Back on Monday (I haven’t had time to write since then) it was Blue Monday. Reportedly, this is the day of the year when people are at their lowest ebb.
They have the credit card bills to pay from Christmas, it’s the middle of a month of the worst weather with precious little sun and pay-day is still a couple of weeks off.
I don’t usually take any notice of that rubbish, but actually Monday DID seem different.
On the front line (reception desk of a GP surgery) my colleagues reported a big rise in the number of people who were pre-irritated before they even picked up the phone to make the call.
They were already spoiling for an argument, already geared up to counter what they have pre-conceived might be a battle.
It’s easy to defuse this kind of attitude very quickly by unfailing politeness and helpfulness. Who can continue to be irritated if the person you’ve rung sounds pleasant, is considerate and moreover is giving you what you want? They usually want access to a doctor or nurse, but sometimes, you just can’t give them what they want…
“My tooth’s agony and I can’t eat anything. Can I see a doctor today please?”
“Er, you need a dentist for that.”
“I can’t go to the dentist. There are no appointments for two weeks and I need to be seen TODAY!”
So Monday everyone did seem more irascible and a rad more unreasonable than usual, which was bad news because some people’s default mode is Blunt Verging on Rude and others are merely totally devoid of Charm. They have no idea that a doctor is addressed as “Doctor” rather than “The Fat One Upstairs” or “The One With The Foreign Accent” and they have no conception of ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ or any other manners.
But hey, as I’m typing this I feel like I’m throwing stones in a glasshouse. I have to confess that although I’m pretty civilised around people (apart from idiots who run red traffic lights) I too fall short of the mark on occasion.
Last Saturday morning, I was half way through breakfast and a warm and delicious slight of brown buttered toast and marm when the doorbell rang.
Hurrying to answer it, in case it was a postman bearing an Amazon parcel, I found two strangers there – a bloke and a boy who was aged about 14.
“Good morning. Who do you think controls the world?” the boy started off…
I groaned. Outwardly.
“Sorry. Not interested” I snapped and closed the door to return to breakfast.
It was only later, while out for a ride on my bike that I thought about the two people at the door and considered how bloody rude I’d been.
I remembered how I’d dismissed them in a peremptory fashion with not a shred of consideration and certainly no charm whatsoever.
Is it ok to be polite to everyone *except* Mormons or Jehovahs’ Witnesses or whatever they were?
No. I didn’t think so. It was right out of order set no example to set to the young boy who was asking the ridiculous question that blew my patience.
Anyone know if they do Hair Shirts in M&S?
Oh well, this blog will have to do for now. I can take it off tomorrow…