by Deborah Campbell
We’ve all been there, sitting in a crowded room, when one person yawns. Suddenly, all you can think about is how much you do not want to yawn. Inevitably, no matter how strongly you fight against it, a yawn will soon escape from you, as well. Within the next few minutes, everyone is yawning! It’s a curious and unique phenomenon. Stress travels in a similar fashion. For instance, imagine entering a crowded restaurant. You arrive stress free and enter the hustle and bustle of the lobby. The babble emanating from the huddled masses is initially exhilarating and delightful. Then you encounter a stressed out employee. Though friendly, the employee is frazzled and frantic. Suddenly, your stress level starts rising. Soon, the people congregating in the restaurant are irritating rather than enlivening, and what perhaps would have been an enjoyable meal becomes an oddly stressful experience.
Similarly, an employee working efficiently in a busy situation without showing signs of stress provides a calming effect. I started thinking about this the other day when I had to get my car inspected. There was a long line of people waiting and only a single employee performing the inspections. I had the feeling this could potentially be as pleasant as a trip to the DPS, but it never was. The key was that the Quicker Sticker employee remained unruffled. Whenever anyone waiting in line showed signs of impatience or frustration, he responded in a calm and soothing manner and continued on quickly with his work. Rather than allowing himself to be slowed down by stress, his efficient work and upbeat attitude provided a positive experience for all those in line. In a world that is full of customer service opportunities, think of how our quality of life would improve if we all would try to stay cool under pressure and not let stress affect us. In turn, we would allow other people to avoid stress, as well.
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