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07 January 2010 @ 11:58 am
In which I am puzzled  
Goodwood Furniture (Henceforth GWF): Hello, Goodwood Furniture, may I help you?

Me: Yes, my name is Janet Miles, and I need to start by apologizing. I had a furniture delivery scheduled yesterday, and I managed to (a) give you my cell phone number rather than my husband's, and (b) leave my phone in the car, so your delivery driver tried to drop off the bookcase and couldn't reach anyone. I am perfectly willing to re-pay the fee for a re-delivery.

GWF: Oh, my husband does the deliveries, and he's not here today, but if you call back tomorrow, or I could have him call you, you can work something out.

Me: Okay, sure, thank you. Let me give you *three* numbers: here's my cell phone, here's my work phone, and here's my husband's cell phone. And if you could please pass along my abject apologies.

GWF: Not a problem; when I start walking on water, I may start getting upset about things like this. Thank you for being so nice about it.

Me: Thank *you*, and I'll look forward to your husband's call.


Here's what's puzzling me: Why in the world is she thanking me for being nice when it was my fault in the first place?
 
 
griffen on January 7th, 2010 05:47 pm (UTC)
Because most people blame the service, even when they know it was their own fault. You, my dear lady, are unusual in that you accept your responsibility in situations like this and make it very clear to the other party or parties that you know it's your responsibility. That's rarer than rare in today's society.

I admire you for being able to do that. It's still hard sometimes for me to take responsibility when I make an error like this one (or worse). I hope to emulate you, and try to. (Perhaps I need a button: "WWJMD?")
Stephen Harrissweh on January 7th, 2010 06:48 pm (UTC)
It's hard for me (a perfectionist) to accept that I've made a mistake. But what I found works for me is realising there's no real downside to admitting to these types of mistake, and plenty of upside.

For example: A month ago I overslept and was going to work from home, but I'd lost my remote-access SecureID token and my boss wasn't happy with me. When we'd worked out how to get me access I wrote him an email explaining my thought processes and how I'd made this mistake and apologising for it... and he phoned me up thanking me!

I think it's because most people expect to enter a blame-throwing argument when things go wrong; the person who proactively admits a mistake just makes life easier for everyone and people can get down to resolving the issue in a much calmer rationale manner.

Just be careful to not accept legal liability in a car crash :-)
Xiphias Gladiusxiphias on January 7th, 2010 10:46 pm (UTC)
Car crash, or any situation involving the police. One technique the police use, which works especially well on youngsters, is to tell the accused that the victim really feels bad, and, if they just write a note apologizing for what they did, then that would show a good faith on the accused's part.

This is how the police get written confessions. It often works even if the accused didn't do it.