First, I can't thank you enough for allowing me the summer off. But more about that in a moment. Today's post is about the subtle difference our language can make. And though the lesson took place in a business realm, you may find it also applies to your personal life.
The Dealership Incident
My car had a recall—which is always fun. So I bit the bullet and made an appointment for right after Labor Day. Bad idea. The dealership was slammed. So even though I'd requested a loaner car two weeks ago, I was now told it would be a two-hour wait.
Thankfully, the dealership had a Plan B: arranging to have Lyft take me where I needed to go. Boom. Let's do it. They even Lyfted me back to the dealership at the end of the day.
Big problem: When I got there they couldn't find my key fob.
And I didn't have the extra. Lesson learned: Go get your car as soon as they say it's ready. If you wait till the place is almost closed, this is what can happen. And of course always carry the extra key fob.
We are now in what my brother calls "the hostage phase."
I have no idea how long it lasted. I'm glad I didn't keep track. But after several minutes of frustration, I reminded myself rather sternly to "cheer up." Someone dear to me had just gotten wonderful news that day—another good medical report. I wasn't about to let the joy of that news get buried.
Besides, by now I'm standing outside the dealership in the shade, there's a cool breeze, and I've got my trusty earpiece, music and water bottle. Hey Siri. Play 'Give Thanks.' It helped. Music almost always does.
By now everyone at the dealership is sailing right by me, head down, avoiding eye contact.
I manage to find this amusing. Finally when the main guy shot past me again, I told him with a smile, "We've reached the point where I'd rather be me than you." I'm not sure he saw the humor.
But a few minutes later, he thanked me for how I was handling this, which put us back on the same team. The other guy, who I'm sure meant well, just kept saying "Sorry." No "We'll get this figured out." Just "Sorry."
Somewhere in all of this I heard Tony Robbins saying "Manage your state." I did. But hearing "Sorry" over and over again only called more attention to the problem.
Moral of the story
Apologies are nice and sometimes they are necessary. Of course. But for small stuff, I think most of us would rather be thanked for our patience than reminded of our plight. It's all about which one you want to reinforce.
Rest of the story: It's Wednesday morning. They found the key fob. Traffic in these parts is not getting lighter. So on my way home from the dealership, I texted to ask if they would have the car dropped off to me. They said yes. It should be here any minute. Thank you.
It's been a long time coming, but I'm pleased to report the new site, GinaDeLapa.com, is up. I invite you to check it out! Going forward, you can look for more Monday-morning inspiration. You've been missed. And if you just joined, welcome! It's great to be back :-)