What happens when – as customer-facing staff – you lose faith?
When hairline cracks appear in your veneer of motivation to serve, when despite your honest intentions you are assumed to be pursuing your own agenda and you can convince no-one otherwise, when your judgment is questioned despite your heartfelt belief that you are doing the right thing for the organisation or the customer or simply the very best you can, when you are faced with managing change where nobody wins but you try to do everything possible to create a transparent and respectful process but the outcome is unsatisfactory whatever path is chosen and your name is nailed to the signpost, when you are strapped to a log winding through white water to the inevitable fall and everyone on the bank knows it and you know it but no-one talks about it, when ostriches ignore your requests for information to enable a decision to be made because in the submerged silence it will of course all go away, when you tear sinews and break your back to pull out all the stops but when you look up everyone has turned away, when your honed expressions of welcome are botoxed to vanilla by the rhythmic relentlessness of it all, when your cracked hands chapped lips and streaming glassy eyes just want to be invited into the warm….
You seldom admit to the fracture, because you don’t want to appear weak.
And we rarely acknowledge or counsel those of you behind the brave face, because you put on the same face for us.
It’s an open water swim. You push through the strokes toward a seemingly ever-broadening expanse, no rails to cling onto and no turns at which to pause, surfacing for breath in ever shorter bursts until you catch a rhythm or the warm current of a volcanic cough, and the challenge you signed up for all seems possible again. You are programmed to forget.
We are all customers. Respect the valet parking your car. He might just be having a moment of doubt.