Thursday, March 06, 2008

Perl coder, tech support, and part-time psychiatrist

I'm a polite person, and do my best not to speak ill of anyone I know, even behind their back. Frankly, I see no reason to get angry at anyone. I believe most people do what they do in good faith, or because they don't know any better. One part of being polite, to me, is looking at people in the eyes when they are talking to me, it was a respect thing when I was young, and it stayed with me. I'm quiet by nature, and when dealing with someone I don't particularly care to listen to, I learned long ago to simply reply affirmatively, nod, and listen. The result of neutrality, politeness, and attentiveness (real or feigned); is everyone thinks I'm their friend. They'll talk to me about things they don't seem to talk to other people about, and they'll feel better once they did because they got things off their chest without anybody judging them. People like people who are like them, and via simple half-hearted agreement, people like me.

This agreeability has extended to almost every area of my life, and has helped me accomplish things, and obtain privileges I doubt I'd have otherwise.

Strangely, this extends to customers over the phone. I've been praised by name in e-mails from our customers as someone who always helps, and gets the job done. Usually from Customers with whom I'd had minimal contact, and (honestly) didn't think I'd done that exceptional of a job for.

Just now someone from accounting (whom everyone strongly dislikes) called complaining about her computer. All she needed was a reboot, but she wouldn't consider the thought until I listened to her technical woes. This lead into her family woes. Which lead into her personal woes. After she was done, she rebooted, and thanked me vigorously for helping her. My part of the entire conversation consisted of affirmative grunts and liberal use of "mm-hmm" and "uh-huh." I did nothing, just as I'd done for her before. But she likes me. She has said I'm the only one in this company she doesn't have a problem with, and as head of accounting I know I've benefited from her friendship in ways I'll never know.

Sometimes I think it strange to have benefited so much from a mantra so simple as,
"Shut up, be nice, and look people in the eye."

1 comment:

No Names Necessary said...

I hang up on ladies, they're angry at me for a second, and then get distracted when they see something shiny...problem solved, and I have time to admire my own wit.

hyuck hyuck