I have a gift.
When dealing with people in person, I can almost always get them to smile and have a moment of niceness (I made the lady at the DMV laugh, which I considered a major accomplishment). I an also usually make people on the telephone loosen up and be friendly, too.
(One of my big tricks as a teacher was, if there was somebody irately angry at me via email, I'd make them come talk to me in person. People who yell on email are usually people who haven't met me in person, and once they do they realize...hey, I'm not evil. I'm really nice and friendly. And then they can't be as rude to my face.)
My employer submitted me for worker's comp almost 2 months ago. I was telling someone about it and they filled out paperwork for me and submitted it. At the time, I was genuinely touched at someone going out of their way to do that.
But dealing with these worker's comp people...it's so unpleasant. I finally have my case worker on my side, and he's finally loosening up. When first talking with him, he'd give me these lonnnnng responses. They were the responses of a man paranoid of being yelled at and/or sued and/or fired. He still does that a little bit, but there's a friendly tone to his voice instead of an "all business" tone.
There's a list of doctors I'm supposed to choose from to get a second opinion. I called them today, and they were all SO unpleasant! This woman answered the phone and said, "Hello?" I was a little confused, so I said, "Hi! Have I reached the doctors offices of _____?" She paused and really rudely said, "...uh, YEAH." That was basically her tone the entire conversation. She not only talked to me like I was a child, but talked to me like I was a stupid child.
It made me grumpy.
It also made me feel sorry for people who are like that, because clearly they're like that because they have to deal with unpleasant people day in and day out, and they've developed this kind of demeanor from running out of patience and tolerance. But still. If I'm nice to you, you should at least be civil to me.
And I go out of my way to be extra nice to people who seem like they could use it. Usually, it catches those people off guard and then they are nice in return. But sometimes you run into people too far gone.
It reminds me why I'm opting for change. I'd be sad if I turned into that.