Back in the (Teaching) Saddle Again

I admit it.  I have not been teaching Ben regularly since I started my night hours.  I’ve been stuck.  And I finally figured out in what – denial and unacceptance (the spell check just informed me I have created another new word.  Yeah, me!  Note to self – create a page on my blog with the list of words I’ve made up and their definitions.).  I think what I should really call it is self-pity.  From the moment I wake up each morning, I am walking the plank, watching the clock tick off each minute closer to going to work.  And it’s pretty much thankless work.  Not to my employer nor my supervisor.  They are great.  They understand what a hard job I and the other specialists in my department have and appreciate us.  And when other departments have job openings, they love hiring peeps from my department b/c we have such a broad knowledge base of company products and we’ve battled it out on the front lines and survived.  ;o)

But it’s still a tough job with not much thanks from the customers.  In fact, the majority of my customers are downright rude and outwardly hostile.

I know times are tough.  I know what it’s like living paycheck to paycheck, not leaving the house for days b/c there is no money in the account for gas, “shopping” for groceries in my mom’s pantry to get us through to the next paycheck.  I’ve been there.  And I went looking for a job to relieve some of that stress, save up so we can buy a house and do nice extra things, like saying “Yes” when B asks if we can go to Disney on Ice.  So, I don’t judge my customers when they call in.  I don’t worry about how they got to where they are, I just want to help them, as much as I can, in the place they are now.  I am empathetic, helpful and very respectful towards all my customers.  But their frustration and fear and anger at their situation is, more times than not, unleashed on those of us who answer the phone when they call.

It has always been hard for me to not take things personally, to let things roll off my back.  I try very hard to treat everyone the way I want to be treated.  Even if I feel a business has made a mistake and it has caused me embarrassment or inconvenience, I have never gotten nasty nor rude with the person I reach out to for assistance b/c where would the incentive be for that person to even listen to me, let alone help?  But, sadly, I am in the minority.  I am surprised I have been able to hold off their attitudes as long as I have, but my shield, I’m afraid, has finally been penetrated and, I fear, is irreparable.

However, wallowing won’t make the customers nicer, won’t make the next year and a half go by any faster, won’t clean the house, educate B, stop the daily tears nor get me out of PJs.  So it needs to stop.  My mom told me this morning that all I can do is pray blessings on the rude and cussing customers to get me through it.  That will help me.  I am allowing complete strangers steal my joy.  am not cleaning my house and am not educating my son at the level with which he deserves.  So, yesterday, we climbed back on the daily school bus and rode to the family room for snuggles and LEGO building while I taught and B learned.  It was wonderful, quality time between us, quality time we have not been getting.

I know I’m never going to be able to prevent rude strangers from hurting my feelings and making me cry at work.  I’m just built that way.  But I am taking a stand now and will no longer let them into my personal life and effect my family.

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