My Fire Marshall and Me, Or, Loving To Be Liked
Wanting people to like you is a strange thing. There is a large part of my psyche that walks around almost all the time believing that I don't care if people don't like me, until someone doesn't like me. That's when I quickly spiral into sadness, anger and depression. These emotions honestly surprise me when they occur because they occur so rarely. I never see them coming.
We had an event at work a couple of weeks ago and it was a packed out house. The room's capacity is 400 and there are 400 seats. We knew that more than 400 people would arrive (it wasn't ticketed, so it was a first-come, first served thing) so we told everyone as they came in that they needed to find a seat. That way we could keep track of how many people were in the room. The Fire Marshall happened to be present as well. He could have shut us down if we'd gone over capacity.
Anyway, a gentleman arrived with a video camera to film the event and wanted to know where he could stand in the back. I told him he needed to find a seat. He didn't like that. The Sheriff's deputies that were on site got involved (the client anticipated that it would get rowdy) and the gentleman found a seat near the front. Arguably a better place to record his video.
I got an email today relaying his complaint that my staff and I were rude, insulting and "wrong" about needing him to sit down. We were hypocritical and several other terrible things as well.
I don't know this man. I'll probably never see this man again. I am 100% confident we did the right thing. And I am sure we weren't rude or insulting. But it still hurts to know that that guy doesn't like me. The part of my brain that tells me that I totally shouldn't care is absolutely right, but the other part of my brain is still a little bummed about it....not bummed enough to lose any sleep over it, but bummed none the less.