Archive for the ‘Tolerance’ Category

Jessie: There are 3 Types of Mean People

In Business, Human behavior, Tolerance on 10/18/2010 at 12:47 am

I reached out to Jessie, owner of Posies Cafe in Portland, OR, after I read her blog post about her experience with Groupon. Naturally, since we were going through some of the same things, I said, “Hey! Let’s be friends!” So now we are.

We were talking about how challenging it is to run a small business, and how so many consumers don’t get that it’s a personal extension of who you are, and how it’s so, so very tough to not take criticism personally. Especially when it’s on the internet and people are too wussy to show their faces with their mean-spirited comments (like so many were on Jessie’s blog post.)

And she said, “You know what? These mean people fall into one of three categories:
1 – They’re bitter and angry because you’re doing something they wanted to do, but never had the nerve to do.
2 – They’re bitter and angry because of an isolated incident, in which case, you apologize and hope they forgive you.
3 – They’re bitter and angry, period. And they hate life. And they’re complainers.”

I think she’s pretty much right. As a business owner, if you’ve done all you can to resolve an issue, come to common ground, and rationalize with someone who is just downright negative – and a customer still isn’t happy? Well, there’s only so much you can do. And putting any more effort into convincing a mean person to be nice is simply wasted.

Well said, Jessie.

Caleb: The Oatmeal.

In Just plain fun, Tolerance on 02/12/2010 at 8:58 pm

I had a really rough day today with my bank. A bank I never chose to do business with, but a bank that swallowed up a bank that swallowed up another bank that my husband originally chose to do business with over 10 years ago, before we were even married, no less.

I posted this in my Facebook status update:

And my friend Caleb posted this rant from The Oatmeal to cheer me up.

And it worked.

Caleb, you are seriously cool for a million and one reasons (the fact that you wear cardigans and dark shell glasses and still go out on dates with your wife even though you have a baby top the list), but this one really made a difference in my day today. So thank you. 🙂

Chris: More isn’t always better.

In Business, Experience, Tolerance on 10/27/2009 at 9:44 am

A few months ago, I reached out to Chris (a smarty pants Experience Strategist and Information Architect) because his twitter name is @cb. I asked him how he was able to snag such a short Twitter name. Turns out he has ins with some of the first people over at Twitter who told him, “Hey, this might be big, so grab a user name before it explodes.” Early adopter, that Chris.

We met officially at Idea Conference. It was like meeting a long lost brother (or something – I wouldn’t know since I don’t have any brothers, long or lost). He’s super cool, super intelligent, super nice. Plus, he’s editor-in-chief of an online design magazine. Yeah – literally the guy who does it all.

boxesandarrowsYesterday in his tweets, I caught this tidbit of pure genius:

“Chris is starting to think that Free is a trap that values scale and abundance at the expense of quality and experience. More isn’t always better.

I can add nothing more to make this any better than it is. So I’ll leave it at that.

Justin: The Workplace Generation Gap.

In Human behavior, Org B, Strategy, Tolerance on 10/01/2009 at 1:18 pm

Justin Roy (@justingroy) is my designated Twitter BFF. In his blog post about the workplace generation gap, he wrote:

“With potentially four generations in the office, there is bound to be animosity, mostly based on the lack of understanding of each others values.”

We all value different things based on our cultural, political, religious, sociological, and now technological experiences – but looking back, I can see how this spectrum of values (with which I didn’t always agree) shaped me in my adult life:

COLLEGE: Political Science professor (Baby Boomer) gave me a “C” on a paper (my first one ever) and said I needed to think more ambitiously. Initially took it as a slap in the face; now can attribute 95 percent of my critical thinking skills to Professor Bowen.

FIRST JOB OUT OF COLLEGE AT LAW FIRM: Partners were noticeably absent (Gen X). R-C-F (the partners) would collaborate on the golf course. Me and the other Gen Y-ers devised strategies to post-it-note their offices. They caught us and joined in the fun. I realized that bosses aren’t always intimidating.

MY OWN ENTREPRENEURIAL VENTURES: Parents (silently) skeptical. Co-generational friends supportive by saying stuff like “Mari’s a do-er.” Tons of social interaction and idea sharing. I take two hour lunches. (Justin does too = BFF). I am happy with my life; full circle = my parents are happy.

I’ve learned a lot from other generations. Though it’s clear I think much differently than they do.

Since this conversation, I’ve been thinking to myself – what can I do to increase my own tolerance of others’ values and viewpoints in my own professional and personal organizations? How can I help foster this culture among my employees?