This Isn’t That

Craig Ponzio Sculpture Collection, 2019
Denver Botanic Gardens

Things are not what they seem, they are not even what they are called.

Francisco de Quevedo

A couple of weeks ago, I was in line at the grocery store when the woman in front of me had a complete meltdown because she felt what she was buying hadn’t been priced correctly. Everyone around her stood in stunned silence as she screamed and yelled. The checker ringing up her groceries was in the unenviable position of being the brunt of the attack. Eventually, she stormed out and we all looked at each other as if to say, “What was that about?” I can tell you with some degree of certainty it wasn’t about an item being priced incorrectly.

During my career as I retail manger sometimes an associate would come into my office upset because of the way a client talked to them. It wasn’t justified, they felt. Honestly, it often wasn’t. I would remind them it was not personal. They barely knew the person. To survive working with the public you need to have thick skin. You can’t be upset or offended by what customers say to you at work.

I recently heard, “This isn’t that,” used to describe someone’s bad behavior. Often what we see can’t be taken at face value. There is a deeper reason for their actions. Usually, there is something else is going on in the person ‘s life and they are taking out their anger and frustration at whomever is nearest. The person in front of them becomes the whipping boy for the individual or occurrence they are actually upset with. It’s the same person who goes home and yells at their spouse or kids after a bad day at work. If you are in a position where part of your job is dealing with people, you need to find a way to let it go for your own peace of mind. You can’t make their problem your problem.

2 responses to “This Isn’t That”

  1. So true my friend. xx I often tell people, “If they don’t know you full name, or anything about you personally, then you cannot take their behavior personally.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very true. But difficult to take it impersonally. Only time and age can teach most of us to get a thick skin!

    Liked by 1 person

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