I recently got reprimanded at work for not showing my supervisor’s respect. Honestly it was completely out of left field for me. I never thought I was disrespectful in any sense of the word. However, I have now started to reflect back on some of the things I have done in the past. When someone tells me to do something I often do it without saying anything. If the request is out of the ordinary I often ask why. Why… the one simple word that apparently shows disrespect.
The act of questioning a request never crossed my mind as being disrespectful but maybe it is the era I have grown up in. Of course when my mother told me to do something I never questioned her, but I also knew when she told/asked me to vacuum the living room it was because she was working two or three jobs and did not have time to get to it. As someone who has all the rules written in black and white right in front of my face, I tend to go with the rules.
When someone asks me to do something against those rules it is natural for me to ask.. why. Apparently I am not supposed to do that, if my superior is the one making the request, or dare I say demand. So, I am now in a position where I can knowingly break the rules because my superior told me to and possibly get in trouble. Or I can ask why, and get in trouble. Or I can say no, and be called disrespectful and still get in trouble. Why does it seem like there is no right answer here? I am now working while constantly watching my own back and depending on no one to help me in anyway.