When I am either being a jerk or other people are just deers with headlights

Since I’ve started working at the current company, I’ve been pretty happy with my colleagues for the most part. Of course, there are always selfish, dickish sales people and self-seeking individuals to look out for, but overall, I’d say it’s been a breath of fresh air, especially considering I came from a place that reeked of stereotypical office politics and backstabbing at its finest. But recently, I’ve noticed that some of the newest hires are not the brightest bulbs, and it’s not because they are not “getting it” right away; it’s more because when new information is presented to them, instead of confidently digesting the new information, they clearly freak out over the video chat and start panicking. Multiple times in the last few days talking with new people, it’s like I was working with deers with headlights, and the freak out sessions were painfully obvious even over Zoom. I can’t even imagine how frustrating this would have been if it were in person.

My general belief about people in customer facing roles is that at minimum, you need to be able to be pleasant, friendly, firm, and exude confidence even when you aren’t even sure what you are talking about. Confidence makes people trust you, and trust is really important with customers. If you are not confident and freak out over little things you don’t understand, customers aren’t stupid; they will pick up on it and call you out for it.

So I’m not sure if I’m just feeling a little impatient because I am slowly preparing to step away from my day to day duties to go out on maternity leave, or if I am just being a jerk in my thoughts. I am definitely patient and kind when I speak with these individuals, and to catch myself, I always smile and take a breath before I speak. I need to pause before I speak, otherwise I know I will end up saying something I will regret.

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