From Having Patience to Giving Advice

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“Suzanne Gelb Image”

”Waiting – Is Patience the Answer?”


Dear Dr. Gelb:

Last week my cell phone broke and when I went to have it repaired, the repair person was socializing with a customer even though he knew I was waiting. The service is on a walk in basis, so I did not have an appointment, but I was so annoyed that the technician could have serviced me, but socialized for a while, even though he did end up fixing my phone in a professional manner. Still I have a need to ask, what’s happened to customer service?


Dear Annoyed:

The belief that people should jump to one’s every whim can prompt impatience. People have their own agendas and priorities and it is not uncommon to feel angered when the expectation is that someone should be at our beck and call when we enter their place of business, and not waste our time by socializing with someone else.

It appears to me that the technician has good business skills because he focuses on having satisfied customers who walk away feeling that they are welcome and they are not just a number or an object to satisfy his financial gain. To me that reflects good manners and good business policies.

”Advice – When to Give it?”

Dear Dr. Gelb:

I am not a psychologist or anything, but often people tell me their problems and I usually have some advice or a book to recommend or something helpful to offer. I know it is not always good to give unsolicited advice. When advice is welcome, and when it is obnoxious because it is uncalled for?


Dear Helpful:

It appears that you answered your own question. In my opinion it is rude to offer advice to a friend, solicited or unsolicited. Friends can be helpful for moral support, lending a listening ear and offering empathy as emotions are expressed. That is emotional support. If there are needs beyond that, then consulting with a properly trained service provider would likely be a sensible next step.

”’Suzanne J. Gelb, Ph.D., J.D. authors this daily column, Dr. Gelb Says, which answers questions about daily living and behavior issues. Dr. Gelb is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Honolulu. She holds a Ph.D. in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Human Services. Dr. Gelb is also a published author of a book on Overcoming Addictions and a book on Relationships.”’

”’This column is intended for entertainment use only and is not intended for the purpose of psychological diagnosis, treatment or personalized advice. For more about the column’s purpose, see”’ “An Online Intro to Dr. Gelb Says”

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