Date of this Version
INSTRUCTIONAL LEADERSHIP ABSTRACTS, Volume 12, Issue 7, September, 2020
changed many aspects of our lives this year. Things we’ve taken for granted in the past are now different, and we’re being forced to become comfortable with ways of doing things that are unfamiliar, and often initially uncomfortable. Last week, I had an issue with my Verizon bill and had to call customer service. I understood that because of COVID-19, customer service representatives were working from home, and wait times would be considerably longer. The wait was long. It was almost an hour long, whereas in the past connecting to a representative might have taken 10 minutes. I felt impatient; past the half hour mark, I even felt a bit agitated. But then she answered—a human being on the other end of the line, apologetic and ready to help. My issue was resolved quickly and professionally, and not for a moment could I behave in a way that was impatient, upset, or worse yet, unkind, to this person who was doing her best in a circumstance she couldn’t control. It is critical that we recognize and appropriately respond to circumstances that are beyond anyone’s control. This encounter reminded me of the importance of teaching and practicing tolerance. Teaching tolerance is something I try to do in the college classroom, and exercising tolerance is something I’ve found to be a necessity when dealing with students with diverse needs.