I like to think I'm a nice person. Sure, I have mean, terrible thoughts and I quietly hate on a lot of the world, but I don't usually act on those thoughts. I try to be kind, compassionate and if I wouldn't want you to do something to me, I try not to do it to you. I try hard - key word being try- to improve my outlook and attitude. I do it actively, every day. In fact, sometimes I spend so much time thinking about it that I cause myself heaps of anxiety.
I like avoiding controversy when possible. But, every time that somebody takes advantage of my tendency to avoid controversy, a little bit of me dies. Today, two manuscript authors called me with, um, concerns about their papers. Both of them treated me like I was a child - telling me how to do my job, treating me like I was a disinterested customer service representative. Both of them, when I explained the status of their papers and why they weren't ready, fed me the "that's not okay" line, which is really annoying, because, well, it's going to have to be okay. If you want us to publish your paper, you're going to have to be okay with the process.
I am not a complaint department. My job is not to compensate for other people's technology retardation. It is not to make excuses and grovel and apologize. My job is to make sure that your manuscript gets reviewed by other professionals and that the publisher knows what and when to publish.
Did I say this to the two angry callers? NO. And I wish I had, because now I feel like I didn't take care of myself when I was being attacked. I let someone else (2 someone elses!) walk all over me and I was polite and quiet because was afraid I'd lose my job if I wasn't. Except now I've lost a bit of my dignity.