Patience and Shade
What do you do when you're sitting on the phone and no calls are coming through, you have no one in your pod to talk to, and you're looking at 8 hours of Zzzzzzzzzz?
(1) Turn on the online classical music radio station, low, so no one carps at you.
(2) Take out your knitting.
(3) Fight the urge to bang your head on the desk.
(4) Watch 10 people leave for the day with management's blessing...
Yep! People left for the day, valiantly saving funds for the company! Such selflessness! Such bravery! We salute thee!
The shade that the manager threw at one of my co-workers who I love was so good as to be artistry; so good, in fact, I wouldn't have dared to leave, after! More on that in a minute.
Now, I do far too good a job of feeling sorry for myself when I see people able to just leave for the day with the blessing of management. Poor, poor pitiful me - too poor, poor and pitiful to be able to just leave work. I'll take the hourly!
But I also do a magnificent job of being older, which means this ain't my first rodeo. I know a few things that my younger counterparts don't know:
(1) It only takes one big call to make decent commission (decent at 1%, anyway).
(2) A morning doesn't a day make (what's happening now won't be happening later, babe)
(3) If your Supervisor throws shade: Pay. Attention.
So I stuck around. No problem.
My co-worker Joe, who does a magnificent job of being younger than me, is working his first office job ever. I remember my first office job ever, and Joe is one lucky dude to have landed here.
Joe was one of those who put in to take the day off, and not long after he and others did so, here comes the Supervisor (actually, he's higher than a Supervisor, but he's the guy who's in charge of a lot of us). We'll call the Supervisor...Charlie.
Charlie approaches our area with his usual low-and-slow easygoing walk. He is holding a piece of paper in his hand, and if you're observant you can tell he's on some kind of mission. It's in the set of his face. He doesn't look upset. He looks...purposeful.
Raising his hand with the paper in it, he says, as if it's just a statement of fact, and perhaps rather a joke (but I hear the undertone, and it's not a joke), "These are the people who don't care about money."
It's a list of those who have put in to go home, and he has to approve their departure.
So, first of all: Ouch!
Second of all: Anyone on that list - watch out; you've just marked yourself.
This is as good as a play, so I'm watching, headset on my head, knitting in my hands, classical music playing, and me fascinated - as ever - with human emotional interaction.
The moment that classifies as the Greatest Shade Ever - the knife without the hilt, the inescapable gotcha - is when my sweet Joe is sitting at his desk with his headset on and his cheeks reddened. It comes to us all: those moments when we realize we have stuck our feet in our mouth and we are well and truly fucked.
So, Charlie is standing in our area, saying more things about how this is the list of people who don't care about money - and in Sales that's pretty much the equivalent of someone on an iron lung saying they don't care about oxygen - and in an increasing welter of uncomfortableness, Joe says, as an excuse, a way of explaining why he doesn't see the point in staying: "I want to learn."
Makes sense, right? If the phones are not ringing, how is he going to learn? Right? Nope - not right.
So, Joe says, "I want to learn." And Charlie says - wait for it - wait for it - with the friendliest tone, the kind of tone of voice that is so full of the truth-will-set-you-free (or on fire) kind of truth that it sounds like simple statement of fact rather than the gut punch it is...
"I'm sure you'll learn on the drive home."
I wish I had it on video. Or at least audio.
I am in awe of people who can take their displeasure or their anger and make it a to-the-bone lesson, rather than an infantilizing "daddy's angry!" exercise in futile shaming.
That. Was. Epic. Lesson-ing!
And totally ungraceful me, my hand is on my mouth and I'm making the shade sound, "OOOOH!"
Jesus, Lor', you got no couth!
Well, maybe I don't have couth, but what I did get later in the day was a call from someone wanting to buy his son a $5,000 watch.
And a one-on-one training in Sales from the Supervisor.
So, word to the wise: Don't judge the day by its morning.
Also: Watch out for really, really clever Supervisors.
©2019 Lori Kirstein
Do you like the idea of breaking those social "should's" that have held you back for too long? Do you like the idea of successfully changing your modes of communication, your business structures, your self-image, and to your quality of life?
Lori Kirstein, Founder
The Goodbye Good Girl™ Project LLC
The Feminine Face of Business
Cincinnati, OH 45205
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