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Do No Harm, But Take No Shit.


Copyright (C) Avery K. Tingle 2014



Break time at a sales-based call center is a precious commodity. For just a few short moments, you get to step away from the phones and remember that the world is not filled with irate assholes who want to do unspeakable things to your wife or mother or brother or goat.

The group I run with at work, we can get a little rambunctious. So much so that we get dirty looks from some of the veterans, but one man in particular, we'll call him Jack. We were getting on his nerves professionally. He didn't say anything, at least at first, just sit off in his corner all by his lonesome, sigh heavily, and turn up the volume on whatever he was watching.

Eventually, after brusquely asking us to quiet down, he lodged a complaint with our trainer (to be fair, we didn't get any quieter). So I walked straight up to him, looked him right in his eye...and apologized.

I said that I was sorry for disturbing him during his break, and we would make a concerted effort to be quieter. He said he appreciated the gesture and that was that.

I spoke with my friends about his request. They were annoyed, but agreed, and were genuinely more quiet. So much so that the dirty looks stopped.

Except for Jack.

Jack would still huff and puff, even when we were library-quiet. Soon, we wouldn't even have to speak; it was merely our presence that would drive him into an asthma-inspired tizzy.
This went on for about a week until he stormed out of the break room, shooting one of the group a murderous look as he passed.

I told that person to please; re-define the meaning of loud.

I realized that I was causing someone unnecessary distress. I apologized for my actions and did my best to rectify the situation. When my best effort didn't work, I quit going out of my way to try to appease one person. For the record, no one has complained of our noise level since.

Some people cannot be pleased; some people prefer misery if they've grown accustomed to it. If you have done your absolute best to make a situation work, and for whatever reason the one you've worked for is still dissatisfied, then walk away with your head held high and don't lose sleep behind it. There is a line between trying to accommodate someone and letting them run over you.

Do no harm.
But take no shit.

Thank you for reading.

Comments

CLC said…
"Anybody can be a paper warrior" was a saying by someone I had great respect for. You're in the trenches and you're doing fine. That's where real warriors live.

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