In most areas of your life you manage your expectations and respond to any given situation accordingly. You do this for yourself, adjusting to clues around you. If you are a parent, guardian, or responsible for another person, you help manage their expectations too. It’ll happen in every part of your life without you realising it.
For my job that pays the bills, I work in a customer service role. I answer customer’s questions, and deal with any problems that might arise. I like to think I’m quite good at it. But too often I hear of a ruined birthday, the worst day ever. But is it really?
Managing my tea expectations
My local supermarket is convenient, has pretty much all the groceries I need, and is familiar. The staff are friendly, the shop is clean and tidy, well stocked. There is also often a well filled reduced section, if you time your shopping trip right.
About 2 weeks ago I had Earl Grey tea on the shopping list. I prefer loose leaf. My lovely rainbow striped teapot has a filter insert thing and I love it. My regular shopping trip was a complete disappointment. No loose leaf Earl Grey on the shelf. No space, no label, no tea… Heartbroken, disappointed…
Oh, hang on. Really? It’s just tea. They have Twinings loose leaf, just not their own brand. Yes, Twinings is more expensive. But really, does this ruin my life? My day? Anything? What did I do before I got my teapot? I used tea bags. What do I use at work? Tea bags. No ruining of anything. No need to have a tantrum and threaten to take my valued custom elsewhere.
To be honest, I don’t think the supermarket would miss my small weekly shop.
So, I manage my expectations. I shrug, either buy the Twinings, or look for loose leaf Earl grey from somewhere else. I could ask the customer service staff in store if they would consider getting the tea back in. That’s a positive thing I can do. But I will ask in a friendly way, in the full knowledge that it’s not their decision and they are simply doing their job. They might be able to help, but they might not. Either way it’s not their fault. They are human beings, doing a job, and deserve courtesy and respect.
This is a bit of a ramble, and thank you for sticking with it, but can I ask you to please remember that you are in control of how you react when things go wrong, when things change. That thing you bought that broke, or is faulty? The thing that isn’t in stock, that didn’t arrive on time. The workman who didn’t keep the appointment. You might need to tell someone, to ask for something to be done. The people you deal with want to help, but they have rules, guidelines to follow. Be nice, be understanding, be polite – manage your expectations. If it was me dealing with your problem, I promise that will get my best efforts to solve your issue as best as I can.