Workers are Not Your Punching Bag

Workers are Not Your Punching Bag

Workers are Not Your Punching Bag

A couple of weeks ago the whole family had been out on Friday evening at various activities. Once everyone was finished, we decided to call into Macca’s on the way home and get dessert.

My daughter wasn’t sure what she wanted so we went inside to order on the touch screen. While we were there, there was a situation unfolding at the counter. From what I could figure out, a group had caused an issue in the drive-thru and been refused service. Rather than leave, they parked and rang the store and abused the Duty Manager who hung up on them, and now one of them had come inside to continue the argument in person.

So we had someone about 50 years of age unloading on a kid of about 19.

Having placed our order, my kids and I were waiting as things really began to escalate with language such as “You have no idea who I am. You should be very scared.”

Now, I have to tell you that if I was alone I probably would have jumped in before this point – as I have done plenty of times in the past. But when the kids are with me I exercise a bit more caution.

However, this was one of those moments of truth where I had to weigh up having my children see me get involved in a confrontation versus modelling what’s right. After all, one of the things we encourage in them is “Be an upstander not a bystander.” Plus, if it was happening to my child at work, I would hope somebody would back them up.

So, my kids witnessed me publicly confront a bully.

Was it something I wanted them to see? No.

Was it something they needed to see under the circumstances? I believe so. I don’t want them thinking that that sort of behaviour is normal and that it is just part of life when you work in customer service.

According to the retail and hospitality union, SDA, over 85% of workers are being abused while at work. That’s not ok.

The world has a lot of problems at the moment. We are in a mental health crisis as it is. If we are any chance of healing our society, I think it begins with setting certain standards of behaviour towards others in our everyday interactions and not tolerating abusive behaviour when we see it.

I should point out that I didn’t abuse this person in return or get personal with them. That wouldn’t help. I confronted them about their behaviour and firmly told them why it was wrong. They initially tried to get personal with me but I stuck to my point, and they gave in pretty quickly and left.

What if I can’t intervene in a situation directly?

If you think you might be in physical danger by directly intervening in a situation, DON’T DO IT. If someone is violent, or violence is a real possibility, call the police or security (if you are in a place that has security officers on duty).

If the abuse is verbal only but you just don’t have the confidence to intervene directly, there are other things you can do. For example, maybe walk up to the counter and ask a question as a distraction. Or, simply stick around at a safe distance until it’s over then offer your support to the person who has been abused.

Whatever you do, just don’t let it slide and don’t assume someone else will help.

Contact David Wise

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Don’t assume that a skill is also an enjoyable activity

Don’t assume that a skill is also an enjoyable activity

Don’t assume that a skill is also an enjoyable activity

I’m good at stacking the dishwasher. That doesn’t mean I enjoy it. I can also make a pretty mean coffee on my home espresso machine. However, I don’t want to make coffee for 200 other people.

Most of you could probably relate to having something in your life that you do well, but it’s not how you would want to spend your days.

And yet…

How often do we classify people and then assign tasks to them based on their ability to perform a task without asking if they actually enjoy it?

“Jane is great with spreadsheets. We’ll get her to do that.”

Yes, sometimes the task is part of the job the person signed up for and sometimes we just have to take one for the team and do something we don’t enjoy.

I’m not talking about that.

I’m talking about when we assume that because Jane is great with spreadsheets she must really like it, and so we label her the Spreadsheet Queen and load her up with working on everyone’s spreadsheets.

Meanwhile, if Jane hates working on spreadsheets but has left it too late to speak up for herself, she is in for a world of misery.

How do we stop it?

It’s really simple. When we catch ourselves making that assumption, remember to ask a couple of extra questions…

“Do you enjoy doing this?”
“Does it energise you or drain you?”

And if you’re ‘Jane’ in this story, you need to find the assertiveness to speak up. You may disappoint a few people, but it will be better for your sanity in the long run.

Photo by Wendelin Jacober from Pexels

Contact David Wise

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Amazing Skill is about the Years not the Minutes or Hours

Amazing Skill is about the Years not the Minutes or Hours

Amazing Skill is about the Years not the Minutes or Hours

Recently, my son (who plays clarinet) took part in a weekend music workshop as part of the State Honours Ensemble Program which is run through Griffith University – Queensland Conservatorium. This particular program was for students from grades 5 through to 9 (I think).

Being new to this scene, I didn’t really know how much could be achieved in just a weekend. However, on Sunday morning parents were able to see the group perform not one or two, but FOUR pieces they had worked on together during Friday evening and Saturday.

The outcome was incredible. Partly due to the talent of the students but more so because of the skill of those instructing them who were able to harness that talent and bring it together in a short space of time.

It made me reflect on the fact that we can sometimes underestimate what goes into achieving outstanding results. In this case, it wasn’t just a day and a bit of hard work, it was the instructors’ years of experience and learning that enabled them to bring a group of kids together and have them playing like a well-oiled machine in a matter of hours.

We can sometimes underestimate our value when we can achieve something relatively quickly (I am guilty). So it doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves now and then of the years of work and study that we have put in to give us that ability in the first place.

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Contact David Wise

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Start your week off with some 'Wise Words'. Each Monday (except public holidays) receive some great communication and personal development tips PLUS you will be the first to receive updates on upcoming training opportunities.

Beware The Danger Of Comparing Your Life To Others

Beware The Danger Of Comparing Your Life To Others

Beware The Danger Of Comparing Your Life To Others

“One reason we struggle with insecurity: we’re comparing our behind the scenes to everyone else’s highlight reel.”

– Steven Furtick  

Like a lot of you, when I look at some other people’s lives they really seem to have it together and have everything going for them and, even if just for a fleeting moment, I often feel inadequate in comparison.

But then occasionally you get a glimpse below the surface and realise that  not everything is as perfect as it seems. They are just like us or perhaps even more inadequate, insecure, or incapable.

In a personal sense, they probably struggle with the same issues we do with their relationships and families. In a business sense, people have a tendency to only share their successes and achievements because they perceive that revealing their weaknesses will reduce their credibility.

So when you’re feeling that way and starting to doubt yourself, remember that you are probably just seeing the best bits of other people’s lives. Their daily grind is most likely just the same as, or even harder, than yours.

 
 

Contact David Wise

0427 360 293
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@davidwisewords

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Start your week off with some 'Wise Words'. Each Monday (except public holidays) receive some great communication and personal development tips PLUS you will be the first to receive updates on upcoming training opportunities.