By Ed Baranosky
In my working career I had worked with a man who every morning would go through his schedule and agonize on each job. I watched him torture himself even before he went on his first call. I knew I had to do something. I told him he was a capable technician and he should not worry about each job beforehand. He should wait to see what the problem was when he got there.
I knew there was always more to the job than just electronics. The attitude of the customer was a part of it. The customers were always anxious to get their units up and running. There were always some individuals who gave the technicians a hard time.
When I first started on this job I did the same thing to myself. I was beating myself up about electronic problems and customer attitudes. I found I was putting off the difficult problems and customers. At the end of several weeks I had a stack of jobs that I had made all sorts of excuses to delay tackling.
It was then I decided that this could not go on.
My solution came to me at 3 a.m. in bed when I was replaying the problems over in my mind.
First, I decided I was going to do one difficult job a day. No matter what it was I was going to carry it
through. At the end of the first week I had five less problems in the stack.
The answer to the difficult customers who used their authority to abuse people they believe below their station also became apparent to me. I determined that I would greet them with a smile and a cheerful “good morning.” That diffused most of their aggression.
The motto I chose to live by was something by Gen. Patton said during the darkest hours of the Battle of the Bulge in World War II. He simply suggested: “Do not take counsel of your fears.”