I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thin Skinned

(Ed's note: Yes, I know. I missed two days of blogging, thus rendering me not technically qualified for NaBloPoMo. A bit like when you've snuck a bar of chocolate when you've been on a diet, the important thing is to go back to eating healthily rather than beat yourself up about the Cadbury Fruit & Nut Bar. This is me eating healthily, from a blogging POV.)

I got a nasty gram from a client today. We made and delivered a dozen gorgeous cupcakes to her daughter on her birthday. The client failed to request any special decorations, so we just made them beautifully birthday-esque and sent them out. I got ripped to shreds in this email, because she didn't complete the order with any special requests and so we didn't put ladybugs on the cupcakes.There were no ladybugs on them because she never asked for them, but this was somehow MY fault.

Her daughter got a beautiful, heartfelt gift. Sent with love by her Mum, created and delivered with love by us.

I don't see the problem here, do you?

The fact is, there is bound to be some sort of back story here. Her ungrateful daughter did not thank her Mum properly. The Mum feels guilty for not doing the order right and is looking for someone to blame. The Mum is just having a bad day. The daughter cried about her cupcakes. Who knows? All I know is, I was the recipient of an email telling me I was unreliable, my service was crap, the cupcakes were a rip off, that she could have used any cupcake company in Melbourne, that she did not have faith we would deliver in the first place, and that she won't use my service again or recommend the business to anyone.

Oh, how I would love to tell you that knowing her reaction has nothing to do with me means that I shrugged it off.

(...but how boring this post would be if that was the case!)

I did shrug it off ... eventually. But not before feeling particularly irritated about it, wondering why this woman felt I needed to be her target and basically being fairly crumpled about it. I suppose I've got a very thin skin - I take these things personally even when I know I shouldn't and even when I know I could not or would not have done things any differently.

People talk about growing a thicker skin as they meander their way through life's challenges, but I kinda hope I never do. On the one hand, it's really NOT fun letting those sorts of things get to you, but on the other it just means that I love and care enough about these things that it hurts when someone tells me I've disappointed them.

I think there are worse things than being someone who loves and cares too much, don't you?

Of course, the real loser in this situation is not me, and not the birthday girl. It's the Mum who cannot see that she did something lovely for someone and that is surely worth celebrating. What a terrible loss of time, energy, and emotion that is. I'm guessing I got over my irritation long before she got over hers.

Yes, I think I'll keep my thin skin. 

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