Your bad day is not my problem, please leave it at the door!

I recently had a conversation with someone which went something like this:

Text to me – Still hanging at work for a couple more hours. Yuck! What are you doing about 9:00 pm?

(I was supposed to meet up with this person at some undesignated time today.)

Text from me – Nothing at the moment!

Text to me – I was thinking it would be helpful to me over the next few days if I rented you a car so you could help me. What do you think?

(We had never discusses my helping her over the next few days, and while the offer to rent me a car was lovely as I am currently carless – must do something about that soon – the assumption here is that I am available and she doesn’t have to ask.)

Text from me – “Hi, Nancie! What are you doing over the next few days? I really have a ton of things to do before Thanksgiving and could use some help. Are you available? And I also thought that maybe it would be helpful if we rented you a car for a few days. Let’s talk about this, okay? – S”

(This was my way of letting her know that I found her assumption to be rude and that there is a better way to ask.)

Phone call at 9:02 pm

Hi, I am just getting off of work and am going to go home and sleep as I have to be here at 6:30 am. I have 14 cases all under 5 tomorrow so I’ll call you when I can and we’ll talk about your issues.

Talk about my what?

Your issues.

Okay, says I. Sleep well.

Now, I don’t know where to start with this. I am well aware that working in medicine is stressful. In fact, Anderson and Anderson Services is currently putting together a training for it’s Anger Management provides on how to work with people in the medical field. But I work with many people who are in high stress positions which have the fate of many people in their hands. Most people do not use this as an excuse to be rude. There are exceptions, of course. And many of those have found that doors close on them very quickly. One Executive I worked with was told that while the company valued her, she either needed to get her temper and stress under control or they were not renewing her contract. She promptly went the competitors and was told, we love you, we think you do amazing work, but we don’t want you for the same reason your current employer isn’t jumping at renewing your contract! Seven years later, she is still with the company.

The question is what are you trying to achieve? The idea that you can get more flies with honey than vinegar is very true. While both the original way the conversation went and my suggestion were valid, the second way made me, the recipient, feel as though I were respected and that my needs as well as those of the requester were being addressed. This is very important, as it helps to convince me that I want to help and that my wishes, needs, agenda are being taken into account. Whether or not this is true or merely a manipulative technique is less important than the perception that I, and my needs matter.

From thepoint of view of the requester, this would also have gotten their agenda met with little resistance and definately without the potential of causing bad blood between them and the receipient of the call. And it would have potentially fostered a stronger relationship.

As an Executive, this is a skill which is many times neglected. Any really good salesman will tell you that customer service is about serving the customer. There are a million and one stories about clients who will go the extra mile out of the way, pay a little more for a product, not because it is better than an alternative product, but because they feel appreciated by the staff / salesman / etc. Supervisors who know important things about their staff – birthdays, children’s and pets names, what is important to the employee, will develop a strong, dedicated and loyal staff who is willing to go the extra yard.

We talk about doing things for love or money. And I have done both. I have had several positions which I knew walking in were not going to feed my soul, so they had better feed my pocketbook. And I gave them very specific time periods which, unless something changed, I would be walking away. They were always surprised when I walked. Not because I had anything else to do, but because I had reached my goal and refused to stay in a situation which was abusive, where people were rude and overall unhappy and felt entitled to take their anger / frustration / judgments out on who ever was standing next to them and was in a position which was perceived as being more vulnerable.

The interesting thing for me in all of this is that I am not upset. I knew that this might have been the reaction which I was going to receive. It’s not about me. I am sorry that this person is having a bad day. Please, leave it at the door. If you want help getting through this, let me know. If it is appropriate, I can Coach you and help you change your world view. Or at least adjust your ideas on right and wrong. If I can’t help you, and you still want help, I have several really good MFT’s / psychologists I can recommend to you. If all you want to do is complain, as long as you don’t make it personal, here’s my ear. But if you want to take your bad attitude out on some one, there is the door. This is NOT my problem.

Things to think about.

Until next time.


2 Responses to “Your bad day is not my problem, please leave it at the door!”

  1. jawnillcila says:

    Very nice Blog, I will tell my friends about it.


  2. anger management online says:

    We have all seen people who let their anger get out of control.

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