The key to getting through a bad day? A superb glass of wine at the end of the day may enable you to unwind – just a little. But to make it through? While the-day-from-hell is in process?
Yesterday was a grueling day – hard physically, a drain emotionally, and mentally taxing – running numbers through my mind, recreating possible scenarios from a few months ago, and untangling what remains something of a mystery. Worse – knowing that everything that was supposed to get done this week was being postponed until this tricky situation was at least on the road to being righted.
How to Survive a Bad Day
What do you do to get through a bad day?
That good strong cup of coffee helps me, first thing. Preparation involves accepting that it will be a day requiring my best communication skills and a large dose of patience. Then there is steeling myself for the unknown – the way the day will unfold and who may be encountered.
That one is as beyond our control as what we may be dealing with. It is also the potential silver lining.
Service and a smile
Knowledgeable, professional, service-oriented people can make all the difference in the world.
Every service person who helped yesterday was courteous and patient, as I drove here and there, sat in an office, recounted what is going on with some problematic records, and continued trying to unravel some tricky business. A great deal of progress was made. And through it, between the face-to-face encounters and the phone calls into evening, I have to say that service is alive and well in some sectors of America.
Is it because in tough economic times, no one can afford to lose a customer? Are our institutions afraid of the power of social media to spread the word of bad service or a glitch that causes problems for a customer?
Whatever the reason, I was on the receiving end of great service, kind faces, and a genuine attempt to set the situation straight.
The son also rises
Getting through a bad day is lightened when your kids rise to the occasion as well, sweet and supportive about your frazzled state of preoccupation.
“Is there anything I can do to help?”
That’s what my son said to me, two nights ago, during the worst of the realization of what lay ahead in terms of getting things back in order, not to mention meeting critical deadlines required for his financial aid forms. His earnest face and genuine desire to pitch in should I need him – with any of it – that warmed my heart. Knowing that our children recognize when we are working on their behalf, when we are under pressure to pull out a little miracle, when we need comfort – all of that takes a bad day and makes it better.
The good thing about bad times is seeing those we know, those we love, and those we deal with pull out the stops – to help.
We may live in a time and culture in which a seeming lack of care is compounded by superficial relationships and increasing automation. People will always make the difference – quality people who may not be able to resolve everything, but whose desire and efforts to do so are heartening.
I have another long day ahead – many more, in fact. But this week I am reminded of the power that each one of us holds – to ease someone else’s burden, regardless of the cause or situation – by listening, paying attention, offering assistance, or simply doing our jobs – well.
Dark cloud? Yes, of course. There will always be dark clouds. And often – silver linings. Just the ticket to surviving a really bad day.
© D A Wolf