Stuff happens. You can’t always be perfect and people don’t expect you to be.
But when something goes wrong you have a great opportunity to learn a number of interesting things about people in general and yourself in particular, as well as how to handle such situations.
As an example, here’s something that happened to me ...
I have a free newsletter that I send by email for Caring and Coping at www.CaringAndCoping.com/. When someone signs up for it at my website, I send them a “Welcome” message to thank them for subscribing and to send them the most recent issue.
Last week I accidentally sent this “Welcome” message to my entire list of over 1000 existing subscribers!
I realized what had happened within five minutes, and immediately sent a message to the entire list (on purpose this time!) to apologize and to say not to worry -- they were not on the list twice and would not be receiving duplicate newsletters in the future.
The reaction was immediate and surprising, to say the least.
One of the first to respond told me that he never subscribed (remember, this message was thanking people for subscribing), that I better not charge him for it or he will report me to the FBI (!), and that I was a “stinking con-artist”.
What made this especially interesting is that this particular individual has been receiving my newsletters every month for over a year!!!
Several others told me that they never subscribed and to remove them from the list. Again, all of them had, in fact, subscribed and had been receiving the newsletter for many months.
I have never nor would I ever send the newsletter to anyone who hadn’t specifically requested it.
Then there were the “faithful”; the many nice people who sent a quick note such as “Don’t worry about it,” “You’re spending too much time in the office,” and “It’s always nice to hear from you, even if by mistake.”
Here are some things that I learned:
1. You can’t please everyone, no matter what you do. Some people are just cranky, so you have to just let them be cranky! Nothing you say or do will placate them.
2. Sometimes you just have to let go.