When I woke up this morning, the first thing that I did, as I do every morning, is go outside for about five minutes. I learned this practice from a documentary about a Native American tribe who makes it a custom to wake every morning and run towards the rising sun. When they can’t run anymore, they wash themselves with the sun, and then the earth. They are welcoming the day and thanking the sun for the energy that it provides. I normally just smoke a cigarette but hey, “adapt or die” am I right?
Anyways, while I was standing there I heard the slight pangs of lightning in the distance and the hum of rain approaching. When the rain finally engulfed my house, I was trying to decide whether or not waking up early and walking outside to see the start of the rainfall was my favorite feeling in the world. I then realized that most people who wake up and find that it is pouring rain on a Friday would have a different reaction. So here is to you Negative Nancy and Sad Saul, a Blog post on how to stay positive (or maybe just why you should be that way).
You may ask, “Why do you care if I am positive?” I will tell you why. Your negative attitude is like a perfume. The more you wear it, the more it spreads and gets on everyone else.
Us vs. Them Attitudes
“They keep telling us to …..”
“They’re the ones who...”
If negativity is a perfume, general “they” statements are the perfume bottle. This could be the largest stink bomb in office politics and often times we don’t know that we are doing it....See what I did there? How would that have read if I said “often times they don’t know that they are doing it.” It always comes off like we are passing the buck and absolving ourselves of any blame or responsibility. Sometimes you may have to call a customer and tell them something went wrong or a garment is on back order. The natural reaction is to blame it on someone else. Maybe that is because the third person isn’t on the phone and the customer can’t get mad if you both or upset, right? Wrong! Take responsibility and talk to your customer about how you can make it right. Have a solution and let them speak their mind. They will remember how you handled the situation and make them a better customer.
Over Reactions and Perspective
Sometimes a crisis will come up or someone will get snippy with you (probably because they haven’t read this blog). Remember to look at it from their perspective. Sometimes I will even just create a fictitious situation that may have happened to them to make them angry.
ME: “Hello Sally, can you get back this customer, I am really busy with something else right now, and it would help me if you would give them a call.“
SALLY: “That’s not my job, I don’t care if you don’t have the time, deal with it.”
ME: “Understandable, sorry for the bother, I will see if Sad Saul can help me.” (said with a smile...I know it’s hard)
WHAT I MAY BE THINKING: Maybe Sally got broken up with this morning and then someone pissed in her Wheaties....If that happened, then I could understand why she would be frustrated.
The main thing to remember is to not let it affect any other interactions you have with that person. Don’t let it snowball. Maybe you see her in the lunchroom later. Smile, sit with her, buy her a soda. Next time you are free, ask if you can take anything off her plate. Set an example.
What To Do When You Do Get Stressed
Punch stuff! Just kidding. The only thing you should be punching is the time clock.
Some days my email list piles up, a job gets pushed back, a client wants to visit and I may not have the time. Maybe a client is even here, but then I get a rush job that needs worked on right away. There are two choices:
1. Be Mad
After all, it is within your right. No one can tell you how to feel. You are really busy and everyone else seems like they are on easy street. Tell everyone who asks how stressed you are. “They” keep doing this. This is how it always gets. They say this and they say that.
2. Suck It Up And Smile
When you sigh and roll your eyes it infects people. You may be in a rush to the printer when you pass Sad Sally, and she says “how’s it going”. Say you are doing awesome. It may just take the piss out of her Wheaties. You are more productive when you are positive. When you are more productive you get more work done. When you get more work done, you tend to have less on your plate. When you have less on your plate you will have more time to help others. When you are positive, are productive, always get your work done, help others, and always act like you are awesome...You will be awesome. God willing, this will one day get you a promotion.