To clarify, I hate making mistakes for which I must apologize.
I screwed up yesterday. Plain and simple, I goofed.
I schedule the furniture pickups at the nonprofit where I work, and somehow I printed out two copies of one request and neglected to print another one, so we missed one woman’s items.
I regret that she waited and we didn’t come. I felt awful when I found out.
So I called to apologize and see when we could reschedule – and you know what? She made me feel worse. I did not expect her to be happy, but she went on and on about how long she waited, etc. etc.
All I could do is to keep saying how sorry I was. And she hardly let me talk for continuing to tell me that she waited all day long. All. Day. Long.
That experience made me think about how I react when I’m faced with someone who has disappointed me. I am sure there have been times when I’ve done the same thing to them – repeating how disappointed I am and not giving them a chance to correct the problem or redeem themselves.
That’s not really fair to the person who has made the blunder. No one is perfect, so we’re going to make mistakes. We are human after all.
Unless it is a rare occasion where a person is a blame thrower and doesn’t take responsibility for anything they do wrong (I have known a few people who constantly point the finger at someone/anyone else), the person who messed up likely is already saying they are sorry and feeling bad for the situation.
Continuing to rub it in doesn’t do anyone any good. That creates a situation where they are too busy apologizing to be able to offer a solution and you are too busy being angry to listen to any options. And then you just carry the anger.
Instead, be gracious. Express your disappointment – once. Let them apologize. Then move on.
Work together to figure out a fix, and then let it go. Life is too short to dwell on little disappointments. Find a resolution and get on with your life.
How do you react when someone disappoints you?