As I was sitting through my nursing school orientation, I was feeling really out of place. I was in the minority of students that isn't currently working in health care. The introduce yourself to the room to 60 people game is uncomfortable enough, but the girl that announced she worked for a florist got some chuckles. I left out my current job in my introduction.
It's not that I'm ashamed that I repair cell phones. I've become proud of my job and I really enjoy it, in spite of my self. I would like to work in health care now, but I probably earn about double what I could earn as a CNA, and I get benefits even though I work part time hours. There is no reason to make any job moves right now.
I try to use my job to practice my conversational skills, showing empathy and patience, and listening carefully... But, possibly most importantly, I'm practicing dealing with completely disgusting situations with professionalism.
Case in point: I introduced myself to customer a few days ago. His name was Frank. He was 78, and was sort of unkempt and smelly in an old man way, but was sweet. I asked him what was wrong with his phone, and he said his "crazy ol' phone was actin' a fool!" Translation: The vibrator motor wouldn't turn off. It vibrated constantly. Very odd, but a telltale sign of liquid damage. I asked him if the phone had gotten wet, and he assured me it hadn't. I of course gently assured him I would figure out what was wrong with his phone, and he could just stay comfortable in his chair, and I would let him know what I discovered.
I took the phone back to the shop, took the battery out, and took the rear housing off. The circuit board looked sort of dirty. I saw something move out of the corner of my eye, and realized it was a small bug running across my desk. Yuck. I squashed it with a post it note, and got back to the phone.
Wait. There are two more of those bugs.
Crawling out of the phone...
I jumped up, scream-whispered an F-bomb, and asked the male tech to kill them. He was just as much a girl as I was, and another female employee had to step in to take care of it. She killed 5. 2 escaped getting squashed, and crawled back inside the phone through the ear phone jack. We double-bagged all the roach poop coated phone parts and their residents in ziploc baggies.
I eventually got myself together, and told the customer that I wasn't able to fix his phone because . . . there were . . . insects? . . . inside the phone, and so I can't fix it, and umm . . . actually . . . Ican'tputitbacktogethereither, so I have it in a baggie if you want it . . .
He didn't seem surprised, upset, or embarrased, just took it all in stride, and happily purchased a new phone. He even let me keep the old phone. Thanks Frank.
Lesson learned? A roach on the desk is worth 2 in the phone?