Thursday (sometime, in some year, at the Beautiful University of Heaven)
At around 9:00 AM, Angie’s boss arrived to the office and after a very short “good morning” uttered from the top of her lips, she headed to her office and spent some time working. At around 9:30 AM she found an alibi to leave her office and came out almost lost in her thoughts and definitely in a bad mood to inform Angie that “the new canditate for the position of secretary” is coming at 10AM for a training session for 2 or 3 hours. (Notice the “or” between the two hours. I am sure Angie’s boss thinks and firmly believes that the job of a secretary at the Beautiful University of Heaven can be summarized in a few hours. And believe me this is what the boss said, she didn’t even mention the girl’s name).
Angie collected all her patience, all her strenght and all her calmness, then raised her head, looked her boss in the eyes and said “yes”. She then, returned to her work and thought of the tasks she would have to deal with during the day. Earlier this morning, and shortly before the arrival of Angie’s boss to the office, Angie called Mr. Malcom and she felt lucky to reach him from the first attempt. She started by greeting him and apologized sincerely because she felt that she is being pushy. Mr. Malcom welcomed the initiative and added that this is exactly what he wants: “her, being pushy” and he promised her that the bookshelves will reach the Beautiful University of Heaven during the day at around 10:30AM. After hanging up with Mr. Malcom, she looked at her agenda and said to herself: “Great, everything is falling in its place, I am expecting the computer people to back up my data at 11AM and now the bookshelves will be in the building around 10:30AM. That’s excellent.”
But when she heard that the new “candidate” was coming at 10AM, she started feeling weird. She started loosing control of her patience and of her peace of mind. She felt that she was falling from a little beautiful peaceful bright sunny cloud to the firm cold ground. What started as a beautiful day soon begin to turn into a gloomy sad never ending day.
Angie checked her e-mails, answered some of them, forwarded others and opened an online requisition to enter some data. Time seemed to pass very slowly.
At around 10:20AM, a middle aged woman walked into Angie’s office space, introduced herself as “Dharma Food” and told Angie that she came based on Dr. Lacove’s request for a training. Dr. Lacove’s – Angie’s boss- and other professors were talking loudly and discussing things in Dr. Lacove’s office. Angie asked Dharma to have a seat and to wait for a few minutes.
Angie didn’t like Dharma. Why not? Why Angie didn’t like Dharma ? Wasn’t something she said or did? Sometimes, the first few seconds after we meet someone can play a major role in deciding whether we like someone or not. I think we simply sense things.
So what happened?
Dharma did have a seat but instead of waiting for the chaos to calm down. She started talking and asking questions. Angie wasn’t able to keep up with the noise coming from the opened office and with Dharma’s questions. When finally after 10 long minutes, the noisy meeting ended, Angie started talking and did her best to answer Dharma’s questions. Deep down, Angie felt that Dharma wasn’t listening to anything that is being said.
At around 11AM the computer people came to back up Angie’s data. And since Angie had to attend to those people, Dharma didn’t like it when Angie started talking to the computer people and kept asking questions and kept insisting that Angie repeats for her for the 100th time the instructions on how to use a scanner. At around 11:20PM, Angie received an telephone call informing her that the bookshelves are about to reach the building and that she needed to go to the basement where the bookshelves were meant to be installed. And again, Angie tried to explained to Dharma that she needed to attend to an urgent matter and that she would be away for a certain time. But Dharma didn’t seem to care or to listen or to anything. She kept repeating that she wanted to learn how to use the scanner and Angie repeated and etirated and retirated that everything related to scanning is to be found in a small booklet. She insisted that Dharma reads the instructions in the small booklet but Dharma kept urging Angie to assist her in learning how to scan.
The whole thing was very depressing for Angie because she started to hate herself and to doubt her teaching capabilities. She kept repeating and repeating but Dharma didn’t seem to be listening or to be paying attention to anything that Angie was saying.
And Angie felt guilty when she left the office to the basement and waited there for about an hour for the bookshelves to be delivered. She waited patiently hoping that soon everything will be over.
When Angie finally came back to the office to make a few phone calls in order to follow up some matters related to the bookshelves, she found Dharma angry. (One of these matters was the fact that the men who delivered the items to the basement, pretended that they didn’t have any tools or any orders to install the bookshelves, and since Angie couldn’t order them to get the job done, she had to contact Mr. Malcom who contacted the company and ordered the men to install the bookshelves. Another matter was that she had to coordinate with another office at the Beautiful University of Heaven to send some men to take the heavy boxes to the room after the bookshelves were set in place).
And between all those phone calls and all these follow-ups, Angie, had to repeat many times many things regarding the use of the scanner. She tried to explain other things related to the office, but Dharma kept asking about the scanner.
By the end of that day, Angie felt exhausted and she felt that all the work that she did during the day and in the previous days were useless. Dharma mentioned many times that “she didn’t learn anything” and that “she practically lost her day in this office”.
Angie, Angie… What were you expecting? Someone to be grateful? Let us remember what Dale Carnegie said in one of his best sellers ( how to stop worrying and start living):