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« Monday Listicles - Ten things if I were not me | Main | Moments of clarity »
Sunday
Jul082012

Five Minutes on Empathy

Today, I'm linking up with the lovely Kathy Kramer from Little Cheesehead on the Prarie. She's starting up a new prompt called Free Write. It is a brain dump and an exercise in free writing. The purpose of this link up is not to write a perfect post. The purpose is to sit and write and share that brain dump with the rest of the world and perhaps mine it for future topics.Today's topic is empathy.

So how it works is you set your timer for five minutes and write like the wind, and then stop. No corrections, backspacing, thinking, etc. Just a brain dump. So here goes. Hope you enjoy and will consider linking up with Kathy on Sundays for Free Write.

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I work in the Information Technology field, particularly in Customer Service. Empathy is part of our arsenal. When someone calls in with a computer problem, and begins yelling profanities and blaming us for everything from the national debt to their first-born, we have to apologize while showing empathy for their unfortunate situation. What we really want to do is reach through the phone and stick a spoon in their throats. However, paying the bills trumps personal gratification, so empathy wins.

I recently was on the receiving end of empathy when I was trying to carry a bag of trash to the dumpster while walking with my cane. I haven’t been using the cane for long, so I’m not accustomed to people seeing me as a person with a disability. When I was about half way to the dumpster, a guy drove by, stopped in the middle of the street, got out, and asked if he could carry my trash for me.  I handed over the bag and thanked him, managing a big smile. I was both proud for humanity, and at the same time, pissed off that someone would see me as anything less than capable.

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