I’m a believer in the theory that change, no matter what it entails, makes people uncomfortable. And, it’s due to that discomfort that people are often stubborn about change, preferring that it didn’t happen…..even if they know it’s just the way things are sometimes (I’m no exception).
I was reminded of this in one of the simplest ways imagineable. I had to make a change in getting my copywork done.
For what seems like forever, I’ve patronized the OfficeMax near Irvington Road in Tucson (not too far from our office, so it’s convenient), and the main reason I kept going back there was the person who almost always took care of me when I went to that store for copywork. To give you a visual of her, she reminded me of the young woman who stars in the movie “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”, dark hair, petite, and a few tattoos (I don’t know if any of them were dragons, though).
From a customer service aspect, this lady had it figured out. Whenever I walked in, she knew that I had a master copy ready, and would often need 1,000 copies or so, which meant she could be in the middle of something else, recognize that she could just take a moment to clarify what I needed, and get it started, allowing the job to run while she was handling other tasks. The reason this is important is that, often, those other tasks were for customers who weren’t there on business, but instead getting some personal work done, like having photographs copied. And, the fact is, photocopying photos for somebody is a time-consuming process because the reason they’re getting the photos copied is that they want them re-sized. This takes time and trial and error to make sure the copy comes out the right size.
A while back, needing some copywork done (mailers for an upcoming training workshop), I went back to the above-mentioned OfficeMax, expecting to once again trust that “my” dragon tattoo lady would wrap the project up quickly and correctly so I could be on my way and get the mailing accomplished according to my desired timetable. But, alas, it wasn’t to be. She wasn’t there. Somebody else was, which, at first, didn’t really mean much. But, as I stood there while he struggled with a photograph copy task, I sensed that change was afoot, but I stubbornly waited, hoping he could perform up the standard I was used to there. He couldn’t.
After struggling with one photo, and, for the most part, avoiding looking in my direction, he reached for a second photograph and continued. It was at that point that I could see that he had a stack of photographs to get through, so I decided that I wouldn’t waste any more of my time there, picked up my master copies, and left. I had other errands to run in other areas of town, and wound up at an Office Depot, where I took the necessary time to explain what I needed, then paid for, and took my copies with me a short time later. I was back on schedule to get the mailing accomplished, even though I couldn’t get things done at my usual place.
And, though I know that should have been ‘it’ as far as the copywork situation, I was again stubborn a few days ago. As it turned out, I had another situation that required some copywork, and I once again made the trip to the OfficeMax. When I walked to the copy desk this time, not only was ‘she’ not there, nobody was. I waited. And, after waiting some more, I got the attention of one of the other store employees and inquired about somebody being at the copy desk. His response was that somebody would be there soon. I waited.
There were two other employees in the store, but neither of them headed for the copy desk. I waited.
After a time, the first person who told me somebody would be coming soon, got together with the other two, and they stood nearby, kind of not looking in my direction. I waited.
And, I’m sure that you’ve figured out by now that I decided not to wait anymore. And I realized that I shouldn’t have been so stubborn. I shouldn’t have made the second trip there. I should have just accepted the change, and realized that the change was going to happen, no matter how I would rather not have to deal with it.
The lesson…..things will change, even the seemingly most insignificant things, no matter how stubborn we are.
Until next week.
Learn from yesterday….Live for today….Look forward to tomorrow.