Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ask Angie: Squeaky wheel or you catch more flies with honey?

As I sit here in the doctor's waiting room - a scene is playing out. Apparently Hawaiian shirt man and I have the same appointment time with the same doctor. We are now 20 minutes past that appointment time. He's already gotten up twice and loudly expressed his displeasure at waiting. I have been waiting patiently and quietly.
He just got called in. I'm still waiting.

I have been taught to be patient, wait your turn, you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. More and more it seems like that approach leaves me waiting while the impatient vinegar folks get what they want. And that creates a real conundrum for me. I believe in the long run that you do better by taking the "honey" approach. However, in the short run, it is infuriating when that guy who yelled the loudest gets the last seat on the plane or additional compensation while your efforts to empathize with the desk agent only earn you a middle seat on a flight eight hours later in between two very smelly heavy breathers.

So what to do? Well, I try to remember all those times when everything did magically work out. That time my connection was delayed and other passengers’ distress turned into my special blessing. I try to focus on how my distress could be transforming into a blessing for someone else.

Note: I said I try to remember this. Usually what happens is I curse a lot, think mean thoughts and then order a vodka tonic. That works pretty well too.


  1. I'm a firm believer in everything works out. Who knows WHAT Hawaiian shirt man ended up being diagnosed with. Maybe in the long run, it's MUCH better that he saw the doctor before you. Then again, maybe he's just a dick.

    Regardless, who would we sit around sipping our martinis and making fun of if there weren't those squeaky wheels out there? Probably the men in Hawaiian shirts...

  2. Unfortunately, squeaky wheel often gets the grease at my work (magazine publishing). On the other hand, become too loud and obnoxious, and eventually the thought becomes, "screw you and your ad dollars!"