“This job would be okay, if it weren’t for the customers!” says just about every retail worker on the planet. Well, maybe they never say it. But they do think it. Maybe not just retail workers. If you bleed and/or breathe or perform a combination of the two on a regular basis, then I bet you’ve thought it. Maybe you thoroughly love your job now and people are just wonderful. But at one time, you, too, were a card carrying member of the “I hate dealing with stupid people” club. If you never have been issued your card, just wait.
The point is, people can suck. Dealing with people can suck. Sure, there can be blessings, and lots of them. Usually it takes some years of suffering and some miles on the maturity gauge to get to a point where card carrying members don’t need their card renewed because they have learned a few tricks. I’m not sure I have enough punches on my card to redeem it for the prize yet, but I’m learning a few things.
1.) On this side of eternity, it’s always going to suck. Two things about this. #1, A good chunk (notice I did not say majority) of people are always going to be selfish, needy, conniving, bitter, difficult and/or any combination of the aforementioned. We will always have difficult people with us. We can’t really fix them ourselves. #2, I kinda suck myself. And guess what? You kinda do, too. We all have our moments. Hopefully as we get some mileage, we have fewer sucky moments that we’re responsible for. But, if you’re breathing or bleeding, guess what? You’re also in the “I suck” club.
2.) Part of the reason people suck is that they live unmotivated lives. I used to think that these kind of people were lazy and entitled. (Some of them are.) Now I see that they just don’t have a big enough “Why” in their lives. Along the same vein, people who are born with the potential to be creative are not exercising their creative muscles. All folks are creative. ALL. Capital A Capital L Capital L Period. But fear, insecurity, and low self esteems prevent folks from exploring their creativity. Non existent creativity results in folks not solving problems. Including their day to day problems that put them in that sucky state of mind.
3.) You can’t change people. People have to want to change themselves. We’ve heard that so many times it’s almost cliché. But it’s true. Believe me, I’ve wanted to change so many lousy customers so badly, I could’ve throat punched them. But coercion never works. You may think coercion changes people, but it’s only temporary. Only influence from a safe relationship built on trust and respect, and yes, love, can begin to plant seeds of change, but it’s a interdependent relationship. Not a lot of folks want to invest that kind of emotional capital. That’s unfortunate, because it seems to me that a lot of these folks, especially the younger generation, need mentors in their lives.
So there are three things for now. We all suck. We’re unmotivated. We can’t change people.
Are there solutions or alternatives? I think there are. But my 500 words are up, and this is definitely a good intro to a “To be continued” kind of series. So for now…
Suck it up, buttercup!