Mar 11

Be Nice.

Michigan winters are cold, gray and gloomy – we rarely see the sun. In fact, in Michigan, we only see the sun 27 percent during the winter months. With that being said, lack of vitamin D can make people more irritable, sleepy and in an overall sad mood. BUT, it is not an excuse to treat people poorly or lash out.

After recently traveling back from Miami, where it was sunny and 85 degrees every day, my flight was delayed, which was going to interfere with my connecting flight back to Grand Rapids. A lot of the folks were also connecting to other destinations and many were going to miss their flights, as I was. After the third delay, I made my way up to the counter to talk to the representative. I was in line with 30 other people and heard multiple nasty conversations. It was truly shocking to me how people could be that unfriendly to someone who was doing their job. I mean come on, the representatives cannot control the plane we were supposed to take was struck by lightning.

I’ve never liked when plans change, but working at Sabo PR has taught me newfound patience, among other skills, that helped me keep calm during this situation. Between working with municipalities and managing social media accounts, we see a lot of nasty behavior. Next time you’re feeling frustrated, think of some of these tips to help stay calm.

Everyone is human– I think a lot of people forget the people they are talking to are, in fact, humans – not robots. We all have feelings and it is absolutely unacceptable to treat someone so horribly for small reasons. The Delta clerk, your snow plow drivers, police officers, township and city staff are all human and trying to make sure everyone is safe. You don’t know what people are going through so being nice and calm is a great place to start.

Walk away – If you’re too wound up to speak to someone respectfully, walk away. Take a break, calm down and come back to the situation later. Coming into a situation irate and unable to speak respectfully is not going to be beneficial for anyone.

The Golden Rule – Treat others how you want to be treated. Yes, back to first grade here, but it works. Would you want to be flipped off if you were trying to do your job? Would you want to be yelled at or sworn at? No, you wouldn’t.

Take a deep breath – Yes, some people may be hard to work with or cause the issues first, but being nice is always going to get you further. If you are having an issue, ask politely to speak to his or her manager or someone else, but don’t ever start with being mean.

Get a Happy Light – If you work in an office or live in Michigan this can be a life-saver! They help mimic bright light from the sun and can improve moods, sleep patterns and focus. Check them out on

If you live in Michigan, we’re getting closer to summer – with the promise of lake days and sunshine on the horizon. We’ve had a gnarly, late start to winter, but it’s almost over. Just remember: be nice to people. You never know what someone is going through and a smile or “thank you” can make a huge difference.

Click here to check out Brian’s blog from last week about how to handle the always-frustrating “flight canceled” notification.

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