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Holiday Stress Tips from FedEx Customer Service Reps

December 1, 2008

It was a real joy to hear for many of you about your experiences at FedEx.  One key point that I heard over and over again was the fact that we at FedEx spend the weeks before the Holidays in what we call Peak!!  This means to us that we are responsible for ensuring all of our customers shipping needs are met.

At this time of the year our package volume increase and so does our work load.  So many of us pitch in with whatever it takes to ensure everything runs smoothly in our network.  This means in many cases longer work hours, more work volume than normal, and shippers who do not ship on regular bases.

It also means our families have expectations on us too; such as seeing our children in Holiday programs, more events packed into our schedules, gifts to buy, food to prepared, families and friends to see, opportunities to give to those less fortunate than us!

Wow, where is there time to rest and gain some work life balance.  Since we are just starting this busy season, I thought today would be a great time for me to give you some tips that I have used and that I have learned from some of our outstanding Customer Service Representatives.  Some key tips are:

  1. Eat more protein and fruits and vegetables – try to cut down on sugars and complex carbs – this should give you natural energy!
  2. Get exercise when you can.  Take a break and walk at lunch or after hours.  It will give your body some new found oxygen and help you be able to sleep better at night!
  3. Limit your activities to a manageable level – someone told me that “No I can not attend” is an acceptable answer!  Be careful what you accept, be willing to decline and if you can not do either then maybe you can give a counteroffer that meets your needs.
  4. Remember it is about you!!!! Do as much of your shopping early as possible or online – we know a terrific shipping company!
  5. Keep our spirits positive as try and find the magical moment in each day.  Look for them and you will find them.  You can help create them for others.
  6. Get your rest and find time quite for yourself! Before it gets to be too much solicit the help of others – at home, at work, at church, wherever you can get it.
  7. You do not have to do it all. We have all heard these before.  Nothing is new.
  8. Maybe with this reminder you can at least try and apply one.  It does not matter what your title, level, responsibility or point in your life we all need to take care of ourselves.

In the book Enlightened Power: How Women are Transforming the Practice of Leadership one of the keys to success is to spend some quiet time, pause and reflect.  This reflection and rest enables us to be better in our day to day actions. I hope you take care of yourself!  Only you can do it for you!  I can’t wait to hear about what you are doing to balance your life this season!    Sheila


    Abigail Bruce says:

    Hi Sheila. I appreciate your pointers. The ones I struggle with the most are #3 Keep Activities Manageable and #7 You Do Not Have to Do It All.

    It is very hard for me to prioritize because it seems that frequently everything is a priority. In reality not everything can be a priority so I struggle with what to let go. I have been told that sometimes I should completely say NO to something instead of just pushing it to another day. That in itself is an area of growth for me. To what can I say no? I have to do what my boss tells me to do and the other things I give to myself I feel are value-adding to my customers so I want to complete them. However, those all combine to leave me frequently overwhelmed, stressed, and having no energy when I get home.

    Do you have any tips on how you have learned to detemine what your true priorities are and what to say no to entirely even if it is a worthy task/project?

    Thank you very much!


    Archie Kubacki says:

    Sheila, You have always stressed (no pun intended) the need for life balance. Too often we do this by “expanding our box” so we can do more at work, but we forget we can do the same for our personal life. I expanded my “personal time box” by getting up an hour and a half earlier each day so I could “make the time” for stress relieving exercise. It only took about two weeks to make this a habit. I find I have a brighter happier attitude and a more energetic workday; and as a bonus, I sleep much more soundly and night. A balanced weekly diet of exercise, aerobics, lightweight training, and yoga are great stress relievers!

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