Patience is Overrated

Patience is a virtue, they say.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been patient (for the most part) and even prided myself on being so (especially in the presence of people that clearly didn’t have it in them to be patient).

But this isn’t my way of tooting my own horn and/or bashing those who’d rather spend their time on anything else other than waiting.

It’s just that time and again I run into scenarios that suggest that patience doesn’t mean a whole lot.

Having been on both ends of the service industry at some point in my life, I realised that customer is god and the service provider is the unlucky S.O.B who has been sentenced to a lifetime of pleasing angry people and catering to their each and every whim.

And you know what?

If you were to build a totem pole that would illustrate how service providers treat customers, the impatient lot would be at the top and the poor patient guys would be at the very, very bottom.

Why?

Because patient people give you breathing room; impatient people prove suffocating and compel you to act fast in their favour.

Imagine the scenes if every customer was an impatient customer?

I see visions of total anarchy. Broken windows. Looting.

In all seriousness, I feel like people take patient people for granted.

Because patient individuals are easier to control, they’re predictable, it’s plain sailing when they require any customer service.

And it’s true:

The saying “squeaky wheel gets the oil” trumps the other saying of “the nail that stands out, gets pounded out.”

Because I’ve noticed, time and time again, that the squeaky wheel does – in fact – get the oil.

The squeaky wheel won’t have to wait 4-5 days for their X-ray report to return to their GP but instead will receive it the next day.

The squeaky wheel that keeps calling/emailing but isn’t receiving the right answers will not only get priority/preferential treatment, but will probably get a better deal than they originally bargained for in the first place to compensate.

The squeaky wheel will get priority in whatever they demand because the worst thing that can happen to a business is to be responsible for a dissatisfied customer.

So does it really pay to be patient?

For argument’s sake, let’s say that most people are patient.

What this means is that being impatient will be rewarded with special treatment which will only go on to reinforce this sort of behaviour, leading to more future impatience (because hey, it’s more worthwhile that way), and so the cycle continues, on and on, forever and ever and ever…

Rather than condone people for their impatience, it’s being rewarded.

***

Any thoughts, comments, criticisms?

P.S. Thanks for reading and feel free to subscribe to my email list.

 

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