Friday, February 08, 2008

When Is a Shovel A Spade?

It’s been a weird week both at work and play, I’ve been an advisor, a mentor, a student, and in the case of one particular person at work an absolute tyrant. I’ve given advice, taken advice, had a laugh. I’ve been patronised and vindicated so it’s been as volatile as the world markets but I’m feeling very positive for the first time in quite a long time. I've enjoyed the ride even if it has been a bit of a roller coaster. One thing I’ve noted is how frustrating it can be when people don’t say what they mean, when they play emotional games, play politics or are patronising.

So in the interest of calm and serendipity, respect and building good relationships at home and at work I will share some things I learned or that were reinforced to me this week and hopefully leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy, hey, I'm in Marketing:

  1. Don’t call a spade a long wooden handled implement with a flattened metal protrusian at one end built for the purpose of excavation – it’s a fucking shovel! Nothing else. I can’t tell you the time I’ve wasted this week talking about the same issue in a variety of lengthy convolutions. KISS – Keep It Simple – Stupid, Less IS More. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
  2. Smile when you talk. I have had many delightful interludes with Rattie Mattie this week and the reason, he smiles on the other end of the phone. There are often gaps while he’s troubleshooting a problem or waiting for an upload to run but he is personable, friendly, funny and chatty and it makes ALL the difference when a client is frustrated by things not working properly. Thanks Matt. I’ll miss not talking to you when all this IT business is sorted.
  3. Don’t patronise. Jeez. This seems to be particularly the perogative of men. There’s the “You will do it now?” patroniser . . the one who has just given you a brief and expects to jump the queue because his work is far more important than anyone elses. Or the “Surely you knew that . .” technical patroniser – how the fuck would I know that? I’m not a Level 2 Systems Analyst, I don’t know how to access the server with my mobile phone? - Do you? - “No” - then shut up! Or the worst one of all, the “I’m going to talk over the top of you or at the very least nod my head and say correct three thousand times while you’re talking”. This type of patroniser makes my blood boil. They don’t listen, they don’t hear, they think they’re absolutely right and have no idea how irritating the habit of mouthing words which are being spoken by someone else can be! STOP IT
  4. Be kind to yourself. Don’t be disparaging. If you’re a bit narky, you’re having a bad day, you’re not necessarily a bitch. If you’re a bit low, you’re feeling emotional not falling apart. If you’re a little absent minded, you’re being focussed on one thing instead of concentrating on many. Treat yourself with respect because often others won’t.
  5. If you are keen on a girl, don’t go out of your way to make her jealous. This is no way to begin a trusting relationship. Be honest, open, don’t tell her too much, but just enough to peak her interest. Don’t talk about your other encounters, your ex or the girls you meet in bars. If it’s her you’re interested in, then it’s her you should focus on. That works for the lads as well by the way.
  6. Be nice to others. The response you get when you say something funny, pleasing, complementary or just plain nice to others is well worth the effort. And I know a few people who are thinking “Oh jeez she’s going off on her saccharine, I love the world this week tangent!” This week I’ve made people laugh, one scowl (but that was intentional) some have agreed, some have complemented and flattered but by being nice to others, you get paid back in spades . . . .

Ah, and we’re back to shovels again!

Have a good one . . I'm off for a Chardy!

toothpaste for dinner


RM said...

1) Agreed!
2) Im sure something else will break, a new upgrade will come out or something will happen. Hopefully next time i won't be as hungover and spending more time wondering what on earth i did the night before!
3) Mmm Patronising is bad, ticks people off majorly. Mind you, i live with a soon to be teacher, so i better get use to being patronised.
4) Hahaha, this soooo does not work!
5) It sure is worth it - its even better when it becomes second nature.

I think i should have an alco free night ..... its not going to happen, but it was a nice thought.

I'm so over people not saying what they mean. If you want to say something, than just say it! Don't make me guess, because either i won't bother, or i will probably guess wrong.

I'm off for the day (or the weekend).

Anonymous said...

HAHA, I often warn others before speaking with, "I'm not in a good mood today, so bear that in mind"...

Have a GREAT weekend Baino! *I'm smiling*

Babysis said...

I'm a medical receptionist! I'm used to smiling at sick cranky people ALL DAY! And even when they complain about something the DOCTOR has done (NOT ME) I still smile! Smiling Good! Patronizing Bad! Spade is Shovel!....keep telling yourself that kid! Smiling is good - its good for the soul, no matter why or how you do it! Did I tell you I'm sick of this stoooopid rain - I'm still smiling though when I say it!

steph said...

a smile
is a light
in the window
of your face
that shows
your heart
is at home

(hanging on wall of
daughter's bedroom)

author unknown

:-) :-) :-) ;-)

Baino said...

RM: Break? I think not baby puppy! You just want to chat to me such is my scintillating personality! (maybe you miss your mum). We'll be sorted by Friday but hey, I know where you are so . . .Hair of the dog my boy! Don't you have one of my sweet, white and girlie's in the fridge! Have a good one!

Anon: Ah yer a cheerful chick if ever I knew one! Show the girl a Lorikeet and she's a little ray of sunshine! I had a fellow working for me once and his legacy was a 2cm thick book of boardroomspeak. Absolutely hilarious. I'll have to dig it out and post some quotes! Um maybe I should run it up the flagpole first or throw it on the tarmac and see if it sticks!

Babysis: Such is the world of client service *read grovelling to the largely ungrateful* or the land of Grinandbearit. It's hard to smile at rich people trying to wheedle a Centrelink benefit or pompous semi retirees who want it NOW but hey! Now on a more serious note, Coffee? 10 ish? Your place?

Baino said...

Oh Steph! Don't know whether to cry or throw up! Depends largely on the quality of one's dental work! hehehe

Sorry RM I changed the numbering, I think you now mean 5 so doesn't work. Damn right, seen it backfire BIG TIME.

steph said...

You sure know how to say it in spades! Baino

It is over the top in saccharine, I agree, but true.

I'm still smiling btw :-)

Grannymar said...

Smiling is good!

1. Laughter lines turn upward giving the face a softer friendly look.
2. Folk wonder what you were up to!
3. Uses fewer muscles than to frown.

Brianf said...

A shovel is not a spade!
It could be a snow shovel or a coal shovel. My ash shovel is not a spade.

Pronunciation: \ˈshə-vəl\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English scofl; akin to Old High German scūfla shovel, Old English scūfan to thrust away
Date: before 12th century
1 a: a hand implement consisting of a broad scoop or a more or less hollowed out blade with a handle used to lift and throw material b: something that resembles a shovel c: an excavating machine; especially : a hydraulic diesel-engine driven power shovel

Pronunciation: \ˈspād\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English spadu; akin to Greek spathē blade of a sword or oar
Date: before 12th century
1 : a digging implement adapted for being pushed into the ground with the foot 2 : a spade-shaped instrument

Nick said...

Patronisers are the worst, it's sooo infuriating when people assume I don't understand them, or assume I'll do something different to what they asked for, or don't believe me when I warn them of some computer glitch. What also annoys me at my office is people who waltz off somewhere and never tell me where they are or what they're doing. Very embarrassing when someone rings up asking for them and you have to invent some plausible engagement.

nonny said...

Ahhh you can't be going around saying what you mean where is the fun in that, what you need to do is talk about the value chain, team building exercises, laying the bricks to build the dream of the corporation, getting all our ducks in a row and the likes. he he he have a great weekend pal, i'm of to the bar!!

Emperor Ropi said...

I have been learning hard this week.

Baino said...

Steph: all done in good humour I assure you.

GranyMar: that's why you look so young! Me, I've got a grumpy face, mustn't have smiled enough in my formative years!

Brian: Hope you're joking or you completely missed the patronising point. You and two of the partners at my work would get on just fine. Don't you get tired of reading the dictionary?

Nick: You sound like you have my job. My boss just drifts off across the road for a wander, one of the other Partners regularly works in the coffee shop across the road and 'summons' some underling to bring him papers so he can look important in front of a client and NEVER says thank you! I've become expert in the plausible excuse. (they have a lot of 'meetings') One of them even puts his phone on "Do not disturb" so I have to get up from my desk and ask if he wants to take the call,which he always does so what's the point?

Nonny: Nailed it in one. I can't speak it myself but have found myself writing it sometimes. I'm holding a meeting on Monday where I have been asked to tell someone to pull their head in but can I be nice about it . . .haha. . .prolly not! I'll just tell them to pull their head in . . does that make it into the boardromspeak thesaurus? Then maybe I should start with:

The instigation of valid practice management techniques has enabled our business to dehire archaic management practices and drilldown to never before seen levels of productivity by allowing us to leverage our internal efficiencies and expand on our heritage of human equity. Obviously this topic was looked at with significant rigour and the resultant strategic decision gave birth to our current culture which by any measure will make a tremendous contribution to the tide required to float all of the boats required for success.


Baino said...

Hey Ropi dude! Thought you'd been a quiet little Hungrian!
Haha .. here I go again, moulding young minds muwahahahahaha!