Taking the Time to Think

How often do we do things without thinking about their consequences or considering options? Several weeks ago, I had an altercation with a U-Haul Manager in a store. I was an irate customer and felt I hadn’t been given good customer service because I had rented a vehicle that wouldn’t meet my needs. The Manager refused to acknowledge accountability and kept repeating that they delivered what I ordered. “Of course you did,” I countered. “But there nothing on the truck or your web site that tell me an appliance dolly won’t work with this size truck because there is no ramp!” I was irate because I had already filled the wrong truck with $25 of gas and driven across town before discovering the problem.

The manager was so focused on being right and standing his ground that we argued for 30 minutes about $25 because he refused to accept any responsibility for the error. The more he refused to accept responsibility for any fault, the more upset I became.

In retrospect, we were both wrong. He was wrong because first – he didn’t stop and think about customer service – what did his customer need. He was just filling the routine order and was not even listening or paying attention. He was wrong because he argued with me vehemently over $25, ruined U-Haul’s name as far as I’m concerned, and in the end – gave me the refund anyway when he saw me pick up his business card and identify him. He was safe being hateful when he was anonymous.

I was wrong because I let it get under my skin and I became angry. I didn’t think with my head and approach the situation with calmness which escalated the exchange. I let my emotions get in the way and soon, the situation was blown out of proportion. I know better and yet, I misbehaved.

If either of us had stopped to think about how to handle the situation, it could have been resolved in 5 minutes instead of the wasted time and emotion we gave to it. If we had just stopped and taken the time to think…

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