“Almost all of our sorrows spring out of our relations with other people.” – Arthur Schopenhauer
Certainly I think that we can bring misery on ourselves by bad behaviour which upsets others.
The other day I was in a local store which is part of a small chain. I was browsing in the aisles when I heard shouting. As I rounded a corner I saw a woman with a dog on a lead leaving the shop. She was clearly upset at apparently having been informed of a “no dogs” policy. The store is one that has only a very limited amount of food. It caters more for general household items.
The only thing I actually heard the dog owner say was “What? You try picking my dog up!”, presumably in reply to some comment from a female shop worker who then appeared in pursuit. I really mean “pursuit” because she followed the dog person out of the shop and about fifteen yards up the street, shouting at the top of her voice all sorts of abuse.
Now we all have difficult customers and prospects. I have no idea what transpired prior to the scene I witnessed. However, no matter what the dog owner had done or said, I was more appalled by the behaviour of the shop worker. Of course I left the shop immediately and did not make the purchase I had intended; nor will I shop there again.
No matter what flak we take in the course of our business life, we cannot afford to react adversely in temper, in spite, in revenge or due to our general dislike of a person. It does us no good getting emotional and it wastes mental energy; energy which should be applied to our business an personal lives.
It is not cowardly to bite our lips and move on. It is right to look to the future. It is wrong to shout at a customer or embarrass other customers. It is wrong to flame people on-line no matter how wronged you think you are. Bearing grudges wears us down. Bad temper wears us down and it drives customers away. Yet although the bile exhibited in the local shop is rare, all too often I see unpleasant comments in on-line forums, on Facebook and even on professional websites.
Reputations are built with care and through hard work and planning, and through displaying good character. How easily are they destroyed!
Have you seen any bad behaviour recently? How did it make you feel?
Related post: Online reputations again