Every once in a while you come across an individual who has an entitlement attitude. They feel that they’re blessed with unusual ability that far exceeds the rest of God’s creatures and that the people they’re forced to deal with are just mere servants that should be catering to them. If this sounds familiar to you, you’re not alone.
This week I was calling upon a new customer and he had been used to dealing with our president and so speaking with me seemed to be lower than low. He cut me off in the conversation numerous times and kept telling me that I was making assumptions that weren’t correct. He was condescending and arrogant and I kept thinking to myself how his attitude wasn’t going to gain any bonus points with me!
My tactic was to slow down and listen to his opinions with as much intensity and understanding as I could possibly muster up. But even before that, I apologized for stating to him that some of the information that I needed to gather from him was administrative in nature and that anyone could deliver it to me. That’s when the hairs on the back of his neck must have flown up because he came back to me and said, “and you think that I’m an administrative person?” I quickly apologized and said, “no, of course not! I’m just saying that some of the information I need isn’t complicated, and that anyone can get it to me.” It was that statement from which he judged me going forward and from that moment on, he was unbelievably difficult to deal with as a person. He obviously viewed life from a place where he felt judged, so he treated me like I was judging him. I was not, I was merely asking for assistance from him.
Each of us have had momentary encounters with other human beings that are just not that great. We’ve all been in a place where we aren’t in the best situation and our attitude isn’t the best. Perhaps we didn’t take our Noni juice or Stress B Gone juice that morning, and we’re not the most “happy go lucky” individual every moment of the day. Or perhaps we are stressed and just too busy to stop and be personable with every person that we meet. Unfortunately, when we have about 3-10 seconds to create a first impression and the impression isn’t a good one, then we have to make it up by spending about 2 ½ positive hours winning that person back.
This individual who spoke down to me is a customer. That means that he deserves my respect and my courtesy. But that does NOT mean that he can run all over me and pound me into the ground. I’ve given him the first round and was gracious and promised to provide a wonderful service. But at this point, I see what sort of “stellar” human being he is and it’s not that pretty! He’s the type who is unable to just get a job done, regardless of what his title is. He’s caught up with his own impression of himself that he is too important to pitch in and help where the help is needed. This sort of attitude is hurtful for his company. He’s likely to lose a good vendor because of his condescending attitude, and certainly any of the perks that could have come along with having a great rapport. He’s also unlikely to receive any price breaks if there are any, or to receive upgrades that we might give to our valued customers.
People with chips on their shoulder should know that people are watching how you treat your vendors. People watch how you treat service individuals and whether or not you treat others with respect. People are watching you on the job, and they can tell if you’re a hard worker or just getting by with the least amount as possible. If you’re lazy, talking too much on the phone, spending too much time on the internet or emails, or if you won’t jump in when work needs to be done, you’re not going to be respected much, and you’re not going to be well liked by your co-workers even if they act like your friends. Trust me, they’re talking behind your back, and planning your demise. You’ll also lose business, which translates into money, which can translate into freedom. And hopefully, you’ll lose your job and continue to do so until you wake up and learn what makes a good employee.
I want our company to be known for its incredible service. I want to have a product that is second to none and I want our customers to be raving fans. It’s taking hard work, long hours and some personal sacrifice, but I’m excited to be a part of a team who cares enough to make our company great. One day I’ll have enough customers who want to work with us that I won’t HAVE to take everyone that comes along. And that is when I’ll be in the position to tell those customers who don’t quite fit our profile that they’d be better served by someone else.
Until that day, I’ll suck it up, make nice, and focus on the many customers I have who are delightful and respectful and who make me get up in the morning. Those people are great and make my job fun.
And in the meantime, to all of the “Mr. and Ms’ Chips on your Shoulder”… get off your high horse, crop a good attitude and work hard. You’re in the way of many productive and great people who want to do a good job and serve the company. You’re a drag to your employer and to many people around you.
You can make changes by deciding to work hard when no one is watching. You can decide to make each day count and you can decide that you want to serve others to make their lives better. You can decide to think about others instead of just yourself, and you can decide to sacrifice your bad attitude for the benefit of the company at whole. If you do this, you’ll quickly become a valued member of the team, and then we’d welcome you back with open arms.
Please Mr. Chip, you can make the changes. Decide right now that you’re making a change. Each day will get better and better until you realize, that you have changed. And that is when you have become a valued member of your company, your industry, and of our world.