Know Your Limitations

It is an established fact I am terrible with directions. Anyone who knows me knows this to be true, anyone who has met me and given me general directions only to find me lost a block away has discovered this to be true, and anyone who does not know me talk to members of the two aforementioned groups. It is true; really, I would not lie about this.

But just in case you doubt me, here is another real life example: yesterday I went to an acquaintance’s office before attending the open house for Express Employment South (great job by the way Mike and gang!) – I had to make a client call and there was availability for me to use an office. Long story short, I had a heck of a time trying to find it; to the point where the remark was made: “Ever heard of Mapquest”….sad thing is, I did Mapquest it and still managed to get confused as to where I was going. Oh yes, that is me – my father was so proud.

Anyway – the point of owning up to this ridiculous glitch in my internal navigational system is this: I know I stink at directions. I know I do, I own it, I admit it, I blog it, I make fun of myself and I warn people for crying out loud. So if I were looking for a job it would be pretty stupid for me to get a dispatch position. These two things just do not belong together.

I bring this up because I was talking to an individual the other day, let’s call her Ms. GAC – my cute little acronym for Get a Clue – and she was telling me that she really wanted to get into customer service. Okay, sounds good, until in the next breath she told me she really didn’t like working with people. Stop the train, hold on, back up the bus, I think I missed something. You want to work in customer service but you don’t like working with people? That’s like being a vet afraid of dogs, or me trying to give directions to, well, anyone.

Well this just peaked my curiosity so I had to ask, “If you don’t like working with people then why do you want to work in customer service?” Oh, it gets better….wait for it….. her reply, “Because I think I would be really good at it.” Seriously? By this point I am about to swallow my tongue but I persevered for the sake of my blog and by this time mortal curiosity and asked, “Oh, why is that?” The big reason: she thinks it would be fun. Seriously? You want a job where the main point is working with people, but you don’t like working with people but yet you think it would be fun. Does anyone else see a problem here? Oh, and get this, she has been having a trouble securing a customer service position. Seriously?

I would PAY to be a fly on the wall for that interview, to hear her tell an interviewer that she does not like working with people but she would be really good at it for you Mr. Manager! Oh, if only sister GAC would just sit down for a moment and realize her limitations she might just save herself a lot of trouble and perhaps be more inclined to find a position which matches her strengths and not look for one which is loaded up with items from her list of “do not likes”.

Because even if she is lucky enough to secure a customer service position, how long do you think she is going to last? Oh, again, I would PAY to be in the training when she is instructed how to deal with customers and she tells the trainer that she really does not want to work with people. This woman is going to make me broke!

To summarize today’s rambling: when you are job searching, or hey, even dating, do everyone a favor and know your limitations so you are not wasting any one’s time but more importantly your own time. It is great to know your strengths and what you want to do, but it is just as important to know what you do not want to do. And if you think a certain position sounds like fun, be sure that you do the research. If I found a great job and it sounded like a blast, I would have to turn it down if one of the criteria was “giving or getting directions”. I know my limitations.

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
Career Polish, Inc.

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