You know what? Life is actually such a humbling experience. I know that I tend to write things everybody is aware of but it’s always good to be like an alarm on repeat with these things because they’re so easy to forget (and it feels as if I’m reminding myself). I feel myself in a position where it’s been so long since I’ve been put in my place that my perspective on things has been warped a little.
I’m someone who likes to do things on his own terms, even if it means that I won’t get tasks done. I’ve been protected doing the things I do which has helped lead to me absolutely hating being told what to do by others and finding it hard to abide by unwritten compromises as well. The thing is I’m rarely ever called out on these things so even though I know it’s not ok, my demeanour will show you something different because I don’t expect people to say anything about it.
Where is this coming from you might ask? Well, I went to a job interview last week however I ended up getting there around 5 minutes late and thanks to my lack of interview etiquette, I didn’t tell the interviewer that I was going to be late. What followed was around 10 minutes of the interviewer talking down to me about how he’d given me such a great opportunity that I’d basically thrown away (we’ll see about that) and something about how the company was rapidly expanding amongst a group of other points that really didn’t mean anything to me. I ended up being told to go away but from that experience a few things were pointed out to me.
Looking at my CV, you could essentially describe me as someone who’s at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to experience and job prospects (I’d like to think I’m a nifty guy on a personal level!) which means that I more or less have to take any chance that’s given to me with both hands. I’ll admit that I don’t do that but every time I miss an opportunity that’s when life in its own twisted way reminds me of where I am and the humiliation process begins.
Usually I’m told by people to remember where I am in life and it becomes painfully obvious that I don’t have the freedom to express where I want to be. My experience usually comes into play and as insulting as it can feel, it forces me to stay grounded because it’s the truth.
Everyone is capable of achieving great things but nobody’s special, even though we’re all unique and because of this we can’t get too ahead of ourselves. I was very pissed off with the interviewer because I thought he was unprofessional for talking down to me until I realised that it was unprofessional of me to come late without warning him; I felt entitled to a fair chance whilst ignoring the fact that if you present yourself in a certain way then that’s how people will receive and treat you. That day cut me down to size so much that the following interview I had, I arrived 40 minutes early (I didn’t get that job either which sucked though).
When it isn’t an outside source reminding me of what I have (or haven’t) done with myself then there’s always some unrest going on in my head constantly saying ‘Jeffrey you’re this and you’re that’ amongst some choice words. This is because I know that I have to do better even if my outwards attitude doesn’t show me as someone who thinks this way. I don’t always like the thoughts in my head and I reckon that’s because naturally as humans we all look for reasons to be confident and we love to shift the blame for our shortcomings on other people so that we can protect our egos and still have a reason to believe that we’re great.
In a position like mine (being an unemployed graduate), it’s very easy to get to a point where the sense of entitlement blows up without reason and keeping that entitlement in check is very hard to do because it just spews out unapologetically. I don’t think I’m better than anybody (I’ve seen people with toxic levels of entitlement who believe they’re God’s gift to earth) but I do tend to think that I deserve better than the things I’m offered rather than making the best out of it. It’s not to say that having a sense of entitlement is bad because everybody should know their worth but when it starts to change your attitude and hinder your progress, life will throw you somewhere that is shitty and make sure that you realise why you’re there.
One thing for sure is that nobody will hold our hands during life, in fact life is looking for reasons to push us over and it’s up to us to keep moving and not get caught up in the feelings that come with being knocked down. There are so many instances and truths that remind us of where we really are on a personal and professional level; it hurts but that’s how life is, at all times we’ve got to know ourselves fully and be willing to sometimes take L’s because life is always ready to dish out a lesson in humility.