Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Maintaining Dignity Under Pressure

Most of the time, I love my job.  I love getting to help parents and it's rewarding when I can hear hope returning in their voices.  One of the reasons why I continue to work with Emerging Minds is because their priority is in helping families, not in profit or business models.  The doctors and staff there genuinely care.

Which is why it gets frustrating when I deal with the tiny minority of people who accuse us of trying to profit off families' misery or other misdeeds.  Yesterday, I dealt with a client who was upset that another government agency had lost paperwork which we had sent to them.  The client was frustrated and upset and claimed we had charged for the paperwork and then not done it, that was the only explanation for why the paperwork hadn't gone through.

I believe I handled it well, promising to look into what happened, but I found it interesting that the default explanation was "conspiracy" rather than "mistake".  Paperwork does get lost or misfiled and we deal with a number of agencies which have huge backlogs for receiving and filing the paperwork we send them.

I found myself wanting to ask the client if this approach was a helpful one.  Did they get results from other groups through accusations?  I've always found I get more assistance by using a "we're all on the same side here" approach.  But lifecoaching is not part of my job description, and so I kept my mouth shut and tried not to take it all personally.

I'm always suspicious when I hear about "heartless" corporations.  I get that bureaucracy is frustrating and some of it (cough, insurance, cough) is designed to minimize payouts.  But most of the time, I don't see deliberate incompetence or fraud.  I see people who make mistakes dealing with a system which also makes mistakes.  We're not all powerful, able to manipulate circumstances to attack those we deem unfit.  We're not infallible, omnipotent beings.

And if we were, we'd have better things to do with our awesome powers than passive-aggressively mess up paperwork.

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