Today I did something really stupid.

I keep thinking about it. I start to forget and then, WHAM – it creeps back into my mind and I feel small all over again.

So I’m having a hard time letting it go.

Selfishly, I’m hopeful this blog post will help me with that issue.

I forgot … completely forgot … how to be compassionate. How to, even for a second, think like a somewhat compassionate person.

Without going too deep into the people and players, let me just say I got angry. A supplier didn’t do what he said he was going to do which resulted in me being very inconvenienced. He gave a really lame excuse (at least in my eyes) and when I called his bluff he had to dance around it a bit and basically proceeded to tell me he was sorry he couldn’t help because he was very busy with his second business.

Basically – he didn’t really care about my issue and he let me know it.

Isn’t this on the customer service 101 list of DON’T EVER DO?????

Well then I got really mad. Here is where I went wrong. Instead of letting the anger sit for a little bit (which would have resulted in some dissipation of the emotion, I am sure) I wrote him right back.

I told him I was disappointed.

I might have accused him of not being honest.

And then I challenged (no, I JUDGED) his way of running his business. I might have insinuated he sucked at it.

For a few hours at least, it felt kinda good. I mean, I told him what I really thought – gave him a piece of my mind, let him know it was not OK by me that he didn’t care about me as a customer.

When I received his response text (while I was working with a client, I might add) I started to heat up. You know that feeling when something has happened and you just can’t go back, and you KNOW you were wrong and you feel stupid and small and awful and sick and like you want to fall into any size hole in the floor that would take you?

Yep, that. This man’s car broke down and he’s had to take a second job to pay for a cancer drug that might help his wife of 32 years who is dying of Cancer.

And he really let me have it. He told me I had no right to judge him when I didn’t even know his circumstances.

Now, some might say it was not fair of him to make it personal (after-all, my rant was completely professional) – which is kinda true. And others might say he could be further scamming me with a sob story.

In any case, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is how that made me feel. He should have just said I’m an awful person and it would have had the same effect.

Of course, I wrote with an apology – that I never intended to judge and that I was very sorry. That I understood. That I wished him well.

He never responded.

So, people – here’s the lesson – at least, my take away :

Try not to be too harsh when you feel someone isn’t meeting your expectations. Maybe you don’t know their whole story. Maybe they are doing the very best they can. Maybe they have it worse than you. Maybe they just need some compassion. Someone to say “it’s OK, I understand”.

Next time, I’ll be checking my ego at the door and thinking about today.