There are times when you are totally entitled to feel outraged,trodden on, and upset by the behaviours and attitude of others. Like when someone runs over your dog, or snubs you at a networking meeting, or delivers a couch that does not match the rest of your furniture.
Your sense of ‘that’s not nice’ becomes a raging blow torch of ‘that’s unfair and I want to stamp you into little pieces for it!’
Your suffering turns you into a trigger happy cowboy, strutting the streets, fingers tapping the pistol handle, ready for a quick-draw – anything to let loose the pent up fury. And any dog or pony will do.
That was me – itching for a fight, after a long series of customer service run-ins. The couch arrived. It was the wrong colour. This, after weeks of waiting and booking a day off work waiting for the delivery. (We can send monkeys into space, but can we narrow a delivery time to a two-hour period? Sheesh.)
The customer service people promised an attendant to come around and take photos. They did. And then nothing. Days of nothing. We rang. And then rang again. They promised to send the assessor dude out again. In two weeks. The appointment came and went; no assessor guy. A message on the machine said, “We’re sorry, Jason can’t come around as someone has taken the fabric matching swatches out of the store. He’ll call to re-schedule.”
No one called to re-schedule. It had now been four weeks since the couch was delivered, and we still could not sit on it. It still did not match the other furniture.
By now my customer service sensibilities were on full red alert, my interior decorating pride mortified, and my knickers were well and truly in a twist.
I was ready and roaring. By the time the teenager they had in customer service picked up the phone, I was practically spitting sparks down the line at him. “not good enough…wasting my valuable time…we just want a couch that matches – is that too hard to ask?…no one answers our calls…”and on and on. I was shaking like a rag doll strapped to a jack hammer.
The poor kid said, “I’ll get Dean to call you back.”
Dean never called.
Who wants to get on a call with a pint-sized Tasmanian Devil who’s just discovered tobasco sauce in his muesli?
I have to admit, I quite enjoyed standing up for myself and having a go at the Big Business That Was Trying To Rob Me Of My Proper Couch.
But it didn’t get me the results I wanted.
You guys already know that you get what you think and feel about most. So the more I raged on about the lack of customer service, guess what I got? More of the same.
After blowing my top on the couch incident, I retired to the corner to lick my wounds and gather myself. Clearly a new strategy was needed.
The Universe has a wonderful way of testing your resolve. This week after my workshop, I got a call from the recording sound technician, Gerry. “I’m afraid I have some bad news…” Oh no…here we go… “We lost the last ten minutes of your presentation. We don’t know what happened, it’s never done this before. Can you come in and re-record it?”
The fingers twitched on the quick-draw I can tell you, and my mind showed graphic images of Gerry’s head exploding like a watermelon.
But no – this was not the way of the Force, I could hear Yoda whispering. So I breathed, and arranged to meet and re-record the segment.
At the studio I realised that Gerry did not do this deliberately. Nor did the couch guys set out to sabotage my interior design.
Rarely do people deliberately plan to be meanies. If they do, they deserve compassion because it is no fun to live in a small and nasty emotional world.
After the recording, I said to Gerry, “Clearly this was not your fault. It’s been a pain in the bum for both of us. Rather than make a big song and dance about the cost, how about you just burn me an extra five CDs?”
Gerry said, “how about I give you ten?”
Well you could have bowled me over with Annie Oakley’s cowboy hat.
From a place of compassion and peacemaking, I got double the result I was angling for.
And boy oh boy, that did feel good.
Couch? Bring it on!