You know what they say, ‘my job would be fine if it weren’t for the ruddy clients.’ At least I think that’s how the saying goes. If not, then I’m patenting it today. You read it here first.
Anyway, I have spent most of today being gradually wound up further and further by some exceedingly demanding and downright rude clients. I don’t like rudeness. I guess nobody does but I really don’t like rudeness. I’m also unused to working in a sales role where, I’m quickly learning, it seems (some) people think you’re simply obliged to bend over backwards to please them and to just sit there and suck up any rudeness they dish out at you without retaliating or challenging it in any way. Hmmmph.
Ordinarily I’m more of a ‘point out that what you just said/how you just said it isn’t really acceptable’ kind of a girl. I find it makes me feel a lot better than biting it back and pushing it down into a seething mass of bile in my tummy. But in the context of client relations I can see that that *could* be tantamount to cutting my nose off to spite my face. I might win a rather tiny victory in standing up for myself and pointing out their transgressions but if I then lose a potential sale and therefore my income (yes, it’s as black and white as that – I’m self-employed: no sale, no money. At all.) then it would be a pyrrhic victory at best.
So, at various points today I have stepped away from my phone and taken a few deep breaths, reminded myself of the outcome I am looking for (a sale! some cash!) and that I am not these people’s keeper. It is not my place to lecture them on their behaviour and, thank God!, I don’t have to live with them. I have also had to ring my partner to offload at him. Somebody needed to hear how rude they were being, it just couldn’t be them.
Once I had taken these steps I was able to re-engage in conversation with them, focused steadfastly on my goal and manfully ignoring when their behaviour veered to the unreasonable. And writing about it now is also helping.
I think they were having a bad day, plus I think they probably just don’t have very good manners generally. But that’s not my problem and I need to be sure I don’t turn it into my problem by responding to it.
What about you? Do you have any techniques for dealing with rudeness? How do you dispel the negativity of others without internalizing it yourself? All tips gratefully received!