disclaimer: this is longer and more detailed than my usual ways. i'm in a story-telling mood apparently so consider yourself warned
TL;DR: when trusted establishments, who pride themselves with top-notch quality and service, let you down, it feels heavier than i would like to admit. and while apologies are appreciated, it does not undo what had happened.
disappointment is harder for me to let go than anger. and this week i was disappointed not once, but twice.
it's one thing to be let down by regular places.
but when you're let down by places who claim to be superior, it's somehow more upsetting.
am i alone in this or is this expected behaviour?
this past week, places i trusted sort of let me down.
[trigger warning: incoming - first world problem stories]
earlier this week, i had a goal. i was determined to hit up two boutiques and purchase 3 items.
walked in and made a bee-line for the shoes. found the slippers i wanted, requested for my size, and nodded yes with satisfaction. DONE
took a few steps to the accessories and described what i wanted, not telling the gentleman helping me that i actually had something specific in mind. (why? i don't know exactly. maybe i was testing him? maybe i didn't want to be judged? i really don't know. my brain can't explain.) amazingly, he pulled out the exact style i wanted and even the design i had been eyeing. "it's so meant to be," i thought to myself.
second item: DONE and it only took me 10 minutes to decide. miracles every where.
he processed my card and disappeared in the back to pack up my stuff. he emerged with a bag and said, "let me walk you to the door." we did and bid each other goodbye.
i was satisfied with the experience but i had a nagging feeling that i should open the bag.
i didn't and just went straight to the second boutique - i was on a mission.
i knew the main boutique was closed for renovation. already a bad omen. i went to the department store pop-up and hunted for my prey. it wasn't in plain sight and i knew i might not get what i wanted. i went for another lap and still did not see anything so i had to ask. "it will be released in july," the helpful lady said. "oh," i said, sounding more disappointed than i cared to let her know. "give us a call and we will hold one for you," she offered.
i let out a bit of a sigh but i was already holding a bag. "2 out of 3 isn't bad," i told myself.
still, i had a feeling that i should take a peek in the bag. not the feeling of excitement but the feeling of anxiety. but i didn't listen to my gut. instead i filled it with food and drinks. dinner and stories with friends were had and before i knew it, it was the end of the day.
finally alone and done with the day, i opened up the bag.
first, the small box. "um, wait a minute. this is not the right one." slightly disappointed and burdened by the thought of having to go back to make the exchange. i reached into the bag to fish for the receipt but i came up with nothing.
"maybe it's in the shoebox." nope.
"maybe they emailed it to me," i thought optimistically even though i distinctly remembered the gentleman asking if i wanted my receipt in the bag. no email.
so i have the wrong item with no receipt to exchange it with. great.
i called the next day to explain and let them know i will be dropping by to get it sorted. they were more than happy to help me.
the item i wanted was gone - everywhere. even the one they had showed me yesterday was sold.
"i'm so sorry. i was doing.... you know what, no excuses this was unacceptable."
they did their best to find one, but it's just gone.
"i will return the wrong item and keep a credit for you and pre-purchase it as soon as it comes back so you're guaranteed yours."
my heart sank. it was the one i wanted the most. it was right there in front of me, and now it's gone.
i walked away, defeated. it was not meant to be after all.
later this week, i had an appointment. not just any appointment but one that i had booked months ago. i have been going to this place for years because they always treated me well and i was always satisfied with their work.
i came in on time, in a great mood, and ready to feel even better. then bad news came. "i'm sorry. when they booked you in, they had forgotten to factor something in and we will only be able to do one thing of the three you requested."
doesn't that sound familiar.
fine. ok. sure. no problem - one of three is still not bad.
problem: one out of three was taking way longer than i expected. i was the first one in, other people had come and gone and i was still there. i had to stop her and tell her, "i'm sorry, you have to stop because i need to leave."
everyone felt bad for all the miscommunication and wanted to help me as much as possible, giving me options here and there. "no i'm sorry. i can't. i just really need to go now. i will call you to schedule the other 2 things."
i called, apologies and discounts were offered. nice but what i wanted to know was how i can avoid this again next time. i thought i did everything i could to ensure everything i wanted was accounted for and the timing was right. "you did, it was our mistake and our miscommunication."
OK, fine. what do i need to say next time so that this does not happen again. "from what i know i have a note on my file about how long these procedures take," i added, slowly feeling anger bubble up.
"you're right, there is a note. we don't know why it was missed or ignored. and i'm so sorry but the earliest we can get you in is july 20th." so 2 months later. right.
that was it. i was done. "fine, book it. but i will be calling if i need to cancel." i'm definitely going to cancel as soon as i find a new place.
something that was supposed to be celebrated and enjoyed was not because of the miscommunication. what bothers me the most is that now, i will have to say goodbye to them after trusting them for years. it took me a long time to find and trust them and just when i was getting to where i wanted, they had let me down. i have to start from scratch with someone new.
i'm not one to make a scene at establishments - i know what it's like to be on the other end of a complaint. so in both situations, i had just walked away. i know they're sorry. as sorry as they can be and as much as their job would allow for them to be. but i couldn't shake the feeling that everything could have been avoided if things were done right in the first place. and i just could not let go of the feeling of disappointment which is, to me, heavier than anger.