What’s their intention?

Most important people are busy – don’t imagine malign intention when incompetence will explain it.

It’s unlikely that your boss, the organisation or even your colleague went out of their way this morning to make your life difficult. Sure it happens in the movies, but as I have just said, you’re probably insignificant to most people to the point that they won’t go out of their way to hurt you.

So what other motivation could they have? If you accept, as I do, that most people make the best choice available to them when they take action, they what were they trying to achieve? A shorter work week for them? An opportunity to show their own boss or a new employer how smart, happy or careful they are? The top ranking in the football pool?

Chances are it will be about them, and very little to do with you.

So explain it in a way that gives you some leverage: If what they want is a shorter work week, how can you help them get that, and make them an ally, instead of being a whingeing tween? If it’s a good cup of coffee, attention or a moment of calm, help them out.