I have chosen to tell this story because personal and professional comments and criticism can be upsetting, even devastating to a practitioner, especially if they are new and trying to set up a practice.
I process all my e-book payments through an on-line merchant. A few days ago they forwarded me a message of complaint from an unhappy customer who couldn’t download an e-book.
This was meant to be a download of her book Holistic Reflexology but the payment does not lead to the download as stated it does and google has returned the emails to her as undeliverable many times. It seems she has closed her on line business but not closed off this part of it that allows her to take money for a service she is no longer providing. Maybe she is sick as she is quite old.
I strongly support the fact that if people don’t get what they pay for, they are entitled to receive a refund, especially online purchases, but politeness goes a long way in resolving any issue.
I don’t know whether I was hurt because someone thought I was selling a product which I no longer supplied, or angry because of the wording in the message, but I was stunned, and sat at my computer reading the message over and over.
It’s quite normal for emotions to rise suddenly when we are upset by something or someone, but what we do from there is a matter of choice. I can wallow in self-pity and become totally distracted and obsessed by what has happened, or I can take a more philosophical approach and see the incident as an experience which is directing me to something that needs my attention. Even from a philosophical perspective, it is not always immediately clear what the disruption is about.
Suffice to say there appeared to be a problem with the download. I checked everything from my end, even purchased all the books online to see they were delivered as expected, and everything was fine. I have no explanation as to why emails were returned to the customer.
So, what did I need to address in my life that required such an unpleasant message?
These are a few things that came to mind for me to consider! Issues related to:
Politeness, respect, graciousness, manners or pleasantness
Integrity, honesty or reliability; did my actions match my thoughts and theories
My website; was I still committed to encouraging others through my posts, blog and e-books
Internet Service Provider; was there a problem that I wasn’t aware of and settings needed to be changed
My health; I have had extremely good health over the years, but did I need a medical check-up as I was getting ‘quite old’
My age; was it time to change direction, how old is too old to give energy to something you are passionate about
How do you deal with complaints, challenges and unpleasant comments from your clients?
How do you manage difficult people?
Do you take negative feedback at face value, and feel you have failed
Do aggressive people convince you that you have done something wrong
Do dissatisfied customers challenge your integrity, and question your honesty
Do disgruntled clients complain about your abilities and the work you do
Do clients want guarantees that you can heal them
Sometimes things happen that appear to be out of our control. Actually, they aren’t. We agree to everything on some level of our consciousness. No one does anything to me. They do things for me. They draw my attention to something that I need to address. But, some people can spend days, months or even years blaming others for something, rather than focus on discovering what the incident was about, and what action needs to be taken.
It really doesn’t hurt to assess why and how we do things every so often, and sometimes it takes another person to start the process.