Posts Tagged 'Impatience'

Thank You (Now Get Out) – 8/3/10

Sunset across the way.

So.  This week, instead of focussing on the individuals that bother me, I want to focus on some pet peevish traits that are consistent in all these individuals.  I find that having only one trait doesn’t qualify somebody for this weekly rant, but the combination of several certainly do.  Lets see if any of you agree with these.  They say six in the number of the Devil, so in reverse order:  the six most frustrating traits of people in a work-relationship today.

6. Grumpiness
This bothers me the least, because it’s often easily justified and sometimes, you can even help to remedy it.  Nonetheless, it’s difficult to work with someone you sense is on the edge of anger and disgruntlement.  One wrong word, and KAPOW! – you may be at the center of the storm of the century.  I know it’s hard to wear a smile when your dog just died, or you’re being sued, or your supervisor just called you up and told you that you have to work next Saturday.  However, it’s really important not to project the anger you hold for a specific individual at those around you.

5. Dishonesty
This goes hand-in-hand with saying “That doesn’t make sense” when you really mean “I don’t like what you just told me”.  Some people think that making up stories and lying will get them what they want.  Saying things like “I just talked to someone on the phone an hour ago and they said the price was 2-cents/copy”.  People tend to lie and exaggerate when they are outraged by something.  I think it’s because they believe that by making such claims, we’ll have to match it.  We need to start taking responsibility for our thoughts and be clear with each other.  We result to little white lies at times of accusation and similar distress; it’s no wonder our community is having difficulty communicating.

4. Rudeness
I genuinely believe that there are people out there that think that the meaner they are, the more likely they are to get their way.  I don’t know about the rest of y’all, but if someone is rude to me, my initial reaction is to be rude back.  If nothing else, I’ll stop trying to be friendly and be monotone, because I want to keep my job and if I’m rude to them, it’ll come back at me three-fold.  If they keep trying and pressing, yeah, they may make me feel like a waste of space and make me cry myself to sleep (okay, that was a little overdramatic), but they won’t necessarily get their way.  Being rude accomplishes nothing.

3. Impatience
Some things in life don’t go faster.  With the advance of technology we have photographs, movies, music, humans at the mere touch of our highly-advance cell phones.  From fast food to eBay, we’re used to instant gratification.  A lot of people have problems with the phrase “you’ll have to wait”.  Waiting is a word zoning out of our vocabulary.  We don’t have to wait for anything else.  Having to wait (impatience) often leads to rudeness and dishonesty and grumpiness.  “I have somewhere I needed to be ten minutes ago!”  My thoughts are – you walked into the store 3 minutes ago… you could have just skipped this stop if you’re so far behind.  Now, on the flip side, they may really have needed to be somewhere 10 minutes ago.  We as humans have a difficult time saying “no” (think Yes Man, but backwards) and we overfill our schedules.  If we’re not running around, stressed, and irritable.. something must be wrong, right?

2. Persistence
The phrases “you have to do me a favour” and “what do you mean, ‘you can’t'” fall into this category.  While in certain countries, haggling is the thing to do, in the United States, it’s generally frowned upon.  If you say “I want a turkey dinner with cranberry sauce, homemade mashed potatoes, gravy, and stuffing in five minutes” and I say “I’m sorry, I can’t do that” there’s really no way you can negotiate your way into getting it.  “Can’t” is one of those final words.  Taking no for an answer is one of those things we were supposed to be taught as a child.

1. Selfishness
I think it all boils down to this:  selfishness.  People who think that they are entitled to certain things.  Yes, we all have unalienable rights.  These rights do not include “getting something for free because we don’t want to pay” or “cutting everybody in line because we don’t want to wait.”  Confusion between the words “need” and “want” contributes to this problem.  If you can cite the section in the Bill of Rights that gives these allowance, you may sway my opinion.  Being unselfish also includes taking responsibility.  If Sally is running late because she didn’t plan her afternoon well, she needs to not blame every single person she meets for inconveniencing her.  If Joe wants a cheese burger and he forgets to say “no lettuce” he needs to not blame the restaurant (what are we, clairvoyant?).  And if Courtney decides to quit her job on the first day in because she finds the training videos boring, she probably shouldn’t yell at the manager, saying she didn’t need this job and the company isn’t doing her any favours by giving it to her.  Um, hun, why did you apply then?

Well, those are my six greatest pet peeves in humans today.  Do you have anything to add to the list?  Certain behaviours that you wish people would just realise are obnoxious?  Little things that make you want to scream at people, even though you know you shouldn’t?  Let me know!

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Thank You (Now Get Out) – 7/20/10

Looking over the Ashuelot River

For a little bit of a change of pace, this week I am going to write notes to the people whom I have qualm (or not qualms) with.  There are always those people who define your experiences, whether you like it or not, and they must be recognized.

Road Rage
Believe it or not, I see you there in your car.  Sometimes, I am the one doing something wrong, but Rage… sometimes, it’s you.  How does it help either of us for you to lay on your horn and flip me off.  I see your mouth moving profusely… you probably had a few choice words for me.  Is there any point in saying “I’m sorry”?  Nobody got hurt, and I’m not angry that you decided to pass me in an illegal zone and get mad at me over it.  I don’t really see how you flailing at me is accomplishing anything.  You’re still mad, right?  And I now feel lousy because of a harmless error, maybe not even mine.  Next time, can you please focus on driving well, instead of lowering my self-esteem?

And the Moral of the Story Is…
If you come up to me and say “this is broken, fix it now” I’m going to be inclined just to get done what you need and worry about the details later.  Don’t insult my intelligence by claiming “start” means “stop” and “confirm” means “cancel”.  If you start flailing angrily at me and demanding I do something for you, I’m inclined to do it to make you stop flailing.  If you want to learn “how” to do it, don’t tell me I need to do it for you fast and then scold me for doing it wrong.  Oh, and for the record, I pressed “confirm” because the details entered were correct.  If you had given me half-a-second to speak instead of calling me ignorant and stupid, I’d’ve told you that.  As it was, I was inclined just to get rid of you.  If you’d been a little nicer, we’d’ve gotten on much better.

So Easy
Thank you so much for bringing a smile, and patience, too.  In a situation where most people would prefer to shoot me in the head for taking more than five minutes, you volunteered days and then were thrilled with the end result.  I’m so happy you were happy.  Really.  Hearing patience and appreciation means a lot.

It’s Nice to Be Nice
I heard about your day, and boy-oh-boy it sounds like you are ready to kick your feet up and read a good book for a while.  And even though I saw how frustrated you were on the phone with the third party, I also heard how nicely you were speaking too her.  When you explained to me that while the situation wasn’t ideal, the third party was doing the best they can and there’s no point in acting childish asking for more beyond someone’s means… that really struck me.  I hope your situation ended up resolving itself well, because I think after your humanitarian wishes, you deserve it.

But, It’s Free
Yes.  I see how much money you’re spending.  I am also aware of the coupon in your hand that would have given you a free camcorder if you had ordered this all online.  I’m really glad for your opportunity, but I’m not just being a jerk when I tell you I can’t give you that camcorder.  Outside of policy – not following which could get me fired – I simply don’t have that item here.  Honest.  I’m not hiding it in a dusty corner, squirrelling it away for myself.  I just don’t have it.  You can spend this money online instead, and get that camcorder, but no matter how nicely you ask or how many different ways you phrase it, it’s just not going to magically appear in my possession to give to you because you want it.  I’m sorry… it just isn’t.

Mister Grumpy Gills
Thank you so much for the blueberries yesterday!  They made me smile.  I ate some on my lunch break along with my Life cereal, and it was delicious.  You know, I see it all the time, inside, you’re not Mister Grumpy Gills at all.  You’re a very nice person who is tired of being walked all over.  I get that.  Believe me.  And just so you know, I enjoy working with you and joking around with you.  It’s a lot of fun, and don’t worry… I won’t tell anyone how much you smile.

To all the people out there, big and small, who made this week extraordinary and interesting in one way or another… I thank you.  I would love to hear stories about all those people that really stood out since last Tuesday!  Please share your experiences.  Every person leaves an imprint on our lives, and they deserve to be recognised.

Thank You (Now Get Out) – 6/29/10

Sunset By Albany

Tonight, as soon as I get home from work, I took my shoes off and collapsed in the living room for a good ten minutes.  Just the idea of putting my feet up made all the difference.  Physically, standing for eight hours is tiring.  But that’s not why I’m tired.  I have spent the last four days being squelched.  Squelched- it’s that thing you do to mosquitoes sitting on your living room window.  You take a tissue and squish them until they’re two-demensional, then you squished them a little more, wrap them up in sixteen more tissues, and flush the package down the toilet.  These last few days, ladies and gentlemen, I was the mosquito.  People have been a very special level of rude and selfish lately, for reasons that I cannot pinpoint.  Let me give you a few examples of the worst of the worst:

I Can Yell If I Want To
I had a lady a few days ago who was unfamiliar with the copier, and she loudly stated this while I was on the phone with another customer and couldn’t get to her to help.  Out of the goodness of her own heart, another lady went to help her, and when things didn’t go exactly the way she wanted (or more importantly, the price she wanted) the irate novice unleashed her wrath on the good-hearted tutor.  I apologised fervently to the tutor (after being ripped apart by the novice myself) but the damage had already been done.

Cleansliness is Next to Godliness
Strawberry Sorbet (one of last week’s angel’s) had the misfortune of dealing with this lady.  She was making large sized copies for a customer, and because they are so big, occasionally one may tumble to the ground.  We do our best to prevent this from happening, but we are only human.  Sorbet tried to catch the copy, but to no avail.  Cleansliness was appalled and informed Sorbet that under no circumstances would she accept the tumbled one.  I understand apprehension, she doesn’t know how clean our floor is (very, we vacuum several times daily) but she did not politely ask for an unsoiled copy.  She made it clear that she thought the entire place was a cesspool and that Sorbet was incompetent.

Can’t Be Bothered With Children
This is another one of Sorbet’s customers.  She wanted three-dimensional lamination done, which Sorbet made clear wasn’t possible.  After struggled “negotiations” she hands Sorbet an item about an eight of an inch thick and will not take “this will only ruin your original” for an answer.  Meanwhile, as Sorbet does her best with the impossibility, one of Can’t Be Bothered’s children pulls on her sleeve and asks quietly for a trinket (as children will).  Can’t Be Bothered turns and screams at her child… and well, it just escalated from there.

F-The-World
F-The-World made an appearance a couple weeks ago, but he’s back this week.  This week, he had pencils to return.  He hated them, he wanted me to know that “he was going to be nice to me because I’ve been more respectful then many others in this dump, but the company should be ashamed to sell these.  The cashier who rung them out should be fired, the salesman who presented them should be fired, the manager should be fired, and the general manager, and the president of the company that manufactures the product”.  He went on to tell me all the flaws of his 99-cent pencils (most notable of which was that the lead breaks if you push down really hard, which in my eyes is human error, not product malfunction) for about fifteen minutes.  When he finally found the receipt for the item, he realised he had purchased them elsewhere.  Embarrassed, he switched his complaint to a different item.

1-800-Cell-Phone
This evening, I met a gentleman who wanted my time and attention, but didn’t want to give me his. Apparently, he wanted me to be psychic. He came to my counter, slammed a bunch of stuff down, pointed to my copier, then called someone on his cell phone, opening with the line “Hey, I’m not busy right now, what are you up to?” He proceeded to talk on the phone, pausing only twice to wish my manager and one of my male co-workers good evening. When I finished his job, he hung up, paid, and as he was leaving, called what I think was the same person, and said “sorry, I can’t remember my pin number when I’m on the phone.” He completely ignored me, expect to point at my machine, no matter what I said to him.

Strawberry Sorbet
She’s back this week as my one and only extraordinary angel.  She deals with all these insufferable people, and still smiles.  She doesn’t complain, and makes the most of it.  Honestly, I thought that Can’t Be Bothered With Children and Cleanliness is Next to Godliness were some of the most remarkably unfortunate human beings I have encountered in a long time, and she handled it all very professionally.  She has also been incredibly nice to me these last two week, and I’m a lot more relaxed around her because of it, because it makes all the difference in stressful environments.  I’m looking forward to going to an amusement park with her sometime this summer!

That, ladies and gents, was the worst of the worst this week.  I wish words could adequately show you how inappropriately the negative people acted, and encourage the world not to be that person.  As for me, I’m going to bed, and here’s hoping that next week turns around!

Got any remarkable stories about people since last Tuesday?  Someone you wanted to punch in the face, but didn’t?  Someone who brightened your day?  I’d love to hear about it!

mv77@kent.ac.uk

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something to think about

"You know, I don't know if you'll understand this or not, but sometimes, even when I'm feeling very low, I'll see some little thing that will somehow renew my faith. Something like that leaf, for instance - clinging to its tree despite wind and storm. You know, that makes me think that courage and tenacity are about the greatest values a man can have. Suddenly my old confidence is back and I know things aren't half as bad as I make them out to be. Suddenly I know that with the strength of his convictions a man can move mountains, and I can proceed with full confidence in the basic goodness of my fellow man. I know that now. I know it." ~ End of Act I in the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

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