I’ve been thinking about happiness a lot lately. What does it mean to be happy? I know that in general, I am a happy person. I know I feel most content when I’m with my husband, family, and friends. I’m also incredibly happy when I’m alone, whether I’m doing dishes, watching TV, folding laundry, or reading.
Little things make me happy, like watching 30 Rock every single day when I get out of the shower, or finding a new seltzer water flavor to obsess over. Afternoon showers, fresh sheets, old Disney songs, a new book to read, these are all things that instantly make my day and bring my soul a sense of lightheartedness and happiness. The problem is that as easy as it is for little things to make my day, little things can also ruin my day.
My day is never ruined by high gas prices, long lines, or lost luggage. In fact, things that many people find irritating and off-putting tend to roll off my back, I can adapt quite easily. I mean shoot, the fact that I can never go out to eat with my husband, have a glass of wine, or travel to exotic locations because of my allergies doesn’t even make me unhappy. The one thing that sets me off over and over again and can easily ruin my day is when people are rude, inconsiderate, or have an attitude for absolutely no reason.
It is the realization of this that has led me to the conclusion that I will never be truly happy until I can stop letting other peoples’ behavior affect me. It’s just so damn hard for me though. I live in a perpetual state of wanting to help others, it is how I’m hard-wired. I’m not trying to toot my own horn because it’s nothing amazing and honorable, a lot of people are like that. My personality type, INFP, has a lot to do with it. I just can’t help it- no matter what I’m doing I am thinking about a way I can turn it into an opportunity to help someone else.
This is why it is so instantly crushing, confusing, and infuriating for me when other people don’t operate in the same way. I don’t have ridiculously high expectations- I don’t think everyone should tip waitresses 40% and constantly be in search of ways to partake in random acts of kindness. But I do expect courtesy, respect, and manners from complete strangers and dear friends alike. These days? It seems those are too high of expectations.
In my personal life, I can very easily remove myself from those who are rude, entitled, and “unsafe” as my former therapist described them. In fact, I have removed myself from those relationships and that is why I think I’m happy about 70% of the time. The other 30% of the time I am at work, dealing with people I cannot just eliminate from my life.
In the shower tonight, I started laughing thinking about the array of jobs I have had. I’ve been working since I was 15 years old and while I have really enjoyed some of my jobs, the one thing that has made me unhappy in every single one of them has been the people I have had to work with, for, or around. It was so surprising when I realized this because I love people! Scratch that, I love nice people. I love people who are great conversationalists, people who are caring, people who have great senses of humor, people who make me think outside the box and offer new perspective.
But I can quickly go from smiles and sunshine to death threats and snarling when a person ruins my happy, peaceful day with attitude or unwarranted rudeness. I wish I could just let it go, I truly do. But instead I act out twenty different scenarios in my head of responses I wish I could say, but can’t. After all, I’m at work. I used to think I liked customer service, turns out I only like serving those who I deem deserving of my service. Yeah, that sounds really crappy to say but I’m putting it out there anyway. To “deserve” my service, you don’t have to do much. Eye contact and a slight grin is usually enough, by the way. See? Not ridiculously unrealistic.
All day today I had to sit and think about the girl who was insanely nasty and rude to me at 8:03 AM, THREE MINUTES AFTER I HAD ARRIVED TO WORK. It was the perfect start to what became a truly terrible day. I believe in the laws of attraction, so I do think that starting my day off in a foul mood created the opportunity for negativity to consume the rest of my day. And it sure did.
This is why I’m never going to be fully happy in a job, no matter what it is I’m doing. I could be picking up garbage on I-95 or a professional baby tickler by day and ice cream taste tester by night, it doesn’t matter. I’m too easily impacted by the behavior and rudeness of others. Those people exist everywhere and it is not their job to change, it’s my job to stop letting them bother me. It can be done, I know it can. For my personality type, it’s going to take a lot more work than it might for others, but I have to work on this major flaw of mine. After all, when your life is great and the only thing that makes you unhappy is other people, it’s time to realize that those other people should not and DO not have the power to alter your inner happiness.
9 thoughts on “I Love Customer Service, Except The Whole Serving Customers Part”
“I would love for people to use this as a lesson to just be good to each other,” Theil said.
ah you are right my sister, there is so much hatred and corruption in this world. Your post reveals a truth about happiness … it is temporary and is often time dependent on our situation or circumstance. Yet joy can be obtained no matter what the situation or circumstance. Find joy, peace, and comfort my sister! and let true joy come from the true source of life. Love you court. ps. I thought this post of this man on the subway would bring a smile to your face 🙂
Okay woah. I agree with 100% of everything you just said. I will play out scenarios of “what I could have said” or “what i could have done differently” for hours on end. That can’t be healthy! You are not only my cousin but my soul sister, too. <3333
Yep, it sometimes helps to play out the scenarios, but then sometimes I just get more angry haha. Want to go back and find the person 5 hours later and tell them how it is. Love you my soul sista 😀
Oh, but that’s SO hard to do. I’m applauding you, though, because you’re being the bigger person! I’ve been struggling with this in my own life all week, and feeling like it’s so unfair that the nasty people (in addition to be nasty) also get to be lazy. Why? Because, like you said, they’re not going to change. So it’s the nice people who not only get their feelings hurt, but then have to be the ones to be adults and get over it and change their own perception so they don’t get brought down again.
Anyway, I clearly haven’t evolved quite as much as you have yet! I’m still grumbling about it. But I’m really proud of you for being a good example of doing what you can do, instead of worrying about what they *should* do.
It is SO unfair, you’re right. I just keep thinking though that it’s not right that I have a bad day because of somebody else’s idiocy and ignorance. I’m tired of getting my panties in a wad over stupid people. They aren’t going anywhere, so why not learn to adjust my perspective. It’s easier said than done though, haha. I’ll let you know how it goes 😉 Byron Katie helps a lot with it if you needed some encouragement when dealing with crappy people!!!
Oh, wow. I had never heard of her before… lots more to learn!
OH MY GOSH! I swear you are in my head. I think it describes me to a T. I like nice people, and 1 negative person or experience can COMPLETELY ruin my day. It’s why I hate customer service so bad, and why I am so frustrated in my job. I guess it must be the INFJ thing and why I am so bitter so much.
LOL I know why- because sometimes I totally think my blog name should be changed to “Courtney’s Bitter Blog.” I think we have a lot of the same problems with society, hahaha. What is your current job? Cust service is so so difficult no matter what part of the public you’re dealing with. I just don’t get why some people have to be so nasty to others. Even on my WORST day I still say “please” and “thank you” and smile at people who serve me or help me out in any way. I guess I can’t expect others to behave to my standards though. Therein lies the problem. And yes, the “INFJ” is definitely a part of the bitterness I’d say. It helps me to feel better about life when I read more about my personality type.
Since I was 22, I have pretty much been in customer service until about 5 years ago, so about 13 years, I was on the phones. Clearly it is not my vocation at all because almost every day, you run into someone that isn’t pleasant, so every day, you feel like you want to scream at people for not being nice.
I think it would be really funny for you to change your blog name to Courtney’s Bitter Blog, but I bet your family and close friends would worry about you. I would totally love to go toe to toe with you then and we could start a Bitter Blog Battle and it would generate all kinds of interest and we would be famous.
I like to blame the INFJ, because then I can say it is my personality type and you can’t blame me for that. I was born that way….