I was really sore this morning from yesterday’s workout, so I shut off my 6am alarm and decided to lie in bed and rest another hour. What I was not expecting was a call at around 6:45, when I got out of bed, from a customer who had recently signed a contract with us. I was not happy to see this, as I knew a call this early could only mean something really terrible had happened.
I was brushing my teeth and saw the missed call. Then, I saw the text from the same customer: “Check your email. We need an action plan ASAP.” Something about their technical configuration had gone wrong, so my morning basically got derailed. I couldn’t do my planned workout when I wanted and had to help troubleshoot and calm the storm. I came late to another customer call. It was definitely not a highlight of my week, but I think my team and I handled it pretty well. I think we were also able to adequately calm our customer down.
“You really managed her so well!” My boss’s boss told me, five calls and who knows how many emails and text messages later.
The truth is that after having worked full time for over 15 years now, with almost all of that time being spent in customer facing roles, I will say that there’s really no such thing as an emergency that could mean life or death, so while I may be tense, I rarely show my stress on my face with customers or colleagues. Our “emergencies” have urgency, but no one’s life is on the line. And I always keep that perspective every time chaos like this crops up.