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ravenousveggie

Thoughts on veggie food, work, play and life in general

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Self Control

Distrust

I work with a colleague  who is quick to distrust on the first error a person makes, hearsay, or sometimes something akin to jealousy, and often without knowing the full story.

Once distrusted he does his best to burn bridges with that person.  This may mean not working with them or not turning up to an event because they might be there.  If you mention their name, or ask if we should refer some work to them, you get a venomous reply of ‘no, find someone else, we are not working with them.’  I had an email forwarded from a potential contqact with just he word @I met this smug git today…’ Obviously on a GDPR level this could be a bit embarrassing if they should ever ask for any data/correspondence we hold on them!

I always find this frustrating, bewildering and a little short sighted.  How can you limit your interactions with people in this way? What if you need their help in the future?  Where does this anger come from?

However this attitude has started to bite back recently.

On a few occasions he has had to concede that the person in question is ok and that he didn’t know the background to why something happened.   Or the need of the customer means that we need the support of the ostracised person. So perhaps we shouldn’t be too hasty in cutting all ties.  

I have no problem of being wary of someone who keeps making mistakes, or whose working practices might not be as good as I would like.  We all meet people we don’t rub along with. However to cut people out completely for such reasons to me shows a lack of patience, understanding and self esteem.   

You never know when you will need their help, or how your actions have affected their view of you.  And who are they talking to about it? How will reflect on you?

There will always be people who do do something very wrong, but make sure you have all the facts first before writing people off.


Photo by Heather M. Edwards on Unsplash

Brain Meltdown

Some days you get home and just feel as though your brain is in meltdown.

Today was one of those days.

My first client today is a lovely lady who I visit once a month.  The main aim is to keep her up to date on dealing with her paperwork and supporting her to navigate a complicated financial situation and also sorting out care for her elderly relative.  Today’s challenge was to keep her on track.

Due to a family health scare, her mind was understandably elsewhere.  As usual I started by asking her what tasks were top of her priority list, and started working on these.

The first one was easy and soon dealt with.  The other was a bit more tricky. It involved confirming a seat on a flight and printing a boarding pass. Normally this is quite straight forward, however a strange alert came up when I tried to reserve the seat.  I rang the number on the site and soon all was sorted. I then went back in to print off the boarding pass. This time it showed the seats I had booked but still wouldn’t let me pass the seat reservation stage. Alarm bells started ringing.  My client then recalled an email she had received the day before saying that the flight had been cancelled. She had dismissed it as a scam email as the the email address didn’t look correct and there were numerous typing errors throughout the email.  Added to the fact that we could still go ahead and log on to confirm the flight, with no mention of cancellation, it was put down to being a scam.



Photo by Matteo Vistocco on Unsplash

We found another phone number and rang it.  This took us through to a a customer service centre and a lovely chap who confirmed that the flight had been cancelled and apologised that he could not rebook the ticket for the time that was needed.  He also took on board that the email looked fake, and gully explained the reason for the cancellation. Not much help for my client who was travelling for work, and could not rebook to a different destination.  I was more taken back by the fact that one part of the same company did not know that the flight had been cancelled.

After this the rest of the tasks were soon dealt with and I was soon on my way to my next meeting.

This I knew would be more challenging.

I have a mentee who is just starting up a business. The business idea is sound, and my mentee has a lot of experience in the area.  But my mentee is an over-thinker. If any scrap of doubt can creep in, it will. Our first meeting was quite intense – my mentee swinging from complete confidence to giving up her dream in the space of every twenty minutes or so.

This meeting was to discuss the content for her new website.  I had previously had a panicked telephone call the week before as my mentee became over anxious about what she was writing and again felt like giving up.  Twenty minutes later I had managed to calm her down and get her back on track. It was her desire to get everything right first time that was holding her back.  And if she couldn’t think of the perfect thing first time then she seemed to go into a spin and start questioning everything.

So it is fair to say that I was going to this meeting with a little trepidation. My mentee was all smiles and looking relaxed when I arrived. She produced the pagers of copy for her website and I started reading.  It was all good stuff – covered everything it needed to, from the background of the company to services and charges.

I was half way through the first page when it started.  A barage of questions and doubts and ‘is this right?, or should I change this?’ To be honest I really wanted to shout out ‘will you shut up and let me read?!’, but I thought better of it – the genteel patrons of a Waitrose coffee shop probably wouldn’t survive it.

By this point in the day I was tired and trying to concentrate on what I was reading, whilst being asked questions about sections I hadn’t read yet, just didn’t work. I stopped what I was doing. My brain stopped. I just stared at my mentee – paralysed by the amount of things I was being asked to do and not managing any of it.

A few moments later I was back in the room.  Putting my game face on and getting my mentee to calm down.  We calmly went through each area she was having issues with and came up with alternative wording, or put her fears to rest.  An hour and half later we said goodbye and went our separate ways.

When I got home I just felt exhausted.  My brain felt soft and mushy. I looked at the kettle – I knew what it did but had no idea how to use it.  How could this have happened to me? I have had days where I have been pulled in various different directions by different clients (and the same ones!) and had to field multiple interruptions, but never had I felt like this.  Part of me wanted to feel angry at my mentee. Surely if she has this amount of doubt on the finer points of her business then she won’t be able to sustain the business. Should I tell her to stop aiming for her dreams and go an get a job?  But her background and experience says differently. And the business idea she has is really good.

I resolved to put it down to experience.  I can’t expect all mentees, or clients, to be calm and not sweat the small stuff.  Or to realise that things can usually be changed in the future – websites updated when the perfect wording comes to mind, or business cards and flyers changed when the first batch runs out.  I just need to find a better way of dealing with this situation in the future.

My biggest issue now was to tend to my mushed brain and get myself back on track.  A task which involved something slightly stronger than a cup of tea.

Self- Preservation

As someone who tries to walk to work as often as is practicable, my sense of self-preservation is quite well honed.  If I get the timing wrong then I have to protect my ankles from the fleet of scooters from children on the way to school, or their parents juggling scooters on the walk home.  

If I see a car coming towards me as I am crossing the road I tend to walk a bit quicker to make sure I make it to the other side safely.  Or decide not to cross the road at all.

However I am beginning to think that I have a rare skill as more and more these days I come across people putting themselves in danger.

I live in a quite a built up area – houses built before everyone had cars – so a lot of people parking their cars on the road.  This can cause minor amounts of congestion as cars try to pass. This is mostly avoidable if people had a bit more patience and used the road to its fullest extent.  

I also live between three schools.  During the school run I take my life in my hands as I try to leave my house.  As a pedestrian, or a driver, crossing the road outside my house can be tricky.  Although it is parked up, there are trees obscuring the view, and it is on a bus route, drivers insist on speeding.  Not driving at, or below the speed, limit in case of children crossing the road or people pulling out of drives. That would be sensible.  Some cars drive so fast that even when you have a clear view they appear as if from nowhere just as you are pulling out across the road. Some drivers, determined to get to their destination, drive so close to the parked cars that my neighbours and I frequently loose wing mirrors.  I expect if any of these drivers did have an accident they will spout on about how safely they drive. They rarely stop to to admit to the damage they have caused in their rush.

self-preservation

 

There are some points where the road bends, so you have little choice but to drive on the wrong side of the road to pass the parked cards.  It never ceases to amaze me that oncoming drivers seem unable to slow down for the obstacle in the way – even if it is the number 98 bus. Its as though they feel that you are on their side of the road and so you should get out of the way, and they should not have to do anything about it.  Drivers also seem to have a tendency to speed up when they see something in their way. Its as though they see the space in front of them as theirs and theirs alone.

Supermarket car parks are a good example of where self-preservation gives way to this feeling of owning the space around us.  If you watch car drivers in car parks you will see that they have very little patience for pedestrians. Almost as it is a surprise that people are walking across car parks. How dare they! Why can’t they walk somewhere else?  

The car drivers, park,  get out of the car and turn into pedestrians.  Taking the shortest route to the store, avoiding squeezing between parked cars to get the designated footpaths.  Loosing awareness of the cars moving around them. Crossing oncoming traffic and wondering why the driver inside has not seen them. And thinking these drivers are rude and inconsiderate.  Five minutes before they were the drivers wondering why the pedestrians are not taking more care of themselves.

Why does getting behind the wheel of a car take away our ability to be responsible for our actions?  Why do we feel the need to claim the road, to speed up when something is in the way? We don’t own the road.  The Highway Code does give driver the right of way in certain circumstances, however when does common sense kick in?  All drivers have been in the situation where being across the middle of the road has occurred when they as far as they can see the road ahead is clear.   Driving at speed towards an object or person in front of you sounds like madness. But so many drivers do it. Why do we punish each other by insisting on being aggressive when all we need to do is slow down and take control of the situation?  This has to be better from a car insurance perspective?

Why do we stop thinking about traffic when we are pedestrians?  It is easy to drive fast but a lot more concentration is needed to drive within the limits of the highway and the other road users around us.

When will our need for self-preservation kick in?

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