Wow, it’s been a while.
My original plan to write once a week has clearly failed. I guess I’ve just been so busy living life and hugging garbage men (and subsequently spending my time in court for harassment) that I haven’t had time to uphold my writing commitments.
jk. I’ve never been to court. (Although after watching 3 seasons of the Tudors, it looks pretty fun. The punishments are a bit different nowadays though. Instead of going to jail and learning how to be a better criminal, you got to marry the king and get beheaded…. funny how things change.)
Anyway, I have been busy. I recently finished a book study that I did for work. It’s called “The Charisma Myth” and it’s about how you can improve your interactions with people to get a much better result. Call it manipulation, call it magic. It’s a fact of life and It was a very informative.
One of the exercises we did was about perspectives. Long story short, it went something like this …
Imagine you’re on your way to an important presentation and you’re a little bit late. No time for coffee and someone cuts you off. You’re pissed. You hurl insults at the car you would never say in a face to face situation. You show up at your meeting, you’re frazzled, off your game, and you can’t get into the mental space needed to give a compelling presentation.
Now imagine the same situation. Someone has just cut you off. Instead of them being a faceless asshole, imagine they are a mother frantically trying to pull over because her child is choking in the back seat.
Or imagine whatever you would feel sympathetic for. The point is changing your perspective inside so that you show a more put together charismatic person outside. Whether you’re into self improvement or you thinks it’s hippy BS, it makes sense and it works. (unless you’re an asshole who feels empathy for no one. I’m lookin’ at you Kevin O’leary)
So, I had an opportunity to put this to the test.
I was working, (Im a retail manager for a women’s clothing store) It is sales job, but most importantly, a customer service job. (Being good at the latter usually influences the former… and lets face it being nice to people is just good karma… which is bad news for Kevin.)
So there I was. working hard. A woman walked in the front door. Let’s call her Mildred. Mildred walks through the door with her hair in curls. I instantly imagined Mildred at home that morning in a housecoat with a head full of rollers, because thats what I do.
and then I saw the bag.
It was one of our bags, which only means a return. When your job is to give the right product in exchange for money, it feels like failure when you do the opposite.
Im so dramatic. 🙂 It’s not that big of a deal, returns are a part of working in retail, and they happen, but it still sucks.
So anyway, back to Mildred. She was making a return. She handed me the bag and said she wanted her money back. In order to get into my frame of mind, it must be said that Mildred also came with 2 friends. Cigarette smoke and cat hair, and they were all over her. I don’t hate many things, but I hate cats. They are little assholes that know I’m allergic, but they play stupid and pretend to love me. We all know cats are sociopaths that don’t love anything, except maybe plotting revenge on humans…. we all know that right?
When I opened the bag to get the item, I could instantly smell the smoke, and I started to get a little bit more annoyed about the whole situation.
and then it happened.
My imagination took over, and my perspective started to change.
I pictured poor Mildred in her home at the mercy of a gang of cats. no, a mob of cats. A mob of chain smoking cats, and she was enslaved by them. I pictured her trying on her skirt in front of the mirror and the cats laughing at her, laughing with cigarettes in their mouths of course saying she would never have a need for nice clothes like that. (like a weird version of cinderella, only with more smoking, no gus gus and lots of lucifer…)
As I pictured it, I almost laughed, but I kept it in, because Mildred wasn’t privy to the scene that just went down in my head and laughing would have be weird. The point is, my demeanor toward her changed, I hated those underworld guarding assholes for her and although this was probably not the route the book had in mind… it still got me to the same empathizing, charismatic, customer serving destination. Success!