off in the end if you just “hang in there”.
This is about the time, you have to reach deep down and dig up your last shred of self-respect and walk the hell away ASAP.
It took me three days of contemplating, before I let him know, that this is not going to be a good fit and I need to cancel our next appointment.
Am I disappointed? Yes.
Do I feel better having held on to my values? No doubt.
Do I know what’s next? Absolutely not!
I want to be the best trainer I can be, but I am not willing to compromise my integrity or values because then I’m really not my best after all.
I believe that when you draw a line in the sand and stand up for who you are, eventually, you are surrounded mostly by like minded people who help you get where you want to go and feel good along the way.
What’s your take?
With love from aneternaltraveler 😉