We have all been there.
A simple process has turned into an arduous journey of pain. Nothing was seemingly going right anywhere and we were a hair’s breath away from losing the entire box.
A Line of Business (LoB) application is an ongoing pain with nothing going right after an update and ten pairs of eyes burning holes in the back because they can not work while we try and bring things back up again.
The CEO’s Blackberry has taken a holiday . . . when they don’t want it to . . . which is never!
And so on and so forth.
Now, for some of us being in situations like this can lead to highly elevated stress and frustration levels. And, once those levels get to a certain point we need to place a clamp on our mouth so as to not let any expletives to slip by.
Many years back one of my co-workers used to say, “What the chicken?” when things were not going right. I liked that so much I adopted it. Our clients get a kick out of it too.
If things get really stressful then the expressions will get a bit more colourful all the while maintaining non-expletive words and usually referencing certain foods or processed foods.
Why is this important?
Imagine losing a key client because after eight hours of fighting with a LoB someone took offense to an exasperated:
“This thing is about as useful as teats on a bull!”
Of course we are _imagining_ that right? ;)
In my case keeping track of what passes across my tongue is all the more important as I spent many years working in automotive shops, on rail crews, and subcontracting on construction sites. It’s not like the language used on the various job sites would charm Emily Post (Wikipedia). :)
Maintaining our composure under a lot of stress keeps our professionalism intact. It lets our client know that we are confident and assured and have the situation under control.
Maintaining that composure is even more important when things really go sideways like a building burning down or a catastrophic failure of a server. Basically any situation where we are required to assess, structure, and proceed through a highly volatile situation to a positive conclusion.
Oh, and do pick up a copy of Emily Post’s book on Etiquette. Since we are required to interact with our clients in so many ways and on so many levels, having a good grasp of how to behave, that is having good manners, in those various situations will go a long way towards maintaining our professionalism too.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book