Contagious: More Than Just A Hokey Motivational Poster
Ten or twelve years ago, I was gettin' up early enough to be at school by 6:30 or so; and now I don't know how I ever did it. These days, I come to work at 9:00 and that seems to work out just fine for me. Maybe I'm gettin' older, maybe I'm gettin' lazier, whatever -- I don't have to get up that early anymore, so I don't. I also used to have big (really big) hair every once in a while too, but I don't know if I even remember how to "do" it anymore -- it's not a skill I use that often anymore, so it's kinda slipped away.
Five (or so) years ago, I used to be able to jump into the middle of an "angry customer" situation and do enough ass-kissing to smooth it all over and straighten things out -- but lately, it's more like "Oh, kiss-my-ass." Have my skills in that area been slipping? Am I turning into my ol' man? I'm proud to be known as "the friendly-bubbly-fun one" on the phones around here, but I just don't have the patience to talk anybody down off their cactus like I used to. Maybe I am gettin' just like Dad, if they're in the mood to be nasty about it, I'd just as soon not mess with 'em.
I've said (several times) that I'd prefer that my next job did not involve the retail public. Today was one of those days that reminded me why I'd said that.
I cringed as I listened to the half of the phone conversation that I could hear; I could tell the ol' man was gettin' irritated. Maybe he doesn't always handle 'em quite like he should, but we can't be everybody's everything -- this guy was tryin' to get him to tear apart columns (which usually sell as a complete item, wheel and all) to try & match a part number on a clock spring. We had a hard time finding the clock spring for my car when it was less than a year old -- and this guy's workin' on a car that's older than mine. Think they're any easier to find? I'm guessing the "window of opportunity" has already turned into a peep-hole on that one.
It's not that I wouldn't just loooooove to be remembered as the chick who found the part this guy had been oh-so-desparately searching for; it's just that I got in on the deal way too late to change things -- by the time he got me on the phone, he was already pissed off; and it sounded like he was just wanting to pass it along and piss me off to.
When I answered the phone, unaware of what I was about to be gettin' into, he asked me how long we'd been in business... We're a small family operation, we started this deal in '86. (yeah, I was nine, I've been here forever) Then he asked me how we stayed in business. "Well, sometimes I just don't know..." I was thinkin' of all the dippy little jokes I could think of, since "Terrorist Attack really slowed things down," is gettin' old, I was somewhere between "It's just fun," and "we're just to hard-headed to quit," when he told me he didn't know how we ever stayed in business and proceeded to have himself a little bitchy fit, all about My Dad. Now, even sneakin' up on thirty, I'm still "kid" enough to bitch about my ol' man every now and then -- but from a stranger, it just kinda puts me into "defense" mode; and from this guy, it just put me into "eh, feck this," mode.
When he got to the part about being hung up on, I said "Oh, yeah, somebody made him mad earlier and he's been in an irritated mood ever since; sounds contagious, I'd just as soon not catch it myself." Then I hung up on him too.
Apparently there's a perfectly good reason I'd never make it workin' as a Waiter -- I'm just not the "people-person" that some folks are.
And if any of you need us, we'll be on the roof, playin' hockey.
More later... _\,,/