This morning, I woke up pumped for the day ahead. My plan was to stop by the Farmer’s Market when it opened, to pick-up one of their delicious cheese danishes for my wonderful husband as a Friday surprise. (Note: the last couple of times we have gone to get one, the lovely lady has sold out. So this time, I was going to get them while they were fresh and still available.) The plan after that was to head to the passport office and get a new passport.
First stop: Farmer’s Market
I arrived at the Farmer’s Market and excitedly pulled into a parking spot. I then headed to look for the pastry lady. I imagined Drew’s face when he came home to this tasty surprise, and I smiled. It would certainly put a check mark beside my name as the best wife. As I approached her regular spot, my heart dropped. She was not there. Maybe she moved her spot, and as I looked around, I saw all the regular vendors, except for the very one I came to see. It looked as though I came empty handed and was leaving empty handed. Boodigity.
Second stop: Passport Office
For anyone who has ever been to a government office, you know that often times the experience is plagued by line-ups beyond belief, waiting around, and an atmosphere of disgruntled employees. Being the planner that I am, I came prepared with my documents in hand, a book (ironically entitled, “Everything Is Perfect When You’re A Liar” by Kelly Oxford), and a tea and banana in case I was in for the long haul. Upon walking up the stairs, I noticed the “No food or beverages beyond this point” so I tucked my cup and banana in my purse. It was 8:15am and the place was full! (The office opens at 8am by the way). As I got in line in a great mood (because I came prepared), I struck up conversation with a lovely couple behind me who got in on their red-eye and came to the office first thing before their flight at 4pm. When it came to my turn, I walked up to the desk, smiled and greeted the lady at the desk with a “Happy Friday.” To which, her response was, “I guess.” As she began looking through my completed forms, she looked up at me (with little emotion) and said, “Where did you get these forms?” and I replied, “Shopper’s Drug Mart.” She turned and consulted with her colleague beside her and then looked at me and said, “We don’t use these forms anymore. You have to fill out a new one.” When I asked her what the difference was between the one I filled out and the new one, she basically said it was the same info but that I had to fill out the new one. What a pain in the ass!
As I left the office, I was peeved at the inconvenience, peeved at myself for not just using the form from the website, and peeved at the two government individuals who I interacted with. Perhaps they were having a bad day or perhaps this is their everyday, I don’t know. What I do know is that you are in a role where your main function is to serve people. You have the ability to make someones day or be a happiness robber. If you don’t like people, I highly suggest you find another role. Government jobs are known for its job security-that once you’re in, you’re in. For individuals such as the lovely ladies I interacted with at Service Canada earlier this week, I hope you continue to do what you do because you are awesome. But for those like the two this morning, I wonder what they would be like if they knew their job wasn’t secure and that their security depended on their quality of service (attitude makes a HUGE difference).
As I drove out of the Passport office, I had two choices: 1. Keep fuming and being peeved or 2. Breathe, let go and start my day again. As tempting as option 1 was, I overwhelmingly chose option 2. Though it’s not always easy to let go of frustration, annoyance, or inconveniences, I was committed to having an amazing day. This day of mine was too valuable to be wasted on a “bad moment.”
Ladies and gents, you and I have the incredible power to raise people up or bring people down through our actions, words, and attitudes.
No matter what y(our) job is, no matter y(our) age, this statement is for all of us…