I am an Irish woman. I was raised in a household of wee, hot-headed people, and a part of me is proud to say that. We Irish are very expressive in our moods. Whether we're happy, sad, angry, or full of mirth, one can usually tell with relative ease.
A few years ago I married a Scot, and life hasn't been quite the same since. Whereas I would get angry and yell, and often-times (though I hate to admit it) throw stuff, he would stay level-headed and wish to debate me with such silly things as logic. At first this infuriated me even more. However, as time drew on I became to realize how much easier it was to fight without pouring every ounce of Ire in my blood into it.
I read a lot of email from drivers, and I have to be honest, but a lot of it is simply uncalled for hooey. So the conclusion I'm left to make from a lot of these emails is that if you talk to me this way, then you must talk to everyone this way, including those that would offer you employment (i.e. recruiters).
On a side note, to be fair, I've also had a fair share of companies and other business contacts call me up just to yell at me for nonsensical things that aren't my fault, so the coin flips both ways. (Not to mention the fact that I've been working with the public for many years, so I've been yelled at plenty of times at other jobs, and I'm used to it.)
The point of the matter is that people can say some pretty hateful things when they don't stop to think that the person they're saying those things to is, in fact, a real person. The de-humanization of our societal brethren is becoming something short of an epidemic. Think about how many times you've become impatient at the grocery store with the cashier. Or the waitress that you just know is new and you silently curse as you wish you could have sat at a different table.
How much better would your life be if you didn't have to get upset when things don't go according to plan? Believe me, as someone who was a bit of an anal-retentive perfectionist a few years ago, life gets much less complicated if you just let people be people.
It takes a bit of work to realize that no one in life is truly compatible. No married couple, no two friends, no one. The truth is that you have to work on compatibility, consistently and constantly.
Maintaining an even-temper can be hard work, but it can be an invaluable tool when dealing with public service providers and work-related superiors. As a public service provider, (even though I do try to help everyone regardless of how they treat me) I am honestly more inclined to go out of my way for someone that is nice to me and treats me with respect.
I'd like to leave you all with a final sentiment. A testimony, if you will, of what the “power of niceness” can do.
One of the best moments of my life came when working for Disney. A family had lost their camera and was very upset about it, so they found me and asked for help. I looked in various lost and founds, and made several phone calls, until finally, about an hour later I triumphantly recovered the lost camera. I found the family waiting in line and briefly cut-in to return it to them. The grandmother became so excited that she jumped up from her wheelchair and began hugging me. Simultaneously, the entire cue of waiting people burst into applause. That was a moment captured on various cameras, including the one I returned, to be looked back on as what would be called at Disney a “magic moment”.
The point of the story is I didn't have to work so hard to locate that camera. In fact it would have been far easier on me to just look in one lost and found, and realize it wasn't there. I had a hard job and wasn't feeling well (in fact later that month I was hospitalized with what my mother still swears was West Nile Virus), so the temptation to just do the minimum of what was asked of me was high. In the end, what made me want to help that family was not a sense of duty, but a sense of love.
Magic moments can happen anywhere, and to anyone. Call me idealistic, I'll just think of myself as a positive thinker.