They’re not upset because you’re not trying, they’re upset because they don’t realize how much you are trying.
There’s something fundamentally wrong when you’re trying to help someone, that person needs and will benefit from your help, and both you and they are frustrated.
The ideal arrangement is this:
1) they appreciate you being available to help,
2) you appreciate the opportunity to help,
3) you both are pleased with the outcome.
That’s rarely the case. Instead, customers complain how long it took, or the cost. And IT people complain about workload, amount of time given to resolve something, and lack of appreciation or understanding of what they did.
One interesting fact about customer disappointment is that when they’re annoyed, they usually don’t realize how much work you may already be doing or have done.
This typically occurs because technical professionals (including doctors & lawyers) usually don’t “waste” time on communicating all the in-between or prep work, choosing instead to just give an update when they “have something useful to share.” They feel that stopping to communicate status (or lack of completion) takes them away from their progress.
That’s almost always a mistake.
Doctors rarely say “hi, we’re waiting on the lab results from this morning’s blood draw. They usually need 4-6 hours. And we’re also waiting on the pharmacy to fill that prescription I wrote for you last night, they too are bombarded with requests. You’ll be fine as long as you get that medicine before bedtime, and I’ll check back by 5pm just to make sure it hasn’t fallen through the cracks.”
Instead they say nothing after writing the prescription. And you and your family wait all day with your sick, loved one and wonder “what’s going on? Are they even working on this?” It’s stressful and avoidable.
Prevent a frustration that will spill over and irritate you. Avoid the sound of crickets while you work.