Don’t Let This Happen To You

Over the past year or so, I’ve been called upon by more than a few individuals for a wide variety of career or life advice. (I, too, appreciate the irony of asking for guidance from someone who satisfies the definition of “long term unemployed.”) When they solicit me for guidance, I always say that my comments must be considered in light of my circumstances and that, at the end of the day, they’ve got to go with what seems right to them; other than that, I’m all in. Meanwhile, I remind myself that despite my current difficulties, it doesn’t make my experience any less worthwhile or my feedback any less valid.


When I think about all the situations I’ve witnessed and been embroiled in, I’ve had more than my fair share of crazy thrown at me. This reminds me of a time when someone I know hired a professional cleaning service to come to her home. As she expressed nervous chagrin about the mess, the owner of the service looked at her with a reassuring smile and said, “Don’t worry, in my line of work, I’ve seen a lot.” I bet he has! My kind of stalwart fella. I have every confidence this individual speaks the truth—he has seen a lot; in this case, the very worst of human housekeeping. Life is a messy business. I can identify. In fact, I’ve seen so much of crazy that I’ve decided to start my own life/career coaching business. I’m calling it “Don’t Let This Happen To You” Consulting Services™ (Cash only).


I may as well make myself some lemonade, right?


You bring a sack of money and I’ll listen to your tales of outrage, confusion, and misery. At the right moment, I’ll interrupt your monologue, wildly gesticulating as I proclaim the answers you need: Quit now before you lose your mind and your bail money! Cut out the feigned confusion and make a decision! If not now, when? You Can Do Better! This sort of hard earned insight can be yours for a small sum—I’ve already paid a huge price to attain this wisdom, so it’s a fair trade. Need help strategizing around narcissists? Bingo! I’m your go-to gal. Having trouble telling someone no? We’ll practice together. Need to wake up and understand how people really see you? I’ll be your mirror. On the walls of my office will hang framed caricatures of the DLTHTY Hall of Fame. There the most egregious and scary specimens of what we don’t want to turn into will be on display. The Wall of Infamy, I’ll call it, with a couple of empty frames—just waiting to be filled by obstinate clients who fail to learn their lessons.


“Don’t Let This Happen To You” Consulting™ will be so successful I’ll need to start franchises—maybe I’ll establish niche advice corners at every Starbuck’s and outside popular night clubs. I mean, we all have people in our lives who serve as cautionary tales, right? Or, even worse, we’ve had to learn the hard way and wouldn’t wish that fate upon any decent human being. “Don’t Let This Happen To You” Consulting can provide precisely the sort of feedback necessary when you insist on overriding your own (usually right) internal warning systems. As I’ve coached my coast-to-coast clients: if it feels wrong or weird, it probably is.


Highly distressed persons have come to me with clinical opinions theorizing what’s wrong with their bosses, relatives, significant others, (or even themselves). Listen, if you’re at a point where you need to consult a medical diagnostic manual, THERE’S SOMETHING SERIOUSLY AMISS! Save yourself the misery that comes with being a chicken shit and do what you dread to do. I know you’re scared—if you weren’t, you wouldn’t be seeking out the “wisdom services” of Don’t Let This Happen To You™ (Cash only). I know whereof I speak.



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One Response to “Don’t Let This Happen To You”

  1. Kaaren Robertson Says:

    Chrisanna — I love this essay. Just the right tone and with great humor! Also the bold typeface is wonderful in how the essay reads. Love it. Reminds me of the Bertie and Tofu exchanges. We all need to find a smile on our own face.

    Kaaren Robertson


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