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One sign of a professional is what
he or she talks about.
Few things are more annoying to
coworkers and managers than to hear the soap opera of people's
People may lend a sympathetic ear
when you tell them about your personal problems, but inside they
want to scream "Enough already! Iíve got problems of my own".
A woman once told me that work was
the only convenient place to discuss her marital problems. When
I suggested that she go to lunch with coworkers and discuss her
personal problems on personal time, she explained that they
didn't like to hear about her personal problems during their
I couldn't believe she was
serious. She actually saw her company as something to serve her,
instead of the other way around.
Professionalism also applies to
what you talk about in front of customers. I was once at a Nashville
restaurant when the server asked how I was doing. I gave
my standard Dave Ramsey response, "Better than I deserve! How
He explained that he wasn't doing
well because he was having trouble with his finances, and was
worried about the health of Pope John Paul II.
The entertainment experience of
eating out had just been reduced to zero for that meal. While it
was naive of him to answer a rhetorical question, I might have
at least identified with him if he told me how disappointed he
was with the Tennessee Titans' record, or that Tennessee
lawmakers were trying to pass a state income tax again.
The problem with his response
regarding the Pope was that he was already on his deathbed at
the time and
everyone knew it. It was sad, but I came to the restaurant to be
The ironic part was the comment
about his finances. I'm a generous tipper who sometimes tips
over 100%, if the server earns it. Even if he had just
been a run of the mill server, he would have received a better
tip from me than from most of his customers. But his whining
about his finances ensured that he was getting a minimum tip no matter how good his service was.
Leave your home life at home. Work is where you go make a
living, not to get therapy.
To Your Success,
P.S. The server's whining turned out to be a moot point
since his service was as poor as his choice of conversation
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