The Tale of Two Impressions

My best friend had an “A-ha” moment last week. She was sitting in the oral surgeon’s office (yes, she scheduled her daughter’s surgery during her spring break, I get this and no, it is not mean) and she overheard an encounter between a patient and a delivery man. The patient asked the delivery guy how he was doing. The jest of his answer was things were a little rough, but getting better, good things to look forward to and he was appreciative of the patient asking.

After the surgery she went to a fast food restaurant to get a drink (this, in my personal opinion was to see her daughter drink something and have it spill out of her mouth because she had no feeling just for giggles, again, I get this…now you see why we are best friends….) and she said hello to the man behind the counter and asked how he was doing. His response was, “I would be a lot better if my relief would show up, I was supposed to be off a half an hour ago.” Nice.

The “A-ha” was that we make impressions every day at any time and how these two impressions were on opposite ends of the spectrum. The delivery guy was having some difficulty but he didn’t transpose this on anyone else whereas the second guy was in a mood and wanted to share the joy with everyone he possibly could. Having heard the pleasant exchange earlier in the day it helped prompt her response to the guy behind the counter.

She simply said, “Gee, I hope everything is okay with your replacement, I mean for them to be late I hope they are not sick or have been in an accident.” The man’s face went blank as he told her he hadn’t thought of that. That warm and fuzzy moment of having him realize he was not indeed the center of the universe only lasted a brief moment as she told him to have a great day and he responded, “I will as soon as I can ever get out of here.” Wow, it makes me want to drive right over to that establishment….

So what impression are you giving people that you interact with or even overhear your conversations? Is it really the impression you want to give? You never know who might be around and what the results of your actions will be: it could be a bosses boss, a future boss or, I don’t know someone who has a best friend that just so happens to write a blog and has a bit of a sarcastic streak and thinks you would be a great example of “this is how NOT to do it”….

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
Career Polish, Inc.

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