This morning I had a very difficult phone call with an Express applicant. The individual wasn’t eligible for hire and decided that getting angry and upset would be the way to convince me otherwise. As he got more and more belligerent he then opted for calling my team and I some hateful things that we are definitely not. After trying several times to calm him down I was finally left with no option but to hang up on him. Upon getting off the phone I was so angry and frustrated with him and the way he’d treated my team and I. For one fleeting moment I allowed myself a pity party and then moved forward with letting it go and moving on.
Earlier this afternoon Cheryl pulled me aside and asked if I would like to hear the story of an applicant who’d just interviewed with Claire, one of our Employment Specialists. Of course I said yes and met this applicant. They shared with me that he’d been homeless for the past 110 days, he’d just spent an hour in an interview with Claire, and he was starting a new job tomorrow. He was over the moon with gratitude and joy and shared how his shoulders felt like a giant weight had been lifted. We made sure we took extra good care of him after hearing this story and the happiness he felt was obvious as he gave me a handshake and a big hug. My heart is still full of joy to the point that it’s ready to burst. This is one of the reasons why I love this career path so much. To have the opportunity to help and serve others as they face some of the most difficult times in their life is an honor that I appreciate and am thankful to take on. My teams pride themselves on helping others and a story like this is a wonderful reminder of why we do this.
How interesting is it in the span of only three hours I was able to see the full spectrum? While I could have allowed myself to wallow in the frustration of the first person and lose faith in mankind, it would have served no purpose and I might have missed out on a beautiful opportunity like this. Had I not had the difficult conversation earlier would I have appreciated the happy conversation later? I’m so thankful to have had both conversations in such a short period of time. At the end of the day it’s also a wonderful reminder to me that life will happen all around me. There is no bad or good to the challenges themselves, just the context I apply to them. I have the power to choose my attitude on a minute to minute basis – whether being frustrated and losing faith, or seeing the overwhelming positivity, learning opportunity and happiness in the world.