ASS-itude is a term coined by a friend of mine and I liked it so much I thought it worthy of a blog post.
There is nothing wrong with being assertive on the job, but when it turns into ASS-itude, that’s where things are very likely to end badly.
Yes, we have good days and bad days, but the trick is not to let the bad days overtake the good days, because that’s where ASS-itude gets a toe hold and starts to grow into a full-grown problem.
REAL LIFE ASS-ITUDE
Here’s an example, taken from my personal experience when I was a young “pup” in the workplace:
It was the holidays, and I was working retail at a gift shop at a busy mall. People were harried and that stress hit me as well, and I started to let ASS-itude take over.
Then, one day, a very well-groomed and obviously wealthy customer came in; what turned me off, however, was his imperious attitude and how he started treating me as I tried to help him with the items that he wanted.
Quite frankly, he was treating me like complete dirt.
Then, my ASS-titude took over.
ASS-ITUDE BITES ME IN THE BUTT
I started getting very curt with him, and that just spurred him on even more to be even more rude, as he felt his entitlement.
Personally, I was struggling with the “customer is always right” mantra in the face of a person who was clearly not nice.
But my resolve let loose and I started to get snippy with him, trying to diminish him.
That’s when my ASS-itude brought everything down.
He stopped, came up to the counter, and in a quiet voice said, “What is your name?”
Stammering and blushing, I gave it.
He followed up with, “What is your boss’ name? And phone number?”
Reddening further, I became ashamed. I realized at that point, my ASS-itude had not accomplished anything except brought me down to his level.
I provided the information, and of course, he followed up, reporting me.
A LEARNING OPPORTUNITY
My boss was lenient, coaching me on customer service and how to avoid letting feelings get into the way.
And that’s the heart of where ASS-itude starts.
Letting one’s feelings get in the way of work.
I realized how wrong it was, and have endeavored since that incident 30+ years ago to never let that happen again.
In reality, no one appreciates a co-worker, boss, or subordinate who loses control of their emotions.
ASS-itude accomplishes NOTHING.
It may help you feel better in the heat of the moment, but at the end of the day, what remains is that you were an ass. And you know it.
HOW TO LEAVE ASS-ITUDE AT HOME
My advice is that no matter the situation, remember that this is only temporary.
The key to your career is to not let ASS-itude guide your professional life. People remember others who were asses, but they champion and adore people who are kind.
And kindness opens doors to opportunity.