So I make mistakes sometimes…
Yes my friends I am far from perfect and sometimes it can be incredibly frustrating especially when I do incredibly stupid stuff. I don’t think I’m any worse than the average bloke but yesterday I had a pretty big screw up moment on my podcast and it got me thinking.
We all have angry people in our lives who blow off at people at undeserved times. People that overreact to everything and make you feel terrible for living. Those people are the worst.
Hopefully we also have the mothers and loving people who are there for us and think for the most part everything we do is brilliant and great. These people are priceless.
But what I was thinking about today is a more commonplace type of person who we interact with at work, school or whatever. For the most part these interactions are cordial and polite. Then you have the occasional total jerk who is unreasonable and they are the worst.
Oddly enough, I think you can tell the true character of a person in these types of everyday interactions. Not when they are polite or rude but when you legitimately do something wrong and how they respond.
I have worked in the service industry renting out vacation houses for my Dad. Occasionally there would be a problem and people would respond in various ways. One lady made me come up and re-clean the house the Sunday before Christmas and proceeded to lecture me about how to run a good business.
Then one time I accidentally doubled booked one of the houses so we had to move a family mid-way through their trip into another house. This was a huge pain and she had every right to be seriously miffed at me. I had screwed up and made their vacation less pleasant. Unlike the Christmas person where the house was reasonably clean, this was a legitimate major screw up on my part.
But how did she respond? She was the kindest she could be and super understanding. Of course I gave them a huge discount and apologized profusely but they were so nice (I offered to give the Christmas lady a discount but she was offended that I would think it was all about money…).
Yesterday I screwed up on the podcast and we had to rerecord basically the entire podcast over again. I was so embarrassed. In fact, it was a good thing it was an audio podcast because I was crying. This was a busy actress and she had every right to be irritated with my incredibly amateurish mistake. And who knows maybe deep inside she was annoyed but she didn’t show it. She was the picture perfect example of kindness and reassurance. She even told me I had to stop apologizing! LOL.
Another example I thought of is when I used to work for a Teriyaki place here in Utah called Hogi Yogi. One day we ran out of chicken and this woman unloaded on us about customer service and how we were a garbage establishment. I get being disappointed but you would think we were substituting puppies for chicken the way she was going off.
I am sure all of you have examples of when you’ve screwed up and people have either not let you forget it or been kind. I think more than the big moments of adversity or joy it is perhaps these every day interactions that show what kind of Christian we truly are?When someone has legitimately made our lives more uncomfortable or difficult do we treat them with kindness or do we let them have it?
I’m not going to pretend I always respond the way that I should but it is something I am definitely going to work on because I know in those moments when people have been forgiving and kind it has meant so much to me.
What about you? I’d love to hear your experiences on this topic both in being understanding when people have made mistakes and when someone has been patient with you. Please share in the comments. Thanks! Sure love ya!