There aren't many things that really get me angry anymore. I will share two. The first is when I have a comedy of errors, where one thing after another goes wrong and frustration builds up. The second one is if you challenge my integrity. The second one happened recently at a Honda service shop. It was my first time there after hearing great things about this particular shop. My initial experience after dropping the car off was very good. They gave me a loaner car that was beautiful. They took my inconvenience and made it convenient for me. A great initial customer service experience just like I heard about. The next morning something happened that threw off my day for a few hours. I got a call from the service technician. "Ken, you took some keys from the counter that weren't yours. We have you on camera. We checked it out and we know it's you. We need you to bring those back."
Back up a few steps. I talked to Holly in the morning and she was so kind and helpful. When I was checking out from the table here's what happened. Ken, we won't have a loaner car for you for 45 minutes. Holly came over and said. No, I put one aside for him it's ready. She was holding keys and she put them down on the table in front of me along with some papers. Obviously I took that as those were my keys. When the technician finished getting me checked in he put other papers on top of those papers and I left holding the set of keys and all the papers. I got into my loaner car and there was another set of simple keys with the exact same key fob in the cup holder. I was confused and really should have gone back in to ask why I had the extra keys with the Wawa card on it. I had no idea that Holly had just checked out a customer. She was holding their paperwork and keys when she came to tell me that there was a car ready for me. She put those keys and papers down in front of me. I mistakenly took someone else's keys and paperwork and went to work for the day. This is a huge misunderstanding. I'm kind of a moron for not realizing that they weren't regular keys but I was kind of in a hurry and I didn't process that. My keen powers of observation were not working, so I do take some blame on my end.
Let's go back to the phone call from the technician. "Ken, you have keys that don't belong to you. We watched the surveillance and we know that you took it. We need those back." I responded. "You just offended me because you said this. You made me feel like I'm a criminal." His response made me even more angry! "I'm sorry YOU took it THAT way." This is where my fist wanted to go through my phone and hit him in his jaw and knock him out. I was enraged. Don't ever say to someone I'm sorry you took it that way. People are so on edge these days as apparently I am and I apologize to everyone listening. I'm just making a point. With people someone edge after a pandemic and a very testy 2021, can't we all use a little bit of Dale Carnegie's instruction on people skills? Let's dissect what this man said to me. I said what I said and I mean it. You heard what I said and heard it some way different. You took it differently than I meant it. I'm right. You're wrong for taking it out of context. He pointed the finger back at me versus taking responsibility. This would have been better. "Ken, you're right. The way I said that does come across very offensive. I did not mean it that way, please forgive me for that." He could have disarmed me with his words. Instead he armed me and I wanted to attack. Again only a few things get me really angry and questioning my integrity is one of them. I know what he was trying to do. He was trying to apologize, but he doesn't realize that his apology is not apology. He doesn't realize that his attempt to apologize only made it worse. If you haven't read Dale Carnegie's "How to win Friends and Influence People", go read it. And don't ever say to someone that you may have offended this. "I'm sorry YOU took it THAT way." Change it to. "I'm sorry. I think I may have said something that offended you please forgive me. Let's start over."
After the phone call, I was so fired up. I called my wife and told her that I wanted to walk into Honda and beat the living you know what out of this guy. I was just getting my frustration out. Teresa calmly asked what happened and realized the misunderstanding. We prayed and I agreed to go there with kindness, return the keys, and apologize for the misunderstanding. When I got to Honda, I did the apologizing and everything was smoothed over. I had to be the bigger man. Do you know why? I was the one offended. I was the one mad. He had NO idea that his words caused what it did. In his mind, we were already square. He just wanted the keys back. Since I was the one offended, I needed to be the one to fix it. Does that sound backward? Let me ask you a difficult question. Have you been offended by a friend or family member? Are you waiting for them to apologize? Stop waiting and man up or woman up. Go and share why you were offended and apologize for the anger and offense you held. Any reasonable person will respond back in kind.
Would you like to talk to someone about an offense you're holding onto. I can help you in more ways than just your cleaning business. Feel free to book a free coaching call on the Smart Cleaning School website!
The Smart Cleaning School Podcast helps cleaning business owners from start-up to the struggling solo to the striving seven-figure get SMARTER in their businesses, reshape their mindset, increase productivity, clear the overwhelm, and get clarity through SMART goal-setting & personal accountability. Ken Carfagno is a lifetime learner and teacher. His mission is to help visionaries make the impact they were meant to make.