Laurie Swanson Blog

Her Attitude Cost Her the Job and Started a War

I have a client who has been on a long-term contract. The contract should have lasted at least 12 months and possibly longer. It was very lucrative for her.

Then, she made a mistake.

She received a call from someone about an issue and, admittingly, did not handle herself very well.

She was short with this person. She resolved the problem but, through her tone and actions, let that person know she thought they were incompetent.

She says that the call came in 1 hour after she was “off the help desk support clock” AND it was over the weekend! As she explained, if the person had thought it through, they would have realized that she was not the right person to call in the first place. She should not be spending her Saturday night taking this call.

This was all true yet when she got to the office on Monday, she was notified that her contract would no longer be extended. Her employer said something about needing someone who had different technology focus but we both knew this was not true.

She Created War

It was the attitude she chose to have with the person that created her very bad consequences.

It was like she went to war with this person.

Yes, she was tired.

Sure, she was not the right person to call.

Of course, the other person could have tried to solve the problem differently.

But none of that matters when you find that you have essentially gotten yourself fired.

She feels terrible. Not only because of the loss of income but because she let her bad mood and self-righteous attitude get the best of her in the moment.  Even more importantly, she treated someone badly and she really wishes she could get a do-over.

TRUTH:  She Felt Justified

How many times has this happened to you with lesser consequences?

How many times have you felt justified in your bad behavior?

When you roll your eyes at the store clerk who is talking too long to the customer in front of you.

Or when you snap at your child because they are taking too long to get out the door.

Or cold-shoulder your spouse who just can’t seem to remember to do what you asked.

None of these things are major but they still impact you and they impact the other person as well. People can FEEL frustration from others.   You can FEEL frustration when it builds in your body.

She Could Have Created Peace Instead

I believe, some would say naively, that if each of us makes an effort to treat everyone graciously, patiently and lovingly that we can create peace on earth.  And that can change everything-combative relationships, divisive politics, unethical business practices, the need to wield power...

So, let’s play a game. For the next week create peace in your world.  The change really does start with you. Here are some suggestions:

Choose Peace:  If you know you are walking into a situation where stress might be running high simply tell yourself “Today, I choose peace”
Try Something Radical:  If you find yourself in a conversation that is getting heated do something radical. Look at the person and say, “You might be right. Tell me more”
Send Silent Peace:  We have all been a giver and a receiver of a bad attitude.  If the damage is already done then create peace from where you are by sending silent messages of peace. Say things to yourself like “I send peace to myself and others who been on the receiving end of a bad attitude” or “I send peace to myself and others who have been on the giving end of bad behavior”

Make Peace NOT War.

If you are ready to create a peaceful career change give me a call. Laurie Swanson 630/260-7821 or

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