As an extra surprise at the end of the year, I wanted to give my son a mattress. Literally giving a back support, a helping hand, now that his student mattress is kind of finished. No kind of general ‘take-away’ mattress from a large outlet store this time again but one from a specialized high quality bed store. And yes you pay (much) more but, my personal conviction, you sleep better and you can use such a mattress much longer. Maybe, calculated per night, you even sleep cheaper (yes, I still have Dutch blood ;)).
I advised my son to go to such a specialized quality store and unfortunately he did not have a good experience at all. He had a nice, uncommon, amount of money in his back pocket and came back uncompromisingly. When I heard his story, I became quite irritated as a father. Immediately I wrote an email to the company to share my disappointment. I explained my intentions to my son and my desire for quality. I told them that I could understand that he and his girlfriend might not be everyday (youthful) customers, but that they were now letting money and calling out for negative recommendation. What about quality of customer relations satisfaction?
My son in The Netherlands, and also my daughter in Australia, thought I reacted very quick and a bit fierce full but appreciated me as a father to be there for them. Happy to hear that and about my way of responding they were totally right.
Less than 10 minutes later, the director of the company in Limburg province (The Netherlands) called me on the telephone in Thailand to show his understanding, to tell his side of the story in detail, and to give advice. I can tell you, dealing with and selling mattresses, it's quite a profession. I did not only appreciate his call a lot but it gave me a different side of the story and understanding for his explanation. It made me quieter and even milder.
Why did I have to have that mirror again by myself? And am I unique in that?
I am sure that I can say no to this last question. Everyone experiences these situations and often judges from a one-sided image.
When I think back to the annoying time of our divorce, most people who heard my ex-wife's story about me think that I am the most awful man and father who walks around om this world. And people who listen to my, one-sided, experience do not understand the situation and the manner of acting in which I ended up as well.
All these kinds of stories have been colorized one-sidedly from our own experience and feelings. It is so unfortunate that people, and yes, I do and also participate myself sometimes, make decisions based on this one-sidedly view and information. And in this case, for example, break friendships for the rest of their lives. You can also ask yourself what the value of that friendship actually meant.
Well, life-long learning I will say. You may be happy about that and yes, indeed, sometimes it is a confrontation. Yet again that mirror and respect for this company.
Do not judge so quickly and also take the time to explore the other side of the story first. Just like a mattress, a story always has at least two sides (personal experiences) ...
Gangey Gruma (Frans Captijn)
Captijn Insight. Catalyst in developing tranquility & in-sight to get in a sustainable way real connection, purpose, pleasure and flow in life, love, family, business, career and work again.