Andrew Reid Consultancy
Compelling Speakers. Unparalleled Programs.

Andrew Reid Consultancy's blog: The Growth Blog

The Growth Blog focuses on lessons in leadership that inspire growth in all forms.

Keep Up The Attitude

Now when you first read "Keep Up The Attitude" I think your mind can take you to a few different places. Originally, I thought about a ride or geeky aggressive attitude yet when I was thinking about what to write about in my in depth piece one story stuck out to me. The attitude here is different. To be honest I think it's more infuriating. More annoying. More... grrr just more!

I'm talking about smugness. (side note: I wish I could see our readers faces right now. I imagine everyone has the same "fml I just thought of someone who was smug and I want to scream" face on.)

I'll do my best to not just make this a story about someone grinding my gears... but I can't really make any promises. 

It grinds my gears when people in varying industries don't realize that what is everyday to them might be totally foreign for someone else. For example, when I'm planning weddings I encourage my clients to ask as many questions as they have. I also try to anticipate their questions based upon things that in the past others have commented on with someone like "oh I didn't even know that was a thing." I usually give a spiel like "some of this might seem boilerplate to you, but I just want to make sure all of the bases are covered. Some things will be new, some will be obvious but we'll discuss it all." I do this because I've learned that what's obvious to some is new to others and vice versa. 

Okay. So onto the gear grinding. A week ago I went to get my oil changed. Now, I don't pretend to be a mechanic, but I like to think I'm not completely naive about cars either. 

I had a coupon that included:

  • an oil change

  • windshield wiper fluid refill

  • tire rotation

I drop off the car (for those wondering it's a Kia Soul) and I wait. 45 minutes later they tell me I'm good to go. When I brought it in the tire pressure light was on. 

I get in the car and notice, the light is still on. I think "that's odd." I try to spray windshield wiper fluid, and get nada. It's bone dry. 

I walk in and explain that because the fluid wasn't refilled and the light is still on I'm wondering if they did all the things they claimed to do. 

The cashier, with his smug attitude insists that they did everything on the list. I calmly explained that it's not possible because my windshield wiper fluid was empty so there had to be something missing. He rolled his eyes and pulled up the account. He types, reads and then says,  "you have to ask for that".  I was like... which part? The fluid? The oil change? The rotation? He cuts me off. 

"We didn't rotate the tires. You have even tread on all 4 tires. Rotating even treaded tires will destroy them." 

Judge Judy often says "that doesn't make sense, if something doesn't make sense it probably isn't true."

My face definitely conveyed that message to him. 

I said okay. Walked out and decided it was easier to just never go back than have this battle. 

Here's the lesson. Being smug, or Keeping Up The Attitude, destroys the ability for people to work together collaboratively.  

To this day I don't know if his rotation claim is true (if anyone knows for sure, let me know!) but his smug demeanor is what made it difficult for me to listen yet surprisingly easy to fantasize about jumping over the counter. 

Let's give him the benefit of the doubt and let's say it's bad to rotate evenly treaded tires. If he had politely explained with something like "this is gonna sound odd and it's kind of unknown but here's why we couldn't rotate your tires..." I would've felt like I learned something new, and appreciated him looking out for me and the well-being of my car. Instead I felt like I was lied to and dismissed. 

My parting thought is this, while we may lose patience at times, it's a virtue to maintain it.