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Mean People Suck (profits and kill your bottom line)

When did people stop having fun in their jobs? Granted, I know not every job is “fun,” but turn that frown upside down, Grumpy Pants. Global Whining is at epidemic proportions. Don’t add to it! If you can add play into your work, you may find that people like to work with you, customers are happier, and a better bottom line is the result.

As a professional speaker, I travel…a lot. By now, you’d think I had perfected it. Not so. Two million miles on American, I still travel like a rookie. It is not unusual for me to haphazardly pack the morning of a trip, leave late and have to sprint through the airport while saying a prayer for a short security line. Shake your head if you will – I shake my head enough for both of us – but it is sort of S.O.P for me. On a recent multi-city trip, I missed the cut-off to check my bag (full of books) by 2 minutes.

Global Whiner / Ticket Agent: “Youʼre late.”

Me: “I know…is there anyth-”

GW / TA: “Shhh…don’t say a word and I will try to help you.” Mumble, mumble, mumble, something about people needing to be quiet, plan better, mumble, mumble…

After running back and forth behind the counter and hitting 10,000 keystrokes, she checked my bag and curtly handed me a boarding pass, (insert mean-spirited voice) “I am the only one who would have done this for you. Youʼd better run.” I felt like a beaten puppy. Bad Traveler – BAD!

Yes, I was grateful she helped me make my flight, and sure she had the ‘right’ to judge me (whatever that means), but making me feel small didn’t make me love the airline more. Au contraire.

Have you ever gotten what you wanted only to feel yucky inside? Have you screwed up only to have someone keep reminding you that you are a dork…especially someone you are giving your business/money to? It feels wrong.

Trying to do too much the morning I left for the airport was totally my fault. But instead of making my morning worse, the agent could have brightened it! Simple words such as, “Let me help you. I will do what I can. Hang tight.” Anything but trying to shame me into gratitude (not possible, by the way). What a gift a little understanding would have been, and it would have increased the loyalty of this 2 Million Mile Super Triple Platinum Diamond Travel-More-Than-Pilots customer. I would have walked away singing her praises, feeling grateful promoting her airline to anyone who would listen.

So here are a few tips that will brighten your day, as well as the day of everyone around you!

Go for the Oscar. Check your troubles and bad attitude at the door. How would you act if you loved your job and the people you work with? Pretend you do and see how it turns your day around.

Change your face. If you try only one thing, consider smiling. Greet coworkers and customers with a smile rather than a scowl. Just the physical act of smiling tells your brain that you must be happy, and you truly begin to feel better.

Wash out your mouth. Take the positive words challenge. See if you can go a day without saying anything negative. No gossip, criticizing or judging allowed. Only allow positive words to come out of your mouth. You will be surprised at how good that tastes.

BOOGIE – BOutstanding OGet Involved Elsewhere. Get out! There are so many people out there who donʼt have jobs, who would absolutely LOVE the job you are griping about. If you don’t like your job and you’re sure you never will, find something else, and move over. You’re taking up space in someone else’s dream job.

And if you are on the receiving end of a Global Whiner one day, make up a story about that person – why is she acting this way – and move on. In the case of my GW, maybe her computer’s omnectivicator just broke. Or maybe she just found out she’s responsible to save the planet from an incoming piece of space junk. It could happen…?

Remember: don’t just live for the weekends! You spend too much time at work to be miserable. Learn to like it or even *gasp* LOVE it. Watch employee tension decrease, employee retention increase. You’ll have happier customers and a better bottom line.

And, donʼt be late for your flight, but if you are, go easy on yourself. You may be the only one.

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