My job requires me to be understanding, sympathetic, tolerant, even nice to people. When you look like the man who dipping his hand into the box of chocolates hoping for a chocolate fudge ( his favourite) and finds instead that he has popped a coconut surprise (brings him out in a rash) into his mouth then you will understand that when it comes to making favourable first impressions and putting people at their ease, I have a bit of a hill to climb before I even think about opening my mouth. So I thought I would keep my New Year resolutions simple this year. Just go for a happy counterance, and try smiling a little bit more and not assume that everyone I am going to meet is a congenital idiot. My first client on my first day back at work was a happy, smiley, isn't life one big joke, sort of guy. I was to be tested straight away! I gritted my teeth and smiled. After exchanging pleasantries he says to me;
"I do a really good impression of an extractor fan, would you like to hear it."
How can I break this gently to him?
"Oh really" I grimace. "Fascinating ....."
"Yes" he goes on "I can't stand Massey Fergusons anymore."
I stare at him. My mouth moved. I could hear the sound of my New Years Resolutions standing up and leaving the room with as much dignity as they could muster.
Mr Grumpy was back, beaming from ear to ear.
"Is that it?" I asked?
Apparently it was.