bad juju

Earlier today I tweeted about how I was frustrated about a situation that I’d like to share. Here’s the story, and the (eventual) happy ending.

Since January I’ve been dealing with a bank about a student loan and the relatively simple process is still going on. What should have been a one time encounter, has taken four or five letters and four or five phone calls over the past two months. Every few weeks I think the situation is complete and each time I find that there is Something. More. To. Do.

The last time this happened I was on a call and was almost in tears out of sheer frustration at how this has been handled and how this continues to be an unresolved issue. After majorly venting on the last call, I implored them to send me the proper forms and details so I could finally put this all behind me.

Today when I opened the letter I found that the form which has been the source of this whole debacle was not included in the envelope, which now continues this whole process and warranted a fifth or sixth call to this bank.

This time I started with a cooler head than the last call, yet I found my blood starting to boil as I was forced to explain the ridiculous scenario again.

Though I didn’t get quite as upset as before, my mood was properly sullen after the call.

Hence the tweet.

However, over the past few weeks I have been doing really great at keeping my mind clear of a lot of “muck” and negative thoughts. So contrasting that extremely positive recent outlook with this afternoon’s mood felt… itchy.

Like wearing a wool turtleneck in today’s warm weather. I just wanted to take off the frustration and chill out.

But I couldn’t shake the itchy mood until…

I forgave the bank for all of the hassle I’ve gone through the past two months.

Though they have no idea that I’ve forgiven them for this experience, I needed to mentally sincerely forgive them in order to forgive myself for my own behavior towards them. Otherwise the negative smog was going to pollute my interactions the rest of the day. And I really didn’t want that to happen.

As long as I was holding them accountable for their mistakes, I was holding myself accountable for my own negative malevolent reaction.

My behavior the past two times was ultimately what had me holding on to the anger and frustration I felt about the situation as a whole.

I know that customer service is a tough job, it’s something I do everyday with Jess LC. But I didn’t let that stop me from venting to the customer service reps. And all that venting didn’t change anything, it just kept me stuck in the itchy turtleneck long after we got off the phone.

For me, withdrawing judgment from both parties was the key to letting things clear up.

Sometimes it’s easy to point fingers at other people who make mistakes and then continue to feel crappy much longer than necessary. Because we ultimately need to hold ourselves accountable for our own reactive behavior – and forgive accordingly.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. carolyn

    i had a tiny version of this experience last week with lost luggage. ugh. every time i had to step up to a baggage desk or talk with customer service on the phone i immediately got crabby and frustrated that i was going through the whole explanation yet again and coming out with different answers/no solutions. it definitely put a damper on me for a while after each interaction–so unnecessary! thanks for sharing your idea of forgiveness, i think it’s applicable for large and small situations alike.

  2. Marguerite/@chicspace

    Or….you could request a manager and an email for that manager. Seriously, this is unacceptable. And it’s not you. It’s them.

    But your reaction is yours, and your choice, so I agree there.

  3. I found myself in a similar situation last week! I got so cranky at the person I was dealing with on the phone and when I had to follow it up by visiting the bank, I took some deep breaths as I was walking over and let it go. Life is too short, I decided, and they don’t care whether they upset me or not, all I can deal with is how I react to them!

  4. Jess

    I agree with you all! It can be frustrating and we can try to do what we can, but ultimately we cannot hold on to our own anger if we want to be free of the “anger hangover.”

  5. Jenn

    I am (begrudgingly) a customer service rep and this post just made me realize that God is teaching me patience and humility. Something I need and have been asking for, but never wanted to learn it through this terrible job! Isn’t that how it always works? Thank you.

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