I once again learned something valuable today: keeping frustration buried inside of me eventually spills out onto an innocent person.
For nine months my daughter and I have been working to resolve a medical payment dispute with a hospital. Both of us have spent dozens and dozens of hours as we have explained that payments were made, provided proof of payment, waited on hold, and sent that proof to dozens of fax numbers. Every single person we have talked to gave us a different answer and a different person to talk to. You’ve probably had a similar situation in your life. It can seem to never end.
Today I called, again, because 2 weeks ago I was told to call and make sure the account was indeed closed. 2 1/2 hours later I hung up the phone. One of the many people my daughter and I spoke to (she was on the line some of the time as well) got the brunt of my pent-up frustration over this situation. I told her that I did not trust that she is really going to do what she says she will; we have been told this so many times and it has not happened. She was snippy with me, too, and replied that I do not know her and it’s unfair that I would catalog her with all of the other unfavorable experiences.
She’s right. I shouldn’t have let my frustration spill out onto her. There is a way to manage my frustration and still get done what we need to get done. I wonder how she would have responded had I not given my power to my frustration and previous experiences with this company; if I had been able to approach her peacefully while still holding true to what we need done with this account, what would have happened? What if I had seen this employee not as an obstacle but as an asset to what I really need? At the very least, I wouldn’t have a pit in my stomach that I just treated someone so poorly.
Frustration. Unfairness. Lack of integrity. They are only obstacles. What is the outcome you really want to create?