Thursday, June 27, 2019

Wandering Through The Shelves: TV Edition-Gangsters

It's TV Time again and we have to pick 3 TV shows that fit the theme for this week. Ughhh...OK I was able to choose 3 but they are the only 3 I thought I have ever seen since most of these are on Netflix or HBO or some other paying, streaming yadda yadda. Gosh, how I miss when it was just the regular channels. OK enough griping. head on over to Wandering Through the Shelves to find out what everyone else has chosen. Here are my 3....


This is an excellent undercover cop show that circles all around the gangsters. Ken Wahl plays the title character of Vincent, an undercover OCB(Organized Crime Bureau), a division of the FBI, who has been in prison to lay the groundwork for his infiltration of the mob. Each week you are dealt with scenarios that kept you on the edge of your seat, not through car chases and slam bang, but through intelligent scripts. He has contact with only 2 other operatives, his senior in the FBI and a fellow Operative known as Lifeguard. There were story arcs with one involving a bad guy, played by Kevin Spacey (yes that idiot who destroyed his brilliant career), and another starring Jerry Lewis. This series would show how their lives were being undone by the occupation(s) they keep. When Ken Wahl left the series, it felt like it changed plus the network changed time-slots and I lost the pace but it is worth a look.


I am not talking about the more famous TV version starring Robert Stack but this version which I might have been the only one who ever saw it but I liked it. It stars Tom Amandes as a young Elliott Ness who is disgusted by the crime and corruption and makes it his duty to bring down crime lord Al Capone, played by William Forsythe. It only lasted 2 seasons but I thought it was quite well acted especially Forsythe as Capone who brought some heart to the killing a-hole. You got to see their families and, in one memorable episode, how the 2 almost work together to bring down a child killer.

3. THE SOPRANOS-1999-2007

This will be popular today, I bet. My hubby wanted this for his birthday so I got him the complete series and we have been binge watching. It is an excellent show with Tony Soprano, a lover of ducks, horses and other animals, who  deals with panic attacks and decides to see a shrink. We meet his horrible mother and his Uncle plus all his goons. This is surprisingly funny in parts even when it is  the wrong time to laugh but you can't help it. Poor James Gandolfini  is in every episode and he drives this series as a hulking, menacing, narcissistic brute who loves his family and feels bad whenever he has to kill someone he cares for..yeah...mixed up. I know the ending even though we are not there yet but that is because it was everywhere on the news when the show ended. I bet you will hear my hubby roar when the ending happens. Freaky is how many times the characters reference Soprano will die by the time he is 50 and Gandolfini did die at 51 from a heart attack...just like the characters said he would. Very, very eerie.

Which 3 would you choose?

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Dealing With Difficult People-Part 3-Anger, Diapers and No more Newlywed Game

Finally, part 3 of my dealing with difficult people in the world of Credit Counselling and how one must always keep a level head, never judge but don't put up with any shenanigans (I love that word) and always keep some nice smelling air fresheners around.  After talking about smells and ills along with drunks, pervs and tears, I am at the final 3 of my top 10 so, let's get down to it...

1.  ANGRY..."YOU HAVENT SEEN ME WHEN I'M ANGRY"- Oh the people who come in with a huge chip on their shoulder and think it is perfectly fine to take it out on the unsuspecting Credit Counsellor. They will huff and puff (not H & R's Puff and Stuff), roll their eyes and do the stare. The stare is their way of trying to use intimidation to get what they want...hahaaaaaa. This never works on me and, in fact, I will call them on it and tell them they are in my office seeking my help. I recall a couple sitting in my office, who had a huge debt but owned a home with a lot of equity(value of home minus what is owing equals the equity or asset). Their situation was not going to change for the better, they could not do a bankruptcy or a Consumer Proposal(pay only part of the debt) or do our payment program (Pay all of the debt). They could not remortgage so their only recourse was to sell the home. The wife was listening but her husband was sitting in the chair ready to go all Chuck Norris and when I mentioned they needed to sell the home explaining why, like a Steven Savant, er, Seagal, he flung out of his seat, thrust his arm across my desk and tried to grab for my throat. I, naturally,  flung back my chair, looked at him and told him to get out of my office. He left but his wife remained sobbing. She explained all the issues they had been dealing with the past 5 years and she knew the best option was to sell the home. He came back, apologizing for his rude behaviour and I told him he was lucky I did not call the police but continued to explain my reasons and why other options were not open. This was the worst I ever dealt with and, for some reason, I was not scared but pissed! I have also dealt with the many people who blame the government for their debt, their ex's, their parents, neighbours, Jimmy is never their fault. so what should one do?

A. Learn Judo and drop them like in a Jackie Chan movie?
B. Take out my hammer (you think I'm kidding that I don't have a hammer nearby) and let them see stars like Wily E. Coyote?
C. Turn into Miss. Prissy from Gone With the Wind and go on my hands and knees saying I don't know nuttin 'bout birthin' no babies.
D. Understand that anger is a defense to the stresses they are enduring, be understanding but be authoritative and tell them to leave if they make you uncomfortable or fearful.

Of course it's D and, I would add, never show fear because they need to respect you and the information you are presenting to them. They need to know intimidation will not work but you can still give excellent information, advice and options even if they are options they don't want to hear.

2. WAR OF THE ROSES AKA..MARITAL ISSUES- Oh, you know you are in trouble when you go out to meet your clients and they are sitting at opposite ends of the waiting room. They come in with air so thick you can't cut it with a chainsaw! The body language is enough to tell you that they can't stand each other and would be willing to drop kick their partner across the ocean. You know you are in for something special when they give each other snide remarks with the remarks usually coming from the gal and the guy telling her to shut her yap. This makes for such an endearing session that my ears perk up knowing entertainment will be coming my way. I had one such couple who could not do much more than argue over every expense, asset, income and debt I asked about. It became so destructive that I literally placed my hand in between their faces telling them "Time Out". Yes, I did get some anger spit on my fingers which I made sure to use hand sanitizer right after. I told them that if they continue in this fashion that they must leave as the session was not productive. They settled down and I was able to give information to them before they left in a huff.  so what does one do?

A. Tell them they are hopeless morons and get out of my office?
B. Give them each a gun and have them walk 10 paces before turning around and fire?
C. Agree with one of the spouses, just to rile the other spouse up?
D. Listen to each, but, if they become argumentative with each other or you, state in a firm voice that there will be no arguments in the office and that they can leave. Inform them that you will not judge but provide the best financial care to their situation.

Well, you know the answer, which is D. If you ever have someone who becomes disruptive where you are fearful or the session may get out of hand, you have the right to cancel the session and explain they can come back when they are calmer. Whenever a person is angry at their spouse to the point where they have lost control, it will not help to discuss their finances because they are not listening. If they are angry but keep everything in check, remember that anger is an emotion that should not be judged but listened to, to understand their feelings. I had a couple, married for 37 years, where his wife had a major gambling addiction. They were heavily mortgaged plus she owed $137,000 in credit card and credit line debt. He entrusted his income to her and all the expenses and never asked about the finances. She was very guilt ridden and he was exceptionally good despite learning about all of this the night before they came into my office. I felt bad for both because she was a sweet person and he, too was a decent man. She had called the addiction help line and he was going to go for counselling. I gave them their options which amounted to bankruptcy and loss of their home. Why judge 2 people when the loss is so great? They need an understanding ear and voice and, to this day, I wonder what happened to them.


Many people bring their kids into our agency and into my office. Some kids are good but others...many, are possessed by the devil incarnate. They scream, touch everything, have temper tantrums, crawl everywhere and one particular snot-nosed brat pulled my computer cords unhooking my computer. If there was a big pot of boiling water somewhere, I would have eaten well that night....just kidding...well, maybe not:). I can deal with kids that bump their heads on my desk and cry because it hurts, I can deal with kids who start getting fidgety near the end of the session because their patience is wearing thin now. Hey, I can even deal with moms who whip out their boob to feed their baby but I can't abide the children of the corn. I swear I even saw some blond kid's eyes start to glow when he didn't get his way. What does one do?

A. Give the kids  my hammer and tell them to have fun?
B. Scream at the kids to shut the hell up!?
C. Tell the kids to go play in the traffic?
D. Watch the children to make sure they don't pull the computer cords but request the parents to mind their children.

You would be surprised how many parents just don't watch their children and look at you when you ask the parents to mind their kids. I had one parent tell me that this was a way for their children to explore their inner selves. I informed her that her child can do that outside my office since we were to talk about finances. Many parents can't afford a babysitter so they must bring their children with them. I have asked the parents to reschedule when their children became too unruly because  nothing positive could come from the counselling session. I find the best method is to not tell the child to sit and behave, this is the parent's job, so I ask the parents to take care of them. The parent usually does take action then. Remember, the parents are often just as frustrated so they normally understand if one must stop the session because the kids become too difficult. As for breastfeeding, I don't mind if the mom does this and most are discreet but I have had one that just let it all hang out. I tried my best not to look and continue talking about her finances. I also had one lady breastfeeding and the child was 5! He walked right over to her, lifted up her top and she let I have to admit I lost my train of thought. See, I didn't even talk about dirty diapers...the small kids will tend to unload themselves while in my office but moms and dads usually apologize as they leave my stinky office.

So, finally, my top 10 list of difficult people. I hope this gives some insight into the world of counselling and dealing with a variety of human beings in the best possible way despite their difficult manners.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Thursday Movie Picks-Period Drama

This is a big theme for this week and my head couldn’t figure out which way to go. This can be an endless theme and one can pick any era and pick any decade films have been made or even go by one film star. I decided to choose the latter and went with a film star whom I greatly admire not only for his acting ability but because he had to hide the fact that he was gay since he could have been jailed or even killed back in the day never mind ruining his career. It will be interesting what everyone will choose this week. Check out Wandering Through The Shelves to find out what everyone has picked. Here are my 3...


Charles Laughton plays the title role of this nasty, narcissistic, hedonistic king who goes through many wives all while wishing for a male heir. Laughton brings this King to life and you despise him but you end up feeling bad for him mainly due to Laughton’s superb acting. It starts off with Ann Boleyn, in a brief but memorable role played by Merle Oberon, and it continues through all his marriages. The highlight is his brief marriage with Anne of Cleves played by his real life wife Elsa Lanchester. They were comedic gold in their scenes together which brought levity to this drama. On an off note, by this time, they were soul mates but not bed mates since she caught him on the couch with one of his male friends. She told him she loved him but to get rid of the couch. They remained together, strong in each other’s support of one another until Laughton’s death. The above scene became so famous that Laughton was often given chicken, sans utensils, when he went out for dinner:)


I have seen the musical and I do like it and am not so negative about Russell Crowe’s singing as many are( any hear Ryan Gosling sing...yikes!) but the film that is better is this version even though there are some big changes to the book. For example, they couldn’t show Fantine as a whore at this time due to the censorship laws, but it does not diminish the strength of this film. Frederic March plays Jean Valjean as the doomed man who goes to jail after stealing a loaf of bread for his daughter. After he is exonerated, Javert, played by Charles Laughton is hard on his tracks and will not give in to the fact that Valjean is a good man no matter what. This relentless cop will do anything to bring Valjean back to prison. This film is well acted and is a must see for the acting chops of March but, especially, Charles Laughton.


Charles Laughton plays the famous artist with such compassion and eloquence that his performance moved me to tears. It starts off  with Rembrandt at the height of his fame and richness. He was happily married and was admired until his beloved Saskia dies. He becomes depressed, ends up with a bitch who mistreats him before he begins changing the way he views the world and his painting. He loses everything but gains the hand of his second "wife" whom he adores (played by Elsa Lanchester). Another brilliant performance by this actor who can convey so much just from a glance. If you have never seen any of his films, I highly recommend seeing some

Which period drama would you choose?

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Sparkly Ornaments

Sizzex machine, ornament cut out pattern, exacto knife, glitter paper in blue, pale yellow cardstock, pale blue cardstock, dark purple cardstock with vellum paper with rose design on it. Border stickers, blue and purple ink pen, silver ribbon and light blue crystals.

Crafty Creations-Anything Goes
Happy Little Stampers-Anything Goes With Dies
Happy Little Stampers Christmas-Non Traditional Colours
Cute Card Thursday-CAS
CHNC-Non-Tradional Christmas Colours
Alphabet Challenge-Use flowers-I did! You can see it on the vellum

I bought this ornament cutting design quite a while ago and finally used it on beautiful, glitter paper which, no matter how many times I rung it through the sizzex machine, it would not cut all the fine areas. After almost crunching up the paper, I left my craft room in a huff and went back to this headache a week later. Using the exacto knife, I patiently cut through the designs to achieve the image you see above.....grrrr. I used a pale yellow for the interior because I thought it looked nice and layered all the pieces together including the lovely vellum with the flowers on it. I patiently (grrr) made 3 F^%$! bows for the top, added the stickers after colouring them in the blue and purple(stars) inks and glued on crystals.

I have been working on my friend's scrapbook and am way behind because of all the birthdays in May and buying flowers etc... I have to get this scrapbook done by August 21st!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Thursday movie Picks-Undercover

I know there are a ton of films regarding undercover agents, spies etc... and, for some reason, I had a tough time but I came up with 3. I am thinking "The Departed" will be a big one this week, and it’s a good film, but I went  another way, of course, with one film I have talked about before but, I love it, so I am repeating this film yet again. It’s fun to check out Wandering Through The Shelves to find out what everyone else has chosen. Here are my 3...

1. WHITE HEAT-1949

This gem is the film I have talked about before but it is brilliant and I love it, so here we go again. James Cagney plays one whack a doodle gangster who loves his mother in a unhealthy way. Mom enables her son and helps him lead his gang which includes Cagney’s no good wife, played by Virginia Mayo who was great as his snoring, two-timing slut. Enter the cops who decide to infiltrate the gang using Edmond O’Brien who becomes Cagney’s confidant when Cagney goes to prison to dodge something bigger. The menace that Cagney displays along with his vulnerability, in psycho kind of way, leads to some pretty epic scenes culminating in an explosive ending.


I recall seeing a photo in my Life book of William Holden crying out through the bars. From that moment I had to see the film and I finally did a decade ago, and I loved it. It’s based on a true story of Eric Erickson, a U. S. born Swedish citizen, who has business oil dealings in Germany during World War 2. He is approached by The Allies to spy on some big Nazi bastards with the help of the German underground. His contact is the beautiful Marianne (Lilli Palmer) who works for the resistance, and they fall in love but, it is unfortunately, short lived. This is another gem that is hard to find unless you have the DVD like I do or you watch it on YouTube. It is well acted, tense and shows that not all Germans were Nazi lovers. It's a must see!

3. SPY-2015

For a complete change of pace, I chose this very funny movie starring Melissa McCarthy as a low level spy helper who is the eyes and ears for the top spy played by Jude Law. He is killed and the one they have to choose to go undercover is, yup, McCarthy who is given a horrible name and is only supposed to follow the mark. She does more and it goes from there. I find this movie hilarious from the basement where she works that is infested with mice and bats, to the scene stealing Jason Statham as a dim-witted spy. I also love Rose Byrne and her big hair as the evil nemesis. This is so funny and I can watch this over and over again.

Which 3 would you choose?

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Wandering through the Shelves: Babysitters/Nannies

Oh I could have picked The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins and, I think, they will be popular this week, but I went with others, of course:). Head on over to Wandering Through The Shelves and find out what the others have picked. Here are my 3...


Bette Davis stars as the sweet( yup, sweet) understanding governess/nanny to a wealthy man played by Charles Boyer-both were at the top of their game and the box office when this film was done. It is an excellent film that should be better known that takes place in the mid 1800’s about a wealthy man who hires a nanny to care for his children. The children warm up quickly to her since she is very patient, sweet and listens to their needs especially since their mom is a whack job. The father, sees how great the nanny is and they fall in love much to the chagrin of whack-job mom. Boyer can’t handle the witch any more and does her in..yup he kills his wife and this film becomes more fun when the nanny is implicated. It is a well done film with Barbara O'Neil receiving and Oscar nomination as the cookoo for cocoa puffs mother. I haven’t seen this film in years but would love to revisit it again.


This is a bit of a campy film, which I always love, starring Richard Widmark as a sadsack pilot who comes to a hotel meeting up with his girlfriend, played by Anne Bancroft, who dumped him because he showed no heart. You actually hear Bancroft sing and she is pretty damn good! On a side note, you have little Elisha Cook Jnr, the elevator operator, who finds out a couple need a babysitter for the evening so he mentions his niece, played by...Marilyn Monroe. They hire Monroe to watch over their daughter, not knowing this gal is slightly off her nut. She tries on the wife’s nightie and who should see her from his room window but horny toads Widmark. Little does he know that Monroe just got out of the nut ward and is quite the unstable lass (Monroe was unstable and never got the right treatment being the 50’s). I was actually impressed by Monroe’s acting in this flick who plays her character well and should be the last person to babysit.

3. UNCLE BUCK-1989

I love John Candy who died way too young at 43. He started in Second City and was brilliant on SCTV and became famous in movies often directed by John Hughes. This is one of them which is hilarious from the car he drives, to his talk with the school assistant principal. Parents with 3 kids need to travel to care for a parent who is ill but they can’t find a babysitter. Reluctantly, they call his brother, who still needs to grow up himself. Enter, John Candy with a car that reminds me of one I used to drive, who says he has no problem babysitting the kids. The 2 smaller kids( one played by Macaulay Culkin) don’t give him too much of an issue but the oldest, a teen with an attitude, makes him work for his money..or lack there of. During the time he takes care of the 3, he grows up a little as well. This is a fun 80’s comedy that is a nice movie to see and one that makes you laugh.

Thankfully, I never babysat kids..I made sure I told my mom I never wanted to do this and I never did..Thank the Heavens:) Which films would you choose?

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

How To Deal With Difficult Clients-Part 2-Tears, Fears and Hiccups

I hope you have read my part one of my 3 part series in the life of a Credit Counsellor and the variety of people we must deal with on a regular basis. If anyone deals with the public, you understand all the issues that come up. I am not focusing on the wonderful clients, which there are many and, shall I say, I see most of, but the unique people that can never leave your mind or, in some cases, your senses.

1. PERVS AND CREEP SHOWS- It is inevitable that women will have to deal with these creeps who think they are God's gift to women even though they are missing teeth, wear Ode de Brute aftershave and literally point the finger at you and wink (shudder). I have had more than one client want to buy me coffee to "get to know me better" and one who bought me flowers! There was one man who came into our agency and when I asked him what I can help him with, his eyes locked onto my boobs and refused to look anywhere else. I mean, I know I have bodacious Ta-ta's  but they are meant for my hubby alone (well, maybe Hugh Jackman too).  I literally bent down to make eye contact with him and motioned with my hands to look at my face. He finally got the hint and actually looked at my face. One of the reasons we don't like to take cash any more are the places people keep their money and I am not talking in weird looking wallets. One man, who had a sweating problem and wore those "wife-beater" shirts, would take out his $840, all in 20's, from inside that shirt...the money had a few black chest hairs still attached plus they were literally soaking wet. The worst perv goes to one of my clients who came in to make a payment wearing mechanic overalls. At that time, the reception desk was literally a desk with no barrier like glass..or barbed wire. He had that overall unbuttoned so low that I thought the fleas would pore out. When I asked for the $425, where do you think he pulled the money from? Take a guess?  Yup, with a pervy smile, he leaned his torso forward so it hit the edge of  the desk, stuffed his hand down the front and with a smile, pulled out.....the money. What did I do? I looked at him, tilted my head and just said, "Really?" I took the money, counted it, gave  him a receipt and mentioned to him that I will be washing my hands with bleach and if he ever pulls a stunt like this again, the police will know.  So what does one do...I believe with those 2 big pervs, I did the right thing because I won't stand for any crap.

A. Get a Sharp spoon and do the Bobbit?
B.  Put on a hazmat suit before dealing with these creeps?
C.  Feel special and think, "My prince has come" and joke and flirt with them?
D. Stand your ground, realize this is harassment, and call them on it or simply tell them to leave and inform your boss. Inform your boss no matter what.

No person should deal with any type of harassment even from people you are sworn to help. They have no right to treat you like an object so, if you don't feel you have the ability to tell them to treat you with respect or leave, you tell your boss about the situation. I have no problem informing any person if they are treating me with disrespect. Yes, we must help people and we are there to help but not to be objectified.

2. DRUNKS/HIGH/TRIPPING-Thankfully, I have not had too many with this issue but it has happened. When it is 9 am and you bring the person into your office only to smell the distinct odour of booze, you know there is an issue. When you ask them how much they spend in alcohol, you must not laugh out loud when they claim to not drink. Now, We are dealing with people who smell quite strongly of that medicinal plant and you must do your best not to float out of the office with them since you are breathing it in from their clothes and pores. I have to admit, maybe I led a sheltered life, but I never knew when someone just took a snort of  the white stuff. My friend, who worked at reception, always knew because, unfortunately, her husband's brother and nephews were involved in that stuff. I would tell her how jumpy they were and unsettled and she would just say their nose cavity was probably gone. I never clued in...yup naive on my part. Drunks, on the other hand...well, I had one older man, who looked 110 but was only 61, who routinely came in drunker than a skunk (God I wish I was Foghorn Leghorn right now and come in with one of his quips). He would question what I was doing, fall asleep, fart...ahh the sweet mysteries of life. I told him to leave and opened the door. He refused but I told him I would call security(we had no security but he didn't know that). He finally got up looked at me and, right in my face, said "Boo". Ughhhh So what does one do?

A.  Bring out your stash and drink with them?
B.  Tell them they have sinned in your best Jerry Falwell voice?
C.  Trick them into spinning themselves around until they throw up?
D. Politely, but firmly, ask them to leave your office and come back when they are sober.

Of course, it's D, You may be dreaming about that glass of wine (or beer) that is waiting for you at home but you know better than to walk around like a drunk because those fun days at university or college are part of fond memories. Once again, you never judge the individual because these people once had bright careers and lives only to fall victim to addiction. This does not mean you must deal with these people when they are intoxicated from drink or drugs. We all have the right to ask the person to leave your office as we never deal with something that might do you harm. In fact, once they are in your office and are sober, you could broach the subject of seeking addiction counselling but only if you feel comfortable enough to do this.

3. EVERYONE ELSE'S FAULT/THE GOVERNMENT- Ahh, these wondrous people who have 6 credit cards, all maxed, a car loan for a big ass truck, a credit line, an overdraft, a finance company loan along with a sprinkling of payday loans, only to blame their ex, their kids, their job or, my fav, the government for their debt. I have had plenty of people in my office who have blamed everyone else except the one they see in the mirror. Now, yes, I believe the banks, finance companies and even the Government could make it more difficult for the average person to get 6 cards or that loan for Christmas but then, they would lose out on all the interest they make from the poor slobs trying to pay it back over 78 years (yes, on the credit card statements, I have seen the notice where it will take them 79 years, 9 months to pay the debt off since it is now mandatory, in Canada, to display this on their statements). The "goodies" we all see in the malls, online, stores, etc...make it very difficult to say "No" especially since it is so easy to get the stuff we want for ourselves or for the kids, but this is what we truly need to do and take responsibility for our actions. One client blamed the government for allowing him to get his big ass truck, a Dodge Ram, with all the bells and whistles, that he could not afford since his payment was $728 per month over 7 years. When I mentioned to give the truck up, he looked at me like I was ready to take his baby away. When you give suggestions to get out of debt, they look at you as if you were some squirrely nut because how dare we suggest they need to give up their cards and find a a much cheaper used car that their dad will give them for free. So what should one do?

A. Take them by their shirt and slap them silly?
B. Agree with them and decide to charge the parliament buildings with a stolen tank?
C. Take your rocket launcher(we all have them) and blow up their beloved big ass truck?
D. Listen but politely steer them back to the main issue, their debt and how to fix it?

Yes, after slapping them silly, you blow up their damn big ass truck with a big fat smile on your face. Nope, you can think it but never, ever act on this nor make them feel belittled for their way of thinking. You must do your best to understand their frustration with their current predicament but guide them to the various options they actually do have without laying blame. In the end, blame does no true service, but action does, so they need the help which is why they are in your office.  Patience is needed at this time and one must see their dilemma through their eyes even if you want to blow up their precious truck.

4. CRYING....AND CRYING....AND CRYING- I have many people each week who cry due to their sad circumstances and many people have gone through some heart-wrenching times that have led them into financial despair. Every person has times where they just cry but there are people who cry...and cry...and cry....and cry. I have had more than one person come in to my office and start crying and wailing over the loss of their marriage or their job. They tell me all the details as I give them a box of tissues so they can go on crying. After 20 minutes, I might have some basic questions answered but still need to find out their income, debts and expenses. When I ask when they separated from their spouse or lost their job, thinking it was 3 or 6 months ago, I find out it is 20 years ago! They talk as if this happened to them just recently and they refuse to veer towards anything that would make their life better. After trying to retrieve any information I need, an hour has passed and my next client is waiting. I inform them that they must give me some information quicker but, alas, they continue to cry and ask questions delaying my wish to die. OK, I won't die but, by this point, they have been in my office for over an hour and I still need to inform them of their options. Guess what? Yes, any option I give them, they cry and shoot down even though the options would help their cause.  what to do?

A. Throw water in their face and tell them to "Snap out of it!" in your best New York, Italian, Cher accent?
B. Cry with them and take Tequila shots?
C. Tell them their spouse is better off without them and kick them out
D.  Regardless how frustrating or irritating it may be, they are a human being and deserve your empathic approach.

You know, I had a hard time even writing down option C.  I could never, ever think of doing that to someone who is in constant distress. Now slapping them with water and drinking shots is another matter:). Of course, it is D because they truly need our listening ear and our empathy but we still must guide them through all the questions posed to them. I used to let  someone cry or give me a sob story for 20 minutes after I asked them how much they spend on groceries, but now, I nicely guide them and, yes, sometimes gently, interrupt them to answer the question so the meeting does not go on for 2 hours. You are there to help but not to be manipulated and, sometimes, this is what they want. You must present the options but you must know it is their choice whether they wish to take it or not. One thing I always ask is if they see a counsellor since there is almost always more to the story. Many do have a counsellor, others have family but some are alone and, if and when possible, you can see if they would be willing to see someone to help them move forward.

This is long winded but I wanted to speak about 4 this time. The last 3 of my top 10 on difficult clients will be here shortly....To be continued.