Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh
chris_walsh

Directness

Say what I mean, mean what I say.

Be direct.

Be clear.

Be understood.

...I'm working on that. At, at least, work.

(Most of my current brain power is focused on work, so you're getting work-related blog entries.)

I think of my friends from in and around New York, who make the point that what might read as someone being rude is usually, to a New Yorker, someone being direct. People are busy and need to get X, Y, and Z done, or said/conveyed, so they do it. Lots of people in, say, Tokyo...aren't like that. Or, more to the point, lots of people in the Pacific Northwest, where I've lived for 28 years, aren't, either. I love the Northwest, but: we could be more direct.

My job can get urgent. Customers may be in a hurry and we need to check them in quickly so that they can get through Security and to their flights. Sometimes we need to retrieve other people's vehicles quickly. Meanwhile, much other stuff is happening, including ride-share drivers, taxi drivers, and shuttle bus drivers dropping off even more people.

Today I was, at times, good at this urgent directness. Today I was, at other times, bad at it. When I was being bad at it, I got impatient. I got snappish. I yelled more than once. I shouldn't have. (Even if I felt okay detailing the work day's specifics, I'd likely be using those to justify, not explain.) But telling someone exactly and clearly what you need to tell them and have them look blankly at you — which happened more than once today — is so, so frustrating.

But me getting frustrated about that doesn't help, especially if I let that frustration visibly get to me. I don't think it did today, but there's a chance...

So. Be better, tomorrow. Maybe I'll hit the goal. Maybe I'll hit it again the next day. Maybe I won't, but I can try.

Of course, it's easier to be direct and blunt to people you'll never see again. Like when I tell an Uber or Lyft driver that they've dropped someone off where they aren't supposed to and next time drop them off just back there: I can just be quick, be clear, and (if needed) be loud. Hey, I'm working at an airport: good reason to do so.

(P.S. to the woman who did just that then tried to snark at me for telling her not to violate the rules: I didn't hear your snark. Maybe you weren't direct or clear enough.)
Tags: work
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