The single-point-of-view disrespect
Maja Pelc, Krakow, Poland

Maja was stunned when one of her employees accused her of disrespect. 

As the owner-operator of two-year-old package design firm Pelc and Partners, she has more than a lot on her mind. So she didn’t think it was a terribly big deal when she forgot payroll and issued the checks three days later than usual. Turns out, it was.

“She is really trying to make ends meet,” Maja says of the employee who protested. “She thought I was disrespectful because her needs didn’t seem important enough for me to remember.” That struck a chord with Maja, who had similar feelings when her business partner didn’t return her texts and phone calls.

Shortly after the paycheck incident, Maja spent the day with her partner, who also runs a family food business. The entire time, he was answering calls, putting out fires, and basically trying to keep up. “Before, I thought he didn’t care and didn’t pay attention. But then I saw that he was overwhelmed and trying to squeeze me in,” she says. He wasn’t disrespecting her, she realized. He was overly committed.

“Understanding the full situation showed me that there is no disrespect,” Maja says. But mindful of how it might appear to others, she now makes a point of always issuing payroll two days early.