Posts Tagged ‘venting’

I read other blogs. Lots of them. Some I follow, some I read only once, for the sake of time or otherwise. I don’t have a job that allows me the luxury of surfing the net during work hours and sometimes I barely get to check my email or Facebook. Not on vacation, however. I’ve spent lots of time in the last week doing just that. My Words With Friends and Scrabble games are all caught up and I even started playing Trivia Crack against my husband and kids. (Why so many sports questions???)

Since I have had a bit more free time, I’ve also been able to explore some new blogs. One that I really enjoyed was from a labor and delivery nurse who humorously “exposed” lies that L&D nurses tell their patients. Not malicious lies, but explanations for some of the things that they do. For example, the reason that they wear face masks isn’t because they’re protecting patients from germs, it’s because after many hours of labor, a patient’s breath isn’t exactly sweet. Or the direction to press the call light if you need anything doesn’t mean anything, like getting a patient a drink of water, especially when she has visitors in the room who could do it for her, it means medical things. There were many others, some are gross that I won’t mention here, but any woman who has been through the labor process would be familiar with them. In short, it was hilarious, even on the patient end of it. I can compare it to the articles in Reader’s Digest, “What Your Doctor Won’t Tell You”, or “What Your Hair Stylist Won’t Tell You”, crazy or insensitive things that we, as consumers, do or expect from professionals.

There were, as expected, lots of comments. I was a bit jealous. What amazed me, though, was not the amount of comments, but that some people were highly offended by the article! They accused the author, who seems like a very caring kind of nurse, of being insensitive, of being mean-spirited. They told her that she should find another job, that she didn’t deserve to work with mothers and babies. My response? (In my head, because there are some creepy people out there and I don’t want to draw their fire.) GET A FREAKING GRIP!

Those that have worked with the public in any capacity know what I’m talking about. There are days when everything is fine, people are happy, and complaints are minimal. Then, there are the days when everything goes wrong. Prima donna customers who think that their needs are more important than anyone else. Customers who, even after bringing them five cups of coffee, insist that it still isn’t fresh and then don’t leave a tip. Parents who insist that their child does his homework on his own, even when it’s in the parent’s handwriting or who blame anything and everything else for their child failing/fighting/being a general pain in the butt. Potential brides who go to try on dresses in ripped up, nasty, underwear or who don’t shower. (Shudder. It happens. My mom used to work in a bridal boutique.) The point is, working with the public in any capacity brings its share of headache and hassle, even if the job is mostly a joy. Venting is normal, a healthy way to get things off of one’s chest in order to continue being professional and courteous, giving the best possible service.

When I worked for Greenfield Village, there was a building where several of us worked on a rotating basis. We kept a journal of what went on during the day; number of visitors, the weather, who had been working at the farm, general observations. Over the years, it also turned into a place to vent our frustrations with visitors who came and were less than courteous, crazy school groups, or just general nuttiness that sometimes happened, like couple discovered “getting it on” upstairs when they thought no one was around. There were also great stories in there about extremely cool visitors who were genuinely interested and wanted to learn more about the place or how things worked. It was a mixture of things and always entertaining reading. There was no foul language used or anything like that, just honest revelations about the day. I would say the 95% of the people working there loved their jobs, so this was by no means a “poor me” kind of a book. Reading the journal was one of the few things we looked forward to in that building, as it was not a high-priority building and didn’t get a lot of traffic. I used to get a lot of sewing done in there.

One day, when the on-duty presenter was at lunch, a visitor went beyond the barrier, a huge no-no, and read our book. Our book. The one hidden in a box, out of view. The one that we looked forward to reading. They raised a big stink and management took our book away. Sigh. This was unfair on so many levels. I could understand our book being taken if it had been lying out in the open for people to see, but no, this was something hidden away, supposedly off-limits to the public and for our private viewing. Not okay. And really, when you think of it, have you always left a good impression everywhere you go? I would venture to guess that every single person in this world has not always been a shining example of humanity in every place they’ve ever been. I know I haven’t. Even though I am someone who tries to treat everyone with kindness and respect all the time, I’ve gotten cranky over seemingly stupid rules or policies. Just the other day, I was rather irritated to find out that one now needs an appointment for passport paperwork at smaller post offices, after I had been waiting in line for ten minutes. I thought I would save time by going to the smaller one, but ended up spending an hour and ten minutes in the larger post office, in addition to the time I wasted in the small one. I’m positive that I gave the girl a cranky look, even though it wasn’t her fault, and my “Thank you”, with an accompanying sigh was not the best interaction she had all day. In her head, she was probably thinking that I was an idiot for not knowing the rules.  I wouldn’t be surprised, or upset, mind you, to find out that post office clerks keep a journal about their customers as well.

I guess my point is that people need to vent: Teachers, waiters and waitresses, flight attendants, doctors, nurses, lawyers, police officers, judges, baristas, pastors, everyone. It’s human nature, it’s natural. This nurse that set my whole thinking pattern off wasn’t being evil or mean in any way, she was just telling it like it is. (What exactly do you say when the baby’s name is a horrible choice? Is there any proper etiquette for that? I thought her approach was fabulous.) If you choose to read something like that, especially if it pertains to you, don’t get offended. Take it with a grain of salt and know that everyone is trying to get along the best that they can.

Read Full Post »