Freaking out and waiting for firemen
Picture this: a smart lady working hard in a room. The room has a door. The door has no handle on the inside. The smart lady’s cleaning lady accidentally closes the door, locking them both in.
Damning them both to an eternal fate on hold with the world’s worst customer service.
Because, as I said, my friend is a smart lady.
Having hung out of the window to locate a burly man who could kick the door down, and found a sad lack of burly men, she resorted – with much reluctance — to calling the Fire Brigade.
I feel her pain. It must have been mortifying… (except it isn’t, and I’ll come to that)
“Which service please?”
“Erm… anyone who can kick a door in?”
“Connecting you now.”
“London Fire Brigade!”
“Oh hello, I’m so sorry to disturb you, and this is really not an emergency at all — if there are real fires or people in danger, please go and attend to them first. But I’m trapped in an upstairs room in my house and the door handle has fallen off on my side so I can’t get out… I was wondering if you could send someone to kick the door in?”
“Yes madam, don’t worry — someone will be with you shortly.”
Literally four minutes later, five burly men arrived in my friend’s house and got the door open… and removed the lock so it didn’t happen again.
She was mortified. Fire engine in the street, massive kerfuffle, traffic jams… Five strapping men all working together, supporting each other, to rescue the damsel in distress – no judgements required.
This story made me laugh my socks off when she told me, and she finds it funny herself, but here’s the thing. Here’s why I’m telling you this: my friend had no reason to feel mortified. These things happen. And that’s what the Fire Brigade are there for.
She did what very few people do when they really should: she asked for help.
Why do we find it so tough to ask for help? (And I include myself in that “we”)
I’ve struggled with depression for most of my adult life, and had a particularly bad time a few years ago. We all have struggles. Some of them are awful.
But by far the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life was picking up the telephone and calling the local mental health support services. Everything after that was a piece of cake in comparison.
Asking for help can be the most difficult thing in the world.
But it’s always the right thing to do. If you need help, ask for it. There is no shame in it at all.
We can’t do this on our own, we’re social animals. That goes for running a business, too.
(Burly firemen optional.)
Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.
PS What do you need help with, right now? If it’s in my power to do so, I’ll turn your question into a podcast or an article. Hit me up!