Being Assertive

July 23, 2010

Yes... there has been an extended absence once again with my posting.  I had a short notice business trip to Saint Louis that upended the second half of my week.  I am exhausted tonight after getting up on Wednesday at 4:00 am for a 6:30 am flight, flying to STL, meetings all day, and then a tossing and turning night of sleep in a humid hotel room, before repeating the entire thing except in reverse order.  You know, traveling is tiring, and the whole week I was a big ball of STRESS!   Things are calming down now, but I learned a few things this week - most importantly: 
OK, so anyone that knows me in real life... please stop laughing now.  Because anyone that really knows me, knows that I am assertive.  I assert the hell out of everything.  It is what I am good at and sadly also something that is my downfall too, as not everyone loves an assertive woman.  So then why would I write in all caps that I am not assertive?  I guess I should have written:
There... that is actually more accurate.  How is this?  Simply this - I don't ask for what I really want need in a restaurant.  I just go with the flow, and end up with something dripping butter/grease/too big/fried etc.

Case in point #1: 
When:  Tuesday high noon
Location:  Big Bowl Express in Byerlys, Eagan, MN
At Issue:  I am craving Chinese, but prepared to make a decent (= not fried) choice.  I choose Szechwan chicken, as I swear the Szechwan chicken that I have eaten there in previous times has NOT been fried.  Because they are making up the batch of it when I order, I can't actually see for myself what it looks like.  It comes out, and I watch in horror as she plates up a pile of succulent Szechwan-sauce coated fried chicken pieces.  UGH!  I take my plate and turn around and whimper, "well... there goes my week."
Solution:  What could I have done?  Well, for one I could have ASKED before I ordered, "Is that item fried?"  Easy huh?  Or I could have even asked her if I could have something different once I noticed it was fried.  What did I do?  I ate 1/2 the serving, and gave the rest to my appreciative husband for lunch the next day.  I guess you could say I made a little save.

Case in point #2:
When:  Thursday 5:30 pm
Location:  Nondescript Steak house in suburb of St. Louis, MO
At Issue:  My coworkers and I needed some dinner before our flight.  We go to a normal steakhouse type restaurant.  Everything on the menu is steak (which is fine grilled, but exactly what I had the previous night) or drowned in sauces, etc.  I labor over the menu.  There is nothing for me to choose.  I choose the Mushroom/Sherry chicken.  I get it, and I'm sure the sauce is probably full of butter, as I'm eating it.
Solution:  They grill steaks, they probably could have grilled my chicken breast and left off the sauce.  I didn't ask for what I really wanted, and let the menu limit my choices. 
What did I do?  I scraped as much sauce off as possible, and ate the chicken and a baked potato with about 1 tsp of butter.

It is so hard to eat in restaurants.  They just do not cater to us people that are trying to put the healthiest food possible in to our bodies.  The calorie counts of the average meal out frightens me beyond belief.  Even though I am not assertive, restaurants should always have at least 1 healthy choice.  Some of us would love to have an easier decision.  I have to say that out my meals for 2 days... for 2 dinners and 1 breakfast the restaurants had no items that I would consider a healthy choice. 

Lesson learned... if you don't see what you want - ASK.  You are paying the bill and the tip.

By the way, I missed my meeting yesterday, because of being out of town.  I wanted to hit a meeting today at lunch, but couldn't make it because of meetings.  It was a week I REALLY needed it too.  REALLY!  There is one tomorrow morning and I'm going to try and hit that one, because I still really need the support this week. 
Have a nice weekend!

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