I find it interesting, what drives people, and what drives them crazy. Though, I don’t think I’d want to venture into the professions of psychology or social work.
Connecting with people, and connecting people with other people on the basis of who they are and where they are in life, and providing an open point of contact and a jumping off point for gathering more information, without getting too personal or analytical is one of my favourite parts in the job that I do.
I’ve been told many times, by many people that I am a patient person. And I believe it. I know it. Working with people, listening to them, gathering information, it takes time. And if you rush it, or push too hard, it can turn into a pretty nasty mess. People hang up on you, walk away, yell, tighten their fists in frustration, burst into tears. But patience is not something I have to think about, or program into my brain. It is part of who I am and how I operate.
“Just… It’s like this, see? Don’t you get it?! Arrgh!” is not my natural or usual sentiment or reaction.
But in the past 3 weeks alone, I’ve come to understand that is exactly how some people react. I spent 10 minutes on the phone today slowly extracting critical pieces of information from an MOA.
I was on hold. Then I explained who I was and why I was calling, what information I needed and why. Repeat x3. Add in a crappy phone connection and possible language barrier. First time, the answer was No. The information you want is not available. Ok, that’s fine. Is there any way to access the information or talk to a doctor? Maybe. The information was eventually found, retrieved, relayed and reiterated for clarity. And I felt good about the call, concluded with my saying “That’s awesome, that’s all the information I needed, thank you! The MOA responded, “Great! Thank you. Have a good weekend!” (“The same to you, goodbye!”), each hearing the smiles in the other’s voice.
I look up from writing the details on the form to see my co-worker standing open mouthed at my door, having overheard my side of the conversation from her office next door.
“Wow! Sam, you are a rockstar. Seriously, that was amazing. I would have wanted to strangle them one minute in.”
I smile and laugh, turning red in the process. “Thank you.”
“Rockstar.” She shakes her head, smiling and disappears down the hall.
It’s a shift in thinking for some people to slow down and listen, to go gently instead of hard and fast.
I have to exercise a shift in thinking for many things, walking, for example and mathematical equations and anything at all to do with travelling from A to B or navigational directions! But patience is not one of them, so it’s hard to take credit, really.
Still, positive feedback of the open-mouthed variety is wonderful to receive. And I am amazed every day by the generosity and compassion and talent of my coworkers and incredibly appreciative of the work they do to create a fantastic work environment and better the health of the community… You guys are amazing, thank you.