Laura Lee – The Importance of People Skills

You’ll often hear me complain loudly about my time on the corporate hamster wheel that is retail banking, and for good reason. Fewer souls have been destroyed in the eternal fires of hell. Thankfully I have a lot more self-respect in my current occupation, but I will always be thankful to banking for some basic life lessons. For example, it’s useful to know how to step back from a situation and not attach your adversary to his desk with an industrial stapler, a skill I perfected in many bank managers’ offices. I also learned the art of effective communication.

Couple sharing a glass of wine

Case in point; man is on the phone screaming because he has had bank charges taken from his current account. This is, of course, my fault, obviously I have personally squirreled the cash away and am saving up for a week in the Bahamas with a male escort. Match his tone, it works. Don’t believe me?

“YOU PEOPLE ARE AN ABSOLUTE DISGRACE. I READ ALL ABOUT THE CORRUPTION YOU KNOW, I’M GOING TO THE DAILY RECORD, I’M NOT LETTING THIS GO. YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHO YOU’RE DEALING WITH.” (Well he’s right on the last point, thank God and his blessed mother for small mercies. Anyway, here’s the taught response.) “WHAT?? THAT’S FECKIN’ TERRIBLE!! I’M GOING TO DO EVERYTHING IN MY POWER TO HELP YOU, AND I WILL NOT STOP UNTIL IT’S SORTED.” “Oh.”

New Industry – Same Service

Happily, as a young sex worker, I developed my “escalation management” skills long before I ever entered a banking hall. Rather, late one night and a long time ago I was trying to enter a hotel lobby in Dublin. It wasn’t going well.

“Like I said, it’s residents only after midnight.” “Can’t you make an exception though? I mean it’s his birthday and I want to surprise him.” (Cue massive eye roll) “I’ll bet. I said NO.” Very discreetly, I passed him twenty pounds. “Lifts are just to your left madam, enjoy your evening.”

Hurrah for cranky clients, concierges and media training, without which I would surely be sporting this season’s ankle tag.

Laura Lee

Laura Lee

Irish mother, writer, animal lover, perpetual student and sex workers' rights campaigner.
Laura Lee

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