There are plenty of things to complain about on a daily basis. One of my resolutions this year was to complain/whine less, and I feel I've been doing a pretty good job. (Plus, who wants to read post after post of me just kvetching about things, right? Answer: no one.) One of my biggest issues as a human being is that I'm naturally inclined to take everything personally. It's something I'm working on, for sure, but it has not been easy, especially in a business where people are easily ramped up and excitable, both positively and negatively.
There is one thing, however, that really grinds my gears.
When people are not nice.
Most of my job is spent sending emails and handling phone calls, and the majority of the people I am emailing with and/or talking to are doing a similar job. Some of us have higher-stress environments than others. I get that. But I also don't think it necessary to be an ass to me just because I'm asking a question. We're all trying to do our jobs, right?
This really came to a pinnacle of "THIS IS DRIVING ME F'ING CRAZY" a few weeks ago when I was in the process of setting a meeting with another office. Myself, and the other assistant (we'll call her Mary) had to set this meeting with a lot of people in a very short time frame. She emailed me with a date, time, list of attendees, and I confirmed. All good, right?
Well, a few days later (about 2 days before the meeting) I realized in her original email she forgot 2 people I knew were supposed to attend. So I emailed her, apologizing for my oversight, and letting her know that they'd be attending. She immediately called me and the conversation went something like this:
Mary: why wasn't I informed of this sooner? You didn't mention this last week.
(btw, she didn't even say hello, or anything of that sort.)
Me: I apologize, I knew it had been discussed on the call. I should have double checked your email and that was my fault.
Mary: no, it was NOT discussed on the call, this is the first I'm hearing of this!
(I'm using an exclamation point because she was snappy and loud, but unfortunately there is no real way I can convey that with punctuation.)
I won't go into the rest of the details (mostly because its boring) but she eventually accused me of lying, accused my boss of lying, and then hung up on me. Yes, she HUNG UP ON ME.
Okay, I lied. This is a rant about two things. One, can't we all be nice? and two, IT IS SO DISRESPECTFUL TO HANG UP ON SOMEONE.
I have to admit, normally, in situations like this, I find myself getting all ramped up to meet that person at their crazy level. In this case, I was calm cool and collected, and kept expressing to her my want to help solve the "problem" and hopefully come to a resolution. In the end, there ended up being no problem at all, as she could have handled it internally (without involving me), we didn't have to move the meeting, and all was good. But SHE HUNG UP ON ME.
I'm trying to be better about being less judgmental and therefore trying to justify others terrible behaviors, like, maybe she spilled hot soup on her lap this morning, or, maybe she just found out her health insurance premium is going up $50 a month (another story), but this one was tough. Especially when I spent that afternoon asking all of my other assistant friends who all agreed that they'd never hang up on someone else. Maybe I just happen to have friends who are nice. I don't know.
The moral of the story is, I don't know why we just can't all be nice to each other. I'm not even asking for you to say please or thank you necessarily (but that would be great!) but just not to scream at me for something that isn't my fault, especially when I'm trying to help.
oh, and lets not hang up on each other. thanks.