All my life I've been very wary of confrontation. I don't like it and try to avoid it whenever I can.
In part its because I've always been a bit shy. I find social events difficult, especially if there are people around that I don't know.
Over the years I've gotten better with things because I've needed to for work. Even so I tend to contribute to things only when I have to but when I do it tends to be thought out and worthwhile.
All of this means that I tend to be quite passive when it comes to a lot of situations and will take the path that leads to me having an easy life.
I've also got a little bit of a temper that I do my utmost to keep under control and not show. When I was a teenager my Dad was winding me up on one occasion at home and I snapped, picked up a chair and was about to hitting him with it. The only thing that stopped me was my Mum shouting at me to put it down. My Mum can be scary when she wants and it got through to me. Strangely that was the last time I recall my Dad winding me up so much.
This week though saw what is a big change in attitude for me. I've noticed it happening recently but it came home to me fully on Friday.
Two weeks ago we bought a new cooker. We'd opted for a dual fuel type. Gas hob, electric cooker. We'd run through a set of questions in the shop related to where we were going to have the cooker installed and had answered them to the best of our knowledge. When the cooker arrived the fitters refused to install it until we'd had some electrical work done.
We got an electrician in, he did what we asked and I rang up to arrange for the fitters to return.
Last Wednesday they arrived.
The electrical work hadn't been done as they needed it so they again refused to fit the cooker. By now I was no happy so we went back to the store we'd bought the cooker from. The manager told us that the fact that we didn't have a suitable electrical supply for to fit the cooker he couldn't refund our money but was willing to refund it onto one of the store's gift cards. I thought this pointless and we discussed exchanging the dual fuel cooker for a gas only one. We have a gas cooker already so it should be a simple job to take out the old one and install the new one.
On Friday the fitters turned up with the new cooker, took one look at where it was to go and refused to fit it. Apparently we have some electrical sockets that are positioned in such a way that due to building regulations, particularly electrical ones, mean that the cooker couldn't be installed.
When my other half rang me to tell me this I was livid, it was all I could do to keep my temper. When the phone was handed to one of the fitters to explain the problem I simply told him to take the cooker that had been left on the last visit, which they were to collect, and the new one they were supposed to fit as we no longer wanted them and I'd be going to the store to get my money back.
At lunchtime I went back to the store and confronted the manager. I think that he must have realised that I was angry because after we'd discussed the reasons why the fitters had not installed the cooker, and this time I'd put the blame back on the previous fitters for not telling us that the electrical sockets were in the wrong place the twice they'd been, he didn't insist on refunded my money on a gift card but refunded the money straight back to my bank account.
It might have helped that I'd contacted the citizen's advice bureau and gas safety register to check my rights but it couldn't have hurt that I was there on my own and was displaying an obvious don't mess with me attitude.
There might have also been a bit of a "I really don't want this person to create a scene" attitude on his part.
I know that my confidence has been growing for a while. Perhaps this week is the culmination of that process.
As a friend said about me a while back. I'm strong and sassy and I'm definitely here to stay so watch out world.