Take it from me: the girl with a high demand job and high anxiety to accompany in the city that never sleeps. My company email is linked to my personal iPhone so even when I'm not physically in the office I'm still *always* working. Supporting an office of high wired traders and salesmen has systemically filtered down onto me; I am a product of my environment in midtown Manhattan.
In the world of finance, specifically investment banking, busy business is cyclical which is relative to my specific role in the company. When the tide is high during the up cycle, the demands of traders, salespeople, management and external clients are never-ending and more often than not, they are demanded simultaneously equating to the classic textbook case of STRESS. How do you prioritize what absolutely needs to be completed first? The trader persistently asking for his client meeting tomorrow to be catered with kosher bagels and oh can you make sure the boardroom has dial-ins secured for the conference call?, or the salesman who needs to fax his reimbursement claim to the health insurance company because if I don't get this claim filed by the end of the day I'm going to lose all that money!
Stay cool, stay calm, but most importantly stay professional. Just because they're a couple of bigwigs barking requests in your face over each other doesn't mean their scatterbrained demeanors need to transfer onto yours. This scenario may not sound all that complicated but in the heat of the moment, when this happens the high strung intensity of it all can feel ever impending and as if your life depends on it. To prioritize these requests, fax the salesmen's reimbursement claim first. The urgency is based on money being on the line (when is money not involved?). Kosher bagels, lox and the IT department will still be there at the end of the day, assuming the stock market hasn't drastically plummeted or this current business cycle isn't in the middle of Passover (that's no chametz for all you non-Jews, including me!).
Patience is a virtue because there are things that cannot be controlled by your own doing. Accept the things that cannot be changed, but learn to ride out the ups and downs that come with the adversity. Maintaining a poker face and attitude is a better outfit than being frazzled by unwarranted stresses. Your sanity, and colleagues, will appreciate the professional approach rather than reacting to the hysteria. *Plays Lady GaGa*