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Saturday, October 4, 2008

Take the Chip Off!

Have you ever noticed that some people seem to walk around with a perpetual chip on their shoulder? Some people seem always cranky and ready to be offended over the slightest problem. I see that on almost a daily basis with some of our clients. The people at the front desk get the brunt of it, but I have to see it sometimes also. You know exactly the kind of people I'm talking about. The ones that come up to the desk with a frown on their face. The ones that act very brusque when you greet them. The ones that never smile or seem to regard any small talk. Have you ever been one of these people? The slightest thing will set them off and make them start cursing or arguing. And there is no pleasing these people. None at all. No matter how hard you try, it seems like they refuse to listen to anything other than their pre-conceived notions of right and wrong, and even if you try to offer suggestions and solutions, they still aren't happy.

Several years ago I was vaccinating a dog and talking to the owner while I did so. I gave the vaccines while we were talking, and the dog never reacted. When we were done and I was taking the client to the front, he said that I didn't vaccinate his dog. I assured him that I did, and the dog just didn't cry or flinch. He started to get angry and argue with me, insisting that I never gave the vaccines. I couldn't do much but insist that I did. I finally said that I could give the vaccines again with him watching, and I wouldn't charge double. It might increase the risk of a reaction, but I was willing to do it. The client said no! And still didn't seem to believe that I had given the vaccines right in front of him without the dog noticing!

So here's a hint to everyone. Take that chip off your shoulder! Yes, I know that some people have had a bad day, and they end up taking it out on the people they interact with. Sorry, folks, but it's not our fault, and it's not fair that you get mad at us. When I'm in Wal-Mart or other stores, I make a point to at least smile and be polite to the cashiers. They have a difficult and thankless job, and there is no need for me to take my bad day out on them. They deserve to have customers that are at least polite, even if not overly friendly.

Frankly, I can't understand how some people seem to live this way. How can anyone actually be happy like that? Will it really break your face to smile a little? Life's too short to keep that chip on your shoulder!