Thursday, March 19, 2009

Fun times

Occasionally, I have to answer the phones at my place of work. You would really be surprised by some of the responses I get. Although I am going to use a fictitious name (so that I don't get sued later), my official greeting and the responses that follow goes something like this:

"Mike W. Smith Contracting, can I help you?"
"Yes".... *long pause*
"How can I help you?"
"Oh, well I need...."

"Mike W. Smith Contracting, can I help you?"
"Is Mr. Smith there?"
"Umm, Mr. Smith sold the company years ago. In fact, I'm not quite sure if Mr. Smith is still living."

"Mike W. Smith Contracting, can I help you?"
"Someone just called me from this number."
"Sir, do you know who called you?"
"Do you know which project its concerning?"
"Sir, I'm not sure how to direct your call, then."

"Mike W. Smith Contracting, can I help you?"
"Yes, are you guys bidding on you know that store being built somewhere in Greensboro."
"Do you know what the name of the project is, or the contact person?"
"Umm, no."
"I'm sorry. I won't be able to direct your call without more information."
"So, you don't know if your company is doing that job."
"No, sir, I do not."

"Mike W. Smith Contracting, can I help you?"
"Is Tim there? Sir, we have eight Tim's total in our company. Can you give me a last name?"
"Um, I did not write that down."
"Do you know which project its regarding? Maybe I can direct your call based on which office is handling the project."
"I don't remember the name of the project. Someone else referred me and told me to ask for Tim."
I wait, thinking maybe the obvious will sink in.
"I will ask the person who referred me for more information and call you back."
"That sounds like a great idea."

"Mike W. Smith Contracting, can I help you?"
"Who is this?"
"You are speaking with Cory?"
"Well, you don't sound like the person I normally talk to."
"I'm not, she is on lunch. Can I help you with something?"
"Oh yeah, I need to talk to...."

"Mike W. Smith Contracting, can I help you?"
"Is so-in-so in?"
"I'm sorry, he is out of the office. Would you like his voicemail?"
"Well, maybe you can help me with this."
"Can you tell me what the measurements are for the tiling on the Target project?"
"Sir, I just handle the administrative side of projects."
"Well, I just need to know how many really."
"I'm sorry, sir, I do not even know how to read construction drawings. I'm sure he'll call you back if you leave him a message."
"Well, okay, I guess."

I just love working with the public. Its the funnest part of my job!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Need Something Stronger Than Sarcasma

Just a little forewarning...I'm going to vent a little right now and let me just start off with saying that I in no way think that I am spotless or perfect.

So first of all I'm not in the best mood today and while I am perfectly in touch with the notion that I am not a slave to my moods, it sure feels that way sometimes. I seem to be resisting temptation to tell a few specific people that they actually in fact are the most annoying people on the planet and should in fact win an award for it. So, I feel like I'm doing pretty good so far because the urge is really strong today.

Then at lunch I'm in a public kitchen fixing my sandwich and there is not much room in there to begin with. A man comes in and starts opening his microwave meal and I'm thinking, he expects me to move, right? Well, I'm not moving today, I was here first and he will just have to wait. Then he reaches over me to try and put his stuff in the microwave forcing me to step back. But he can't even open the microwave because MY STUFF IS IN FRONT OF IT. So, he goes to the microwave on a shelf above it, still standing in front of me and tries to get it to work. He obviously is having a hard time pushing several buttons to no avail, while still STANDING IN FRONT OF ME, so he turns and asks me to help him get it working! This is all coming from a seemingly educated man, so he should have not excuse about his upbringing. FINALLY, he steps back and lets me finish what I was doing which took all of 2. whole. seconds. and the whole time he is in nervously hovering over me making chit chat, but I am so afraid of what I might say if I open my mouth for too long a period so I just give one word answers until I get can out of there. All I can say (that's appropriate) is: some people! I mean, really? There is nothing registering in your mind at all that what you are doing might be rude or inconsiderate in the least? I know, I know. I have no room to talk, but still its just really frustrating.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Simple Marriage

Jonathan sent me this article from Simple Marriage and it was so helpful that I wanted to share for all who were interested. I like the way that it acknowledges the physicality of emotional reactions and how to handle them. A lot of Christian couples that I know often go off of the verse that says, "don't let the sun go down on your anger" as a method for immediately dealing with relationship issues. I do agree that holding grudges and avoiding confrontation is a destructive way of dealing with conflict and will no doubt poison any relationship. However, I can attest that I am. two. completely. different. people. when I experience a "flooding" as the article describes.

I am a person who does not like unresolve and am not afraid of confrontation so, initially, in my relationship I would act off of this emotional split personality and become the Incredible Hulk of confrontation. Unfortunately, after seeing the damaging results of this approach, I began leaving or shutting myself off to cool down before coming back around to discuss an issue. But I must point out that for the most part whenever I removed myself from the situation it was a spur-of-the-moment action that also seemed to blindside my husband and left him worrying and maybe even feeling abandoned, not knowing if I was even coming back. His feelings were absolutely understandable because I felt the same whenever he left to cool off.

This article's concept of acknowledging that you and your partner are human and you have to deal with these emotions (not just pretend like they don't exist) and yet you have a way of handling them, even ahead of time, is really encouraging and hopefully something that will be effective in a practical way.