My husband’s cultural association somehow learned from my blabbing husband that I have web design skills, and used him to ask me to update their website. In the interests of marital harmony I did it, not really grudgingly, but only when I had to. Every so often, I would update the news, go in and fix an email address, but I made no improvements, no suggestions, no real changes. Since I would get the occasional “good job” feedback, I figured nothing else was needed, even though I knew I could do so much more.
Two years later, the association got a new president, along with a new board of directors. I noticed that they had started using Facebook as a website page, and idly wondered why I hadn’t been asked for my opinion. Lazily, I thought they just wanted something easier to use.
About 6 months after the Facebook page was set up, my husband casually asked me for the login information to the association website.
“Why?” I asked.
“Well, it seems the president hired a new designer. He told me to ask you how to access the website.”
“Why didn’t he ask me directly?” I asked.
“Oh, they thought you were too busy to work on the website, and didn’t want to disturb you.”
Now I was disturbed. No one had asked me directly if I wanted to work on the website, and now, they were firing me, without even talking to me!??
Five minutes of silence passed.
“Are they paying this person?” I asked.
“Yes – he’s a young chap, I think he showed them what he’d done before, so they went with him.”
You’d think I’d be happy. I’m being relieved of a post I didn’t want, and which I did half heartedly and grudgingly. Weird. But here’s what I learned:
- No one will ever hire me for my web skills, based on the work I did on that website.
- My half hearted work showed that I wasn’t into it. Or to be polite, I was too busy to work on it.
- People have a hard time giving bad feedback. You need to ask them directly and encourage them to be honest.
- If you have been hired to do a job (no matter what the circumstances), either agree to do it wholeheartedly, or get out of doing it altogether. That will eliminate hurt feelings, and a lost reputation.
Now I almost feel I owe the association an apology. Arggh!