Slings and arrows of outrageous fortune in small businesses

Literary truths

I have borrowed from Shakespeare in the title, but also remember Enid Blyton who inspired me to be a bookworm as a child:

“What does it matter if things go wrong?
l sing and I’ll whistle my brave little song.”

Not that I was very keen on Noddy himself,whose song this was, but things do go wrong in business and sometimes there is absolutely nothing we can do about it. I asked a former client if she wanted her private papers delivered back by me when I was passing, or to have them sent by courier. She chose the latter and with the benefit of twenty-twenty hindsight I should have chosen a local courier rather than the international company which had been recommended to me. Of course the parcel got lost.

Horrible accidents

No amount of compensation could actually compensate for the loss of unique papers. The couriers will not anyway pay compensation on something which has no intrinsic value. The former client is naturally very upset and keeps pressing me to extract something from the delivery firm or get back her papers. This is a hopeless task. They are one of the largest home delivery companies in Europe, they operate entirely on-line and have no telephone number for customer service and no published numbers for any of their offices or depots. They are all apparently ex-directory.

All my correspondence with this company has to be done via email. Generously they have refunded the fee I paid them to take the package; a whole £7.14. I have been as pleasant as can be with the ex-client, who is very short with me, but there is just nothing I can do to make matters better, though I will never use this company again.

So while I will keep bashing away at the courier company I have to move on, but it is stressful when people are unhappy with my business and me, even though the fault is not mine. I do care very much, but I cannot help any more.

Picking ourselves up

We have to look beyond upsetting events in business. We have to relax and de-stress. Following the latest telephone call from the lady whose papers are lost I went to the gym and felt better afterwards.

We have to look to the future and put behind us that which was out of our control. We have to keep focussed, to do what is right, and not let anyone down even though multi-national companies dump on us.

How do you get past unpleasant incidents and work off your stress?

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