I believe in fallibility*

Everyone makes mistakes, get over it, suck it up, move on. We all makes mistakes – like we all breathe and crap. The question is how do you judge yourself? cialis canadian pharmacy by their quantity, frequency, type or resolution? We make mistakes all the time, we struggle against them, we try to prevent them, we try to hid them from view, we even deny them after the fact. Why bother? that only breeds stress and guilt. I say WTF – accept and embrace them.

Aside from perhaps Homeland Security, there isn’t anyone watching me closely enough to count my mistakes for me, I have to do it myself. I average about one sales order related mistake a week. That may sound like a lot, but considering how many ‘other’ types of mistakes I have to squeeze into a week, that’s a nice low manageable number. I used to have a goal of zero order mistakes a week, but that just stressed me out and encouraged me to rationalize them into non-existence. “Oh, that one doesn’t count because the delivery was late” etc, etc. Now, I look for that mistake, I relish it when I find it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t judge myself on the NUMBER of mistakes, sometimes I find two or even three, but then it evens out over time. I judge myself on their resolution.

I keep trying to find the fastest, best ways to resolve my mistakes. “I shorted a customer by an eraser, send them two.” I take full responsibility for my mistakes and their rectification even if they were beyond my control. “Did I sell out of something and have to wait too long to ship, I refund the shipping.” These are my mistakes, and I don’t share them with anyone, even though I would like to.

I tell the customer the truth – “No my mother didn’t die,” “we didn’t have a blizzard,” the simple mundane, boring and often preventable truth: “I misplaced your order” mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. (Despite what they tell you, you CAN fall on your sword more than once) Sometimes I think it shocks them with its triviality, especially the other tradespeople, very “for the grace of god go I.”

Other times, it just winds them up, the customer wants to feel special and that nothing short of blizzard or some unnatural act should have prevented THEIR order from getting processed. C’est la vie. There is a limit to my groveling. I don’t sell medical supplies or invaluable object d’art – what I sell can be easily replaced or reshipped with a few strokes of the keyboard. That and an apology is the best I can offer. If that’s not good enough, I just refund the order and say “don’t let the door hit you on the way out.” Another reason NOT to vend only through parental oversight corporate structures like Ebay or Amazon etc… One of the priceless benefits of running your own entity is the freedom to tell a customer to ‘get stuffed’.

I’m fallible, I fail a lot, probably more than some, not as much as others. But an adequate amount for me. I don’t stress about it, it doesn’t keep me up at night (i have other reasons for that) I just deal with my alloted number of mistakes and move on. Sometimes I have to deal with other people’s mistakes, which I generally do with good graces and a limited amount of grumbling. Some mistakes are orphaned and have no claimant. I don’t think that’s very good over all, because sometimes they just travel around looking for an owner to attach itself to. But I digress.

*apologies to NPR’s This I Believe series

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