Thank you so much. No one would help me at xxxxxxxx. You're a nice lady.
It does not get better than that. Nothing can compete with hearing those words. Except for stuff my family says to me, but that is another part of my Universe, and, so there.
Today began badly. I overslept by an hour and a half. Yep. Even I can hardly believe it. Rush. No breakfast. No biscuit baking for my lunch today so that I could make little sandwiches from the left-over corned beef. So, I was forced to craft a sandwich from orange infused dark chocolate wrapped around a slice of beef and an apple slice.
It was surprisingly good, but I now have a stomach ache. Not a repeatable recipe.
My first two clients were no-shows. We waffle back and forth here about whether or not to telephone these folk the day before to remind them of their appointments. Like they do here for registrants to the computer classes and like the doctor's office does, and no-shows are not only an inconvenience, but can be costly. I get that.
I have finally ended the debate by choosing to not make those phone calls. People come to me because they experienced or are still having trouble finding and keeping jobs.
And, my belief is that dragging themselves over here and doing the pre-job work they need is their responsibility. No employer is going to make daily calls or deliver reminders to anyone concerning their need to be at work the next day/shift.
They need to remember for themselves. Period.
Now, if I did not always have work to do, a seemingly endless process of research and support for all of my clients, that might be different. Sitting here, twiddling something, would not be my first choice of activity, even if there were the potential of a client actually showing up for his/her appointment. To have that person show up on time would be welcome. And surprising. There are exceptions. My first client after lunch was a half hour early because she could not wait to get started. It was nice and I kind of expected it of her when we spoke last week.
She did some really hard and successful work, as well. I wish that I could say that the majority of the people with whom I work are like her, but they are not. One of the reasons they come to see me is that they have consumed all of their other available resources. They arrive, if they arrive, late, are unprepared and unwilling to do the work.
I have had clients fall asleep whilst I am typing something we just discussed. This same client missed several appointments, and his solution to oversleeping was that I would call him an hour before he was supposed to be here, wake him up and then he would not miss his scheduled time. I did not call and he has not made another appointment
I have had clients arrive reeking of alcohol. When I mention it, the single, every-single-time, reply is "Oh, that's from last night."
Really? Well, I guess it can be, as alcohol, especially in quantity takes as long as it takes to metabolize in each unique body, so it is possible to reek when you show up here after lunch for your appointment. Really? Maybe if you consider 5:00 a.m. to still be part of last night. I mean, in the winter time it is still dark outside. Looks like night. Yep.
I had a client who made appointments and showed up only if it did not interfere with anything else that came along, oh, like having coffee with a friend. He is also the person who told me that he does not get any respect when he goes for interviews. His interest is in law enforcement and he believes that when he arrives for an interview (and, he has had quite a few) that someone should first give him a tour of the place before discussing the job. I do not give him the respect he deserves, either, because he now is prohibited from making appointments, although he can call in the morning, and if there is an opening in the schedule, he can have that slot. He actually did that, once, and did not show up. He also arrived on another day and wanted the open appointment that was there when he called in the morning, did not want to be written in the schedule book (because he had missed the previous time) and was incensed that it had been filled during those several hours by someone who had the nerve to actually show up. Really. The nerve.
There are a great many clients who are angry and frustrated at losing what they believed to be life-long employment, as our economy worsens in some sectors and companies have to more strictly steward their resources. It is unfortunate that loyal, mostly hard-working employees are losing their livelihoods through no fault of their own.
They arrive feeling defensive, particularly when they meet me. My first name is kind of ambiguous, not all that gender specific, and there were lots of times when I was producing art that patrons or potential customers would be surprised to discover that I am female. So, I get, and I honor that from them.
When we start to work and they have to define and share their work experience, they become more defensive, often confrontational. In that early part of the process, the stark details of the work they have done appears to be quantitatively less than the real and actual experience of what they do. It is only through working through the process that we, as a team, pull out and properly express the work to which many of them have devoted their lives.
It is no surprise that this is more difficult for men.
Another client just left. Another Thanks. No "You're a nice lady.", but I did get a "This is amazing. I can't wait until next time."