You Cannot Please Everyone

DadMy father was ahead of the times and worked out of our house in the late 70’s as a National Sales Rep.  You learn a lot when you have a business in your house.  One thing my father told me was “You’re never going to please everyone. Doesn’t matter how big of a discount you give, or move them to the top of the queue, or just grant every wish possible, they still won’t be pleased.  Best thing to do is move on.”

Later in life, I was a college instructor teaching dislocated workers new skills.  They were nice people, but they had lost their comfy job and now were being trained by somebody half their age on skills that they would never use or thought would never need… computers.  My job was simple; in four weeks, two nights a week, teach them 16 chapters of computer applications.  After the class the students were required to evaluate my teaching.  I did this for 15 years, and I would get both praise for and utter disappointment in my teaching style.

My father, who was a student, assured me that this is life; people either love you or hate you.  All of these people will make your life interesting.  People patting you on the back, or giving you that large tip, raise your spirits, while the haters leave you feeling like you should just quit and find a job where you do not have to deal with people like that.

The problem of dealing with the public is that they think they are always right.   When you come across this mentality, there is no “winning”.  All you can do is cut your losses and move on.

Here are some tips for dealing with demanding people.

  1. Be courteous – If you are at fault, accept and correct it.
  2. Be polite – Be professional at all costs.
  3. Assume this person is not going to use your service – accept it and move on.
  4. Do not take it personally, everyone is blamed for something.  If you have siblings, you know what I am talking about.
  5. To be criticized is to be professional – If you are charging somebody for a service, then expect to be confronted about something. See 1 & 2

The world is made up of all kinds of people; the trick is to do your best and ignore the noise.  You can only work so hard, twist so many balloons an hour, talk until your voice is just a whisper, and tell every joke you know. At the end of the day you can say, “I gave it my best!” and move on.

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