Thursday, February 08, 2007

Thank you and have a nice day.

I am a nice person. Really. I am. Regardless of what you may have heard.

And usually I’m a pretty patient person.

Except when sitting in traffic.

But otherwise I’ll wait. Without complaint.

I can wait for the new cashier to learn how to check out my purchases or process my refund. And I’ll quietly stand there and thank her at the end.

I can wait for the busy waitress to remember my “to-go box” even though I’ve requested it three times and haven’t had one refill of my iced tea. And I’ll still tip her generously because I know she’s trying.

And I’ll wait for my students and my clients and my child and even my mother to catch onto the basic yet important concepts. And I’m patient when they continue to ask the same questions. At least I’m patient the first 5 or 6 times they ask.

Usually. That is.

If the person is actually making the effort.

But sometimes, when I’ve taken “all I could stands, I can’t stands no more,” my true feelings and impatience spill forth. I can’t fully reign in my frustration. And it takes some folks by surprise when I’m unusually short with the other person. What they hear me say aloud surprises them. When in reality, what I actually held back would surprise them even more.

Truly. I do bite my tongue. I don’t speak aloud every thought that crosses my mind. I do show some restraint. Some.

If you show up to class and can’t quite catch onto the concept, I will go out of my way to try to help you understand. Really, I will.

But. As I told you. If we have 3 months of classes and you show up for less than half of them, don’t expect me to teach you 12 weeks of theory in 5 minutes. Go home and read your books. I’ve been here every class and covered it all. You snooze, you lose.

But here’s what I didn’t say aloud: Drop all the names you like, I’m not impressed. I’m not scared. I’ve been threatened by bigger and badder. They need me here more than I need them. Next year YOU can teach. If you can pass the test. And good luck with that.

If our sign says “We close at 9pm”, do not walk in at 8:57pm and expect the same full service attitude and pleasant demeanor as I had 12 hours earlier. Especially when you come in knowing that you really do not have all information necessary to finish the job.

So. As I asked you. Whatever possessed you to pick up your sleeping children (yes she did AND they were in pajamas) to come down to take care of this now? At 9pm on a Saturday night? Most (ie. “Normal”) people don’t do that. That’s why every time you call and inquire “what time do you close?” I tell you that we close at 9pm and remind you that what it means is "WE WANT TO LEAVE AT 9pm. YOU need to come even earlier."

But here’s what I didn’t say aloud: Not to mention that every time you phone me, it involves an audible, detailed examination of your thought process as to the necessity of certain information and truthfully, I tune you out completely. You want to bring it. Bring it. You want to leave it. Leave it. It makes no difference to me. As long as I don’t have to hear about it anymore.

I can see though, that it will not be long before I really do speak all of my thoughts aloud at work.

I think I need to find an occupation where I don’t have to deal with the general public. That would probably be best for all of us.


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  • At 1:21 PM, Blogger JohnH985 said…

    God, I hate people that come in three minutes before we close and want to spend the next half hour shopping. The other night it was almost thirty minutes past closing and I went up to this one lady and asked if she needed help and she said she was just looking. I politely told her we were closed. She looked surprised and kind of upset that I wanted her to finish up. It's not like any of us want to go home.


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