my old lady


It won’t surprise you when I tell you that I’m going to hell (when I die), if such a “place” exists. I’ve been really good of late, but even the smallest bads can outweigh the best of goods, I suppose. Yesterday, was one such day, when I was bad.

At our MSDN events, we typically have a person or two helping us out with customer meet and greets, registrations, and overall general niceness. The job sounds easy, but it’s not really that easy. It takes a lot of skill to deal with 500 or so odd people at the same time while trying to get them registered, manage catering etc. etc. At the MSDN event in SF the other day, we had a small snafu – the concierge who would typically help us out was unable to make it, and we had a replacement come in. This lady was the nicest person I’ve ever met in her 60s. She reminded me a lot of my grandmother. In spite of her niceness, she was not a competent concierge. Much like how I can be an incompetent concierge. Or an incompetent marksman or a goldsmith. It’s just a non-match.

So, this old lady, who was completely clueless about our process, was trying to multitask and take care of business. She kept fumbling and messing things up. Things were so bad that I had to literally do the work for her. It was not a good experience for our customers. And finally because she couldn’t handle the smallest of things, I snapped. In a very rude manner I told her to step aside because she wasn’t helping. And I was rude, because she wasn’t listening. And instantaneously, I felt bad about it. And now much later, I feel worse.

At the end of the day, I was thinking to myself that I’d just snapped at a 65 year old woman who is a lot like my grandmother. She didn’t have to put up with it. She deserves better. And now I feel like crap because of what I’ve done. I can only imagine how I would’ve felt if someone had treated my grandmother the way I treated that lady. I don’t even know how I can start to make it up.

I’m going to hell, people.

“ai”

Comments (10)

  1. dszabo says:

    I feel what you feel. You know what? What I’m doing in such cases: the next day, let all the people turn out before you, let the pedestrians cross the streed, or do something good. Buy it back! :)  That’s it :)

    David

  2. yuvipanda says:

    Don’t worry: You’ll just be made to write device drivers for undocumented and unamed Devices in hell. In Java.

  3. John Walker says:

    Nah…you just proved you’re human. You feel bad about it, and I’m sure, will learn from it. The fact that you did feel bad is a good thing. Those that don’t are the ones I worry about :) I’ve been there myself. Don’t beat yourself up too much.

  4. Shoshan says:

    it’s ok, she won’t remember it the day after.

  5. Anand Iyer says:

    David,

    I feel what you feel. You know what? What I’m

    doing in such cases: the next day, let all the

    people turn out before you, let the pedestrians

    cross the streed, or do something good. Buy it

    back! :)  That’s it :)

    Yep, I’ve been doing that for 20 years now. I wish I could be nice without having to have a reason. sigh

    ai

  6. Anand Iyer says:

    Don’t worry: You’ll just be made to write device

    drivers for undocumented and unamed Devices in

    hell. In Java.

    Funny, I actually did that in my last job. So I guess I know what to expect in hello now. 😐

    ai

  7. Anand Iyer says:

    John,

    Nah…you just proved you’re human. You feel bad

    about it, and I’m sure, will learn from it. The

    fact that you did feel bad is a good thing.

    Those that don’t are the ones I worry about :)

    I’ve been there myself. Don’t beat yourself up

    too much.

    Thanks… I’m hoping I’ll get over it, but I need to know how to better react in such situations. Oh well…

    ai

  8. Anand Iyer says:

    Shoshan,

    it’s ok, she won’t remember it the day after.

    You know, I think you may be right. Which is even scarier, which means she’s used to this kinda treatment. That’s just wrong. Wrong. 😐

    ai

  9. Rathi says:

    The fact that you feel bad shows that you care! My suggestion is this : its probably not hard to find out this ladies phone # or email addy, esp if she was hired for an event of yours. Why not just  find her email and write her an apology email? or find her phone# and apologize. I’m sure you’ll feel better ! and she will appreciate it as well.

    In the future just tell yourself this and you can avoid these types of situations!

    "Always treat people the way you would want to be treated"

    Hope it helps…. ‘ a little’

    Rathi

  10. Oriolus says:

    I think only Rathi knows how to react in such circumstances. That’s why I think Rathi’s reply should be at the top, not at the bottom!