I felt great this morning until a customer in a defensive mood called my office. I had sent her a notice that an invoice several months old was unpaid although she had recently paid one that was brand new. I’m sure most people don’t like to learn that an account they think is paid in full is not, but most of them take it as a routine reminder. This woman did not.
She insisted that she paid every bill she received and also said the notice should have been addressed to the bookkeeping department.
Of course, I had sent her the notice because I felt that either the invoice or payment may have been lost in the mail; and now my thought was that the invoice might have been mislaid in bookkeeping, so I said, “There’s many a slip twixt the cup and the lip.”
While I meant to absolve the aggravated woman of all blame by this mild joke, it didn’t work out well. Her voice dripped acid as she said, “That goes both ways.”
I kept my temper (and hurt feelings) in check and spoke softly as I suggested she ask the bookkeeping department to check on the unpaid item. Inside I was choking back lava.
Just like that, my lovely day was spoiled, not because of what she said, but because of the “nastiness” with which she said it.
As I sat at my desk afterward, trying to calm down and thinking about how quickly a cranky person could ruin my day, I realized how many times in the past I may have been responsible for ruining SOMEONE ELSE’S day.
It was a sobering thought and I hope I won’t forget it. I want to be the kind of person that makes your day lighter and brighter, not the kind that makes you feel like crying as I did this morning.
Read more articles, stories and poems by Betty Killebrew at: www.trovemagaine.com