Meanness is Deliberate

Someone called me the other day crying. They went to an interview and left in tears. I get these calls sometimes. Or, they have been looking for a year with no success. The men don’t cry, but I can hear it in their voices. Then, I do everything I can to help get them back in the game. There is a feeling of being physically ill when you are looking for work and someone is mean.

Meanness is deliberate. Don’t agonize if it was your fault or if you could have approached the situation differently. The mean ones could take the high road. They have a choice. They know it.

FOR EXAMPLE, I volunteered to help an organization last Friday. My enthusiasm was annoying. But, does that warrant the Executive Director of a struggling nonprofit to order me out of his office because he didn’t like something that I said? Which he misconstrued. Simply thank the person in your office and let them know something came up. Politely end the meeting. The PLUS SIDE, I felt young again! That same icky feeling out of college when I was rejected for work and left wondering – is it me? Where are my skills? What did I say wrong?

I know I have a good resume. I was able to proudly stand up and say so. I explained he was losing out on an affordable opportunity to have someone passionate and skilled enough to help at a bargain rate because I had the time and passion – I still don’t feel good.

This morning I had a conversation with a reporter from an unnamed newspaper (let’s put the paper in Boston because they deserve to be in a bad mood and mean). The reporter said I was wasting her time and had already taken up 10 minutes – now make that 17 minutes – of her time. She said she was trying to exercise restraint by not hanging up on me. I kid you not.

Go on, pass me on to someone else but don’t tell me you are exercising restraint not hanging up on me. I felt young again!!That same pit in my stomach feeling that my career in PR is over. That I have nothing of value to say and waste people’s time.

How many times have you wanted to leave public relations? How many times have you felt rebuffed and frustrated?

I have a weak stomach or I would have gone into sales. When I run into mean people I become derailed. Don’t you?

Linda, I feel young again, Hamburger

Founder and Moderator of the South Florida Public Relations Network (

Get in touch off line if you want floridaprnetwork (at) gmail (dot) com