As I get older, I am slowly coming to realize that all those mealy sounding platitudes and nuggets of wisdom from old people you conveniently ignored for the first three decades of your life are entirely correct. Number one: Whatever it is, it’s probably not worth getting that worked up over.
I get worked up more than I care to admit. For this reason I am grateful for my husband, who instead of feeding into my anxious energy tends to say something to make me feel like an idiot for being so upset in the first place (and he is usually correct.) Case in point: the 15 minute argument with the gate attendant at the Sacramento airport over the protocol for a malfunctioning parking ticket.
She was in the wrong and terribly rude, but I admit my reaction probably did not help the situation. I spent the next hour at home drafting a strongly worded letter to the parking lot company, which I then stormed out and read aloud to my then-fiance for approval and “Go get ems”. He laughed at me. Deflated, I ripped it up.
There are lots of things in life to get legitimately upset about (don’t click if you don’t want to be sad.) Sometimes I think it’s easier to focus in on the stupid insignificant stuff because it distracts us from having to think about the real heavy stuff that might otherwise keep you awake into the wee hours.
To make it even better, all us strongly worded letter writers have a new tool at our disposal that we didn’t have back in the late 90s: The Web. I mean, we had the web, but we hadn’t figured out how to use it to complain very well. Now, if you’re upset at your parking attendant, your eyebrow technician, or your vet, you don’t need to complain to one person via letter: you can shout it to the world, for free!
There are only two types of people motivated enough to do a web review of someone: people that love you and people that hate you. There is a family I’ve gotten to know recently who, every time they come in, makes sure to find a new site to go to, in order to sing the office’s praises, and I can’t tell them how much that means to me.
Because for every one of them, there are 50 people who got mad about the bill, then storm out and wrote the longest, nastiest, run-on sentence you ever did see disparaging the clinic, the doctor’s competence, the receptionist’s hair, my momma, you name it. And I’m not just talking about my clinic. This is a universal thing.
“BLAHDIBLAH CLINIC WILL STEAL YOUR MONEY AND KILL YOUR PET THEY CHARGED ME FOR A RABIES VACCINE AND I WANTED A FREE SPADED AND THEY SAID NO AND THEN THEY SHOT THE NEEDLE THROUGH MY DOGS EYEBALL AND I WAS ALL HEY WHYD YOU DO THAT AND THEY SAID SHUT UP AND PAY THE BILL OR ILL SLASH YOUR TIRES DONT GO THERE ALL THEY CARE ABOT IS MONEY STAY AWAY!!!1!!!”
The people with constructive complaints usually tell them to the office manager, who can actually address the concerns and make changes. The rest of the people go to Yelp. You can always tell exactly who wrote the “anonymous” review, too.
Common refrain: “Remember that guy who refused to pay for an office visit and just wanted you to give him free expired antibiotics? He just called you a money grubbing weasel on SmartPages.”
As far as I know there are no grudge websites devoted to hating on me or putting my name on a flaming marquee, at least not yet. There are probably a couple of people who would make one if the thought occurred to them. But all you can do in life is act with good intentions; whether or not someone sees that is their problem, I suppose. This is where all that ‘wisdom’ mumbo jumbo is supposed to kick in. Still waiting on that part of the equation.
In the meantime, I gave up on strongly worded letters a while back, and I’ve yet to take anything to Yelp. Is anyone here a serial Yelp critic?