Most of us will have some contact with an admin (or assistant or secretary or clerk or helper or etc.) of some type today, when we call to make an appointment, when we send an email to ask a question, when we go seeking help with a product we purchased, when stop in at an office to drop off some papers, when we place an order, when we coordinate with someone to plan an event… chances are, somewhere along the line, we’ll talk to or work with an admin. No need to be over the top; just remember when you’re working with or talking to that person to give them a genuine thanks. You’ll probably brighten their whole day.
And if you hire an admin (or several), don’t wait until Administrative Professionals Day to let them know you appreciate what they do. Tell them often and sincerely. Having been an admin in some form on and off since I began working as a teenager, I can vouch for the difference it makes when you work with someone who genuinely appreciates your efforts!
It’s probably the devil’s timing that today’s challenge was to thank an admin. (Note: I don’t actually believe in the devil. Just a figure of speech.)
Having worked in the customer service industry since I was 14 years old I am sensitive to how people treat others in that regard. Whether it be a secretary, flight attendant or whomever. I could talk about this for days but I won’t. What this means is that in my day to day life as I interact with admins I am sweet as pie, patient and the best customer of all time.
Today, however when calling to reschedule a dentist appointment which I already dread..which, why don’t they flag my account notifying everyone that I am FREAKED THE FUCK out from the onset so they know they need to treat me with baby gloves in their tone but not forget I’m a grown ass women and they don’t need to demean me.
Holy crap! I have some issues right now. OK. So I called to reschedule my appointment and the admin was all kinds of mean! Maybe she’s having a bad day. Maybe 20 people cancelled right before me. Maybe anything is going on. But she was so mean and her tone was nasty and I just didn’t get it.
“We are going to charge you $50 for cancelling!” she insisted with venom behind every syllable.
“I have to cancel. I work for the financial industry. If something happens on the market, I can’t just leave the office to have my teeth cleaned. So….its ok. I’ll pay the 50. Now can we talk about other available days.” I said all this with the nicest tone. I was breathing honey in my voice!
We went back and forth figuring out a day. I asked her some other questions. (Still being nice as pie even though I wanted to say, “I HATE YOUR DENTIST OFFICE ANYWAY. THE PAINT JOB SUCKS. THE HYGENIST IS RUDE AS FUCK! AND I FEEL LIKE A NUMBER. NO ONE REMEMBERS MY NAME. IT’S NOT THAT HARD. I’M THE LITTLE BLACK GIRL WITH THE CURLY HAIR. MY FREAKING NAME IS SHEENA.) But I stayed nice and calm. Because who knows what’s going on with her. It could be the worse day of her life and she’s just had it up to here!
After some typing she said, “You know what, we won’t charge you a fee. You’ve never cancelled before. This will be a courtesy cancellation.”
“Wow. Thanks! You didn’t have to do that.” I said still with a positive tone. (Even though the evil side of me wanted to say its customary MOST times that the first cancellation is free AND! AND! AND! I’m rescheduling not CANCELLING.)
But I wasn’t focusing on that. I really was grateful that what could have been an escalated brawl of the bitch attitudes between us maintained a level of professionalism and niceties despite the rocky start to the conversation.
Shit happens. People cancel. People have bad days. We say the mean thing. The wrong thing. We lose our patience. We act a fool.
And then we make it right, we come back to center, we become nice again and we waive cancellation fees.
So I’m thankful for her. I don’t know her name. I’m just thankful for how life resolves itself sometimes. How we have a choice to let the fire burn us or purify us. We can go out into left field and become raging demons or we can bring it back to center and remember we all are humans and sometimes…the simplest gesture makes a huge difference!
Speaking of admins, I’m also very grateful for the movie Secretary. It warms my dark, dirty heart.
If you are wondering why I freaked out in my mind, check out “The Dentist is Not My Daddy!”
More information regarding this challenge can be found below.