Call me cynical. Call me manipulative. Call it greasing the wheels.
I am always frankly amazed by the amount and variety of crap my colleagues try to sell me: frozen Maple Lodge chicken to pay for a new church roof, chocolate to pay for hockey team expenses, Magic Chef, Pampered Chef, Partylite candles, Avon, magazine subscriptions for the Grade Six field trip to Ottawa, Tupperware (God help me), boxed candy, cookie and muffin dough for the holiday season, Girl Guide cookies (0f course), jewellery, and raffle tickets for all manner of projects and causes I care not a whit about and for ugly useless prizes I will consign to the regifting closet upon receipt.
The nurses flogging these wares* are sometimes the ones with difficult personalities. They aren’t bad nurses necessarily. I don’t even really dislike them. They’re just — Difficult. Argumentative. Uncooperative. The ones who question your every move when you’re in charge and moan and bite and complain when you bring them a patient from triage. The ones who are always convinced what you’re doing and how you’re doing it is wrong, wrong, wrong and their way is the only possible correct way. Difficult.
I figured out a while ago the cure for this behaviour, which is probably contrary to everything I have ever learnt about conflict resolution.
I buy things from them — rarely. Just enough to make it known I will buy. I ostentatiously ask for catalogues and clearly show interest in things I have no intention ever of buying.
Suddenly I am transformed from a mistrusted, lowly, wrong, insufferable colleague to something much more exalted.
Who needs to be spoken nicely to, all the time.
It always works. And it beats the hell out of having tiresome, stress-filled conversations about unacceptable behaviour.
*Why nurses are selling this crap is an interesting question of itself, and maybe a question for another post.