Monday, December 1, 2008

What Taste Do You Leave Behind?

Everyone has experienced it. They go to eat or drink something and have that lingering bad taste. (One for me is drinking orange juice too soon after brushing my teeth. Yuck!) Somethings looks good but just doesn't measure up.

Today at the office we had a customer. She was frustrated with the remodeling process we are in. It honestly couldn't be helped. Then she was frustrated about something else. I asked her exactly what she was looking for and she blew a gasket when I told her that our office wouldn't have the information she was looking for. I suggested another office and got a lecture about how that information had to be saved for 50 years. She stayed and continued looking for it in our office.

I walked down to the office I had suggested to see if they would be able to help her. As I was asking, she came storming in, demanding the info. Well, she was wrong about the statute. The info only needed to be kept 20 years and they were more than willing to do the search for it for her but it wouldn't get done that day.

I discretely left. She came back and spent the day in my office fuming over everything. At one point the person from the other office called me and asked, "Was she completely rude to you?" I simply said, "Yes, and she is still here."

She left a bad taste in everyone's mouth. We really try to be helpful, but there are systems in place and things can't always be done the way someone would like.

Such is customer service.

But it isn't just customer service. It happens with friends and coworkers and people at church. I recently got some feedback about the taste I leave behind at times. I can be stubborn and sometimes harsh. No, this feedback did not elicit a good response. The wall went up and I said, "What about . . . ." It was/is a legitimate "What about . . . ." The problem is that it showed an unwillingness to look at my part in things. I need to own my stuff regardless of if so-and-so owns theirs.

But that is hard to do. Will you pray for me for a humble heart and that I consistently choose to leave behind a good taste or a beautiful fragrance in my wake.


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