How Would You Handle This? (Long And A Little Drama-Ish)

Lounge By karateka Updated 14 Feb 2012 , 8:53pm by karateka

karateka Posted 12 Feb 2012 , 11:46pm
post #1 of 10

I have been a student at this dojo for 9 years. Last year I test for and passed my 3rd degree black belt, and was given the title of Sensei, something I'd worked hard to attain for the previous 8 yrs.

The owner has always seemed to like me. He's treated me well, and has been very supportive and has never blown me off or treated me ill. I have a lot of respect for him, still.

The other main teacher there is a Sensei, one rank higher than me. She seems very sweet and wonderful, but obviously dislikes me. I say obviously, but I'm not sure it is obvious to many besides me and my son. The owner has noticed some issues between us and has spoken to her......but gotten nowhere. I tried talking to her, and we didn't resolve much between us except for the most recent difference, which was put off on the owner, as yelling at her for allowing this, then telling me to do that.

Truth is, I have noticed discrepancies like this before. As wonderful as he has always been to me.....I don't always agree with him, and I think he can be a bit contradictory at times. He is also very strict in the martial way....he's the master, we are not, he's the boss, its his way or the highway. I understand this...martial arts dojos are very militaristic that way.

We have an annual banquet where there is a reserved table that the master and his wife and daughter (also a master) sit, plus the other Sensei from above and another Sensei from a remote location associated with us. I have never sat there. I have not been invited, and I assumed that it was mostly because there are only 10 seats at the table, so with all the other senseis and teachers, it was impossible to include me and my family. I was never upset by this before last night.

Last night I see 2 reserved tables. I do not presume to sit at one, but take my family (4 of us total) and go sit at one of the few unoccupied tables left(waaaaaaay in the back!) The second reserved table remains empty. Then as I am speaking to a teacher that had retired from the dojo, this other Sensei I teach with gathers up people from the dojo and tells them to come sit at the reserved table! This includes 2 of the assistant instructors (plus one's daughter), and 3 other students from my class. Two of them are not even black belts. I was again not invited to sit at the reserved table, but now I'm offended.

My husband believes that this is incredibly rude. He figures that if I wasn't sitting there, this other sensei or the owner should have come to me and told me I belong up there, instead of filling in with various students.

I agree....but I don't know how to handle this, or if I even should. If I ask why I wasn't invited I sound all pompous and entitled, don't I? But how do I find out if I have a right to sit there without asking? I don't want to sound all "poor me, nobody's kissing my booty and making me feel important". I was recognized with a trophy for my service last year, as were all of the Senseis. But I do feel slighted. This job isn't easy. It is only 2 classes 4 nights a week, so it isn't a full time job. But it is difficult to get these kids to do well at this activity while still caring about being there. I admit that being the newest teacher, I'm not the most experience or skilled (give me time). My DH and kids are sick to freaking death of me being gone most nights during the week, and I never get to eat a hot dinner on Tues and Thurs since I have to be at the dojo at 5pm those days. It interferes with my ability to get my kids to their activities. Plus it limits what I can work at my pharmacy job. But I was willing to do it all, because Shihan (the owner) needs me (he's very short on teachers) and I thought my contribution was appreciated.

I've tried to describe everything fairly...I know you don't know me or him, or the dojo, but how do you think this should be handled? Do I bring it up? Do I suck it up and just keep my mouth shut? How do I find out whether I should have just gone directly to that table and sat down with my family? I've considered asking the owner...but am again afraid of sounding whiny and petulant. Plus, he used to be a cop and is pretty good at handling people. I'm a little afraid of him "handling" me just to keep me working. I just can't keep up this pace if my contribution is so little valued or....and this part scares me, too....its simply that they need me but don't really want to spend the banquet having to talk to me!

Ok, that's everything. What's the word?

9 replies
heynannie Posted 13 Feb 2012 , 12:49am
post #2 of 10

Dear Karateka

What you are going through is real and it is important how you feel. Your expaination of the situation at hand was so vivid i felt as if I was there at the dinner , well let me ENCOURAGE you to look to where your approval is most valued ; Your Husband and Children, It is obvious that they have been your greatest support system through out your martial art journey. Secondly your instructor needed teacher(s) you answered the call....(for whatever reason) you know deep down why.
You are at an advantage.... you can let this make you BETTER or BITTER ....... you are an inspiration to those who are watching your examples of loyalty and humility and strength...i know it STRIKES like a razor to the bone use this valuable time to continue your advancement in your chosen art. Keep in mind whenever you/me sling mud we get dirty too. Continue to teach if that is where you feel called .... Farmin aint easy but when it is diligently done,the yield is worth while...keep planting "good seeds"...to put it plain .

Karateka as far as the owner he/she is that.... You and that individual that you said dislikes you are Grown....handle your part and elevate to the next level....let that roll like water off a duck,s back. Since you are a teacher and a creative caker....use that extra energy to bake decorate and gift your students with a beautiful baked item SCRATCH or MIX do that with your children....even bake for them...you gotta figure what portions of your time can be remolded to benifit you and your family...the dojo is important to you 8-9 years is a LLOONNGGG time, and just think if it has been that way ...IT IS WHAT IT IS....you can't change others but you can be the change for the better for you . Ask yourself why you do what you do and honestly answer that. Hang in there .....all your efforts are not un-noticed. I am praying for YOU,Your Family,job ,dojo. I believe you say it best....
"fall down 7 times get up 8"
Praying for ya <333><

CakeRN Posted 13 Feb 2012 , 2:12am
post #3 of 10

First question...do you need this job or are you doing it to advance yourself in marital arts? Is the pharmacy job what you love the most? (besides caking?). Only you can decide if all this stress and aggravation are worth it. No one deserves to be disrespected and it sounds like this is happening to you. I would ask your boss if you were supposed to sit at one of the reserved tables. Someone should have had name cards at these tables to begin with but if you don't ask you will never know and continue to wonder and let it eat at you. If you are ok with the stress then continue but if it just continues to make you miserable then I would quit and spend time with your family.
My job use to be great and the company great too but now they have sucked up many other companies in the state and have gotten so big they have forgotten who actually got them to the prestige they are enjoying. I have 6 and 1/2 yrs to retirement and i am counting the days. I love the people I work with and that is the only thing keeping me there. YOU have to decide what is best for you ...stay or walk away.
Good Luck...

tripleD Posted 13 Feb 2012 , 2:21am
post #4 of 10

Congratulations on your 3rd degree Black Belt. I bow to you. It is very hard to achieve. I am a proud parent of three boys that have been involed for over 6 yeaThe most inpo=rs.

I have seen many unfair treatments in those years.Even to my own children.
My oldest son breaths Martial arts. He was just taken on by a new Dojo as a assistant instructor. The new Sensie saw how he was being treated and invited he and his brothers to come train with him. So I understand how you feel.
I know your upset with the seating. But you were with the most important people. Your family.

jason_kraft Posted 13 Feb 2012 , 3:17am
post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeRN

First question...do you need this job or are you doing it to advance yourself in marital arts? Is the pharmacy job what you love the most? (besides caking?). Only you can decide if all this stress and aggravation are worth it.



Agreed...you need to ask yourself if the reward from teaching these classes (monetary and otherwise) is worth the time and effort you are putting into it, taking into account opportunity cost. If not, it may be time to find a new dojo, scale back your participation to attending classes instead of teaching, or put the entire activity on hold for now.

karateka Posted 13 Feb 2012 , 10:08am
post #6 of 10

I do not need the job. It is nice to have the money, since it is paying for my own class. The owner even cut my tuition in half this year because I had missed so many classes the year before teaching for him. (See? Good guy)

I do it because I love the martial arts and because I owe the owner, period. But you are correct....I need to make a decision. I'm just not sure either one will make anybody happy in the end. And I'm starting to wonder if maybe I'm blowing this whole thing waaay out of proportion. I'm not sure it is the owner's slight....I feel it is more the other sensei's, as we have personal issues with each other. But she is the one teaching the class I take, so I'm just not as happy there as I used to be.

karateka Posted 14 Feb 2012 , 1:19am
post #7 of 10

Well....I gathered my courage and just asked the question of the owner.

He said of course I was supposed to sit there....those are reserved for his instructors. The other Sensei probably just asked those guys to sit there because they came without dates and she wanted them to feel included. He apologized, told me to apologize to my DH, and told me to sit there from now on. He said he wondered why I sat all the way back there...even wondered why another instructor and his son sat waaaay back in the back, too. I told the owner that he felt the same way I did....he shouldn't sit there without being asked. The owner was surprised that anyone felt that way!

Now I feel foolish for taking up your time and making such a big deal out of it.

QTCakes1 Posted 14 Feb 2012 , 4:22am
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by karateka

I do not need the job. It is nice to have the money, since it is paying for my own class. The owner even cut my tuition in half this year because I had missed so many classes the year before teaching for him. (See? Good guy)




Um, okay, I could be wrong, BUT I don't see him giving you a break on tution, cause you missed half of your classes, cause YOU were teaching classes that made HIM MONEY make him a good guy. That's the least he should do. That would follow under "being handled" or being taking advantage of. How would paying full price for tution ever be fair when you can't even take the classes your paying for, cause your helping the school make money? I just thought that sounded really crazy.

Annabakescakes Posted 14 Feb 2012 , 9:04am
post #9 of 10

I agree with QT Cakes on that assessment. It also made me think of a similar arrangement my DH has. He "works" 3 hours a week throwing skater punks out of the indoor skate park, once their time they paid to skate is over. This is seasonal, October through March, but in return, he skates for free, all year, anytime he wants. It is mutually benificial, and nobody is getting ripped off.

I would think that as an employee, a large discount on your own tuition would be automatic. Even Burger King gives their employees 25% off food when they are working, and 10% off on their days off. If you love it there, stay, even if you think some things aren't quite right. If you don't love it, you work too hard to stay if you feel awful about it. You could always quit the teaching, and pick up extra pharmacy time to pay for your own classes. Or teach there, and train elsewhere. Or open your own business doing it in your home and steal your students from the dojo, thumbs_up.gif !! You have options, if you are unhappy.

I hope that you are happy, whatever you decide to do.

karateka Posted 14 Feb 2012 , 8:53pm
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by QTCakes1

Quote:
Originally Posted by karateka

I do not need the job. It is nice to have the money, since it is paying for my own class. The owner even cut my tuition in half this year because I had missed so many classes the year before teaching for him. (See? Good guy)




Um, okay, I could be wrong, BUT I don't see him giving you a break on tution, cause you missed half of your classes, cause YOU were teaching classes that made HIM MONEY make him a good guy. That's the least he should do. That would follow under "being handled" or being taking advantage of. How would paying full price for tution ever be fair when you can't even take the classes your paying for, cause your helping the school make money? I just thought that sounded really crazy.




You are right....I did leave out some info tho, as teaching for him wasn't the only reason I missed so many classes, although I did miss lots of classes for that. I missed some for kidney stones, kid events, and so on in addition. So I apologize, my info wasn't complete. Sometimes I do feel handled....but I always feel guilty later because a situation will come up where he seems to really have my back. And I admit to feeling really foolish for making so much of this now. But at the time I was really very upset, and my husband was upset, and I needed to get some opinions on whether I should risk upsetting the apple cart or just suck it up and be a grown up. Sometimes it is hard to see things clearly from close up.

Thanks to everyone who responded. I'm glad the immediate situation is resolved. I have more time to think on how many nights per week I really want to keep.

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