December 09, 2013

Angry? Take a Moment to Check for Misunderstanding

If you're angry with someone, take a breath, think it through and check why. Chances are it may be a misunderstanding.

Getting the car serviced for the first time at a shop highly recommended by a good friend. The shop phoned early afternoon to say they'd started work at 1:00 and things were going well. Near 5:00 pm I wondered why they hadn't called yet to tell me to pick it up, so I phoned, and was told it wasn't going to be done until 1:00 tomorrow. Tomorrow! I didn't say anything nasty, but I was certainly rather frosty.

Then an hour or so later it hit me that perhaps I'd misinterpreted the first call, that it wasn't about 1:00 today, but 1:00 tomorrow, so perhaps they *had* covered the bases. I hastily called the garage at 6:30 and fortunately the owner was still there. I told him I wanted to apologize for sounding cranky, and explained how I thought I'd misheard... We both ended up laughing, and I felt relieved -- relieved that neither of us would spend an evening with a sour taste...

It never hurts to double-check when you feel the righteous gorge rising, and an apology can make everyone feel better, including the one doing the apologizing - in this case, me.

Posted by Paul at December 9, 2013 08:12 PM