The day before, at the post office, I’d gotten so frustrated that I had kicked the self-service machine. They’d replaced it in the two months I was gone, and whatever they spent on this replacement was an absolute waste of money.Read More
A spark may have started the wildfire, but nobody went around lighting each individual tree. That's where the anger comes from, in part. It comes from the helplessness of these situations. The gut-punch reminder that we have no power, no control over the world around us.Read More
When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon and told him "The Lord is with you, mighty man of valor," Gideon's response was somewhat valid. "If the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us?"Read More
When I lived west-side I would glance at the blue hills, sometimes, and feel as if I was just too small to appreciate so much beauty. I can't experience all the love I want to feel, all the time, because I am not large enough. I am insufficient.Read More
I've been doing a lot of customer service lately, and I realized how far I've been letting a certain attitude carry over into my personal life. Customer service is all about making other people happy, but it's not for their benefit. It's usually for your company's benefit. Some truly genuine and compassionate people actually care about making customers happy simply because they are human beings. Some days (good days) I am like that, but other times my customer service style can be described as people-appeaser.
A people-appeaser is different from a people-pleaser. Both are subtle and insidious sins, but a people-pleaser is one whose worth and identity are wrapped up in pleasing. To make others happy gives the people-pleaser value. For the people-appeaser, on the other hand, making people happy is about minimizing unnecessary unpleasantness. In other words, I make you happy not because I care about you but because I don't care enough to not give you your way.
You know how valuable a gift that is, not getting your own way? Being challenged, being forced to interact with other personalities and opinions and thoughts that contradict your own is a necessary and humbling part of life. And by appeasing, I am essentially denying that experience to another and to my self. If I superficially agree with you, I don't have to really engage with you, and you don't have to really engage with me.
It's a careless way to live.
The people-pleaser's worth is wrapped up in making others happy, while the people-appeaser's worth is in never being truly known.
Of course, customer service is not the place to be unafraid to express your opinions, or to stop supressing your full self. It is the place to be quiet and pleasant because the effectiveness of your work is on the line.
But once you step into the real world the stakes get a lot higher, and there's no friendly "have a nice day" to hide behind.
It was so cold that the air reached out and bit you when you opened the front door. Oregon had just survived weeks of flood level rain. Sinkholes had opened in the earth. Children had been trapped in flooding cars. Now the clouds that wrapped Oregon like a blanket had vanished, taking with them the last vestiges of warmth that even the flooding provided.Read More
Full fathom five thy father lies,
Of his bones are coral made,
Those are pearls that were his eyes,
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change,
into something rich and strange.
- William Shakespeare