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3 Ways to Recover After Making an Ass of Yourself

Posted October 22, 2013 by Katherine Toll in Life After Five

I’m not proud of this, but I was a first rate bitch last week. I flew into a lovely regional airport ASSUMING a three-hour transportation window was sufficient time to get to the client site 49 MILES AWAY. Granted, not a short distance, but it saved $500 in airfare. Bear with me as I offer you another ASSUMPTION I made – when the regional airport’s website cited ‘ground transportation’ and a local taxi service’s phone number I ASSUMED taxis were available at said airport.

As I deplaned, I snapped a few photos and texted them to friends as evidence – I just landed in a place far, far away from Chicago. IL. Diplomacy evades me from time to time, especially when I’m tired or stressed, so I mustered up a whole lot of nice as I wandered over to the one and only baggage claim area. I fetched my bag and proceeded to the curb for a taxi. The driver told me I needed to “hop in line inside, so Linda Sue could get me fixed up.”

Said I, You mean the Hertz and Avis line?

Said he, That’s also the taxi line.

Said I, That’s a long line. I need to get to a meeting.

Said he, Where you goin?

Said I, Springfield.

Low whistle, You best see Linda Sue.

In my defense, I held it together for the next 40 minutes while Linda Sue (my new bestie) suggested I sit in a rocking chair to wait. (True story). I started to get anxious as time passed, so I called the cab company directly, went outside, came back in, chatted up Linda Sue, and then went back outside again. Finally, finally, finally a cab came rolling up. I threw my luggage in his trunk, handed him my payment receipt, and started to get in the cab. Not so fast….

The wheels completely came off when the cab driver announced he didn’t want to drive that far – that I needed to wait for the next cab. That’s when it happened. I SNAPPED! I threw a first rate hissy fit which involved yelling at the cab driver, my former bestie, Linda Sue, and the cab dispatcher. The whole time I went on, I knew I looked and sounded like a complete horse’s ass, but did I stop? NO! I just kept going all the while knowing I looked like a desperate housewives’ cast member, but without the hair, makeup, or nails – just the bitchy disposition.

The next cab driver that wheeled up (as divine guidance would have it) was a retired pastor … from Mississippi. Let’s just say I had plenty of time to reflect on my bad behavior with the guidance of the fine pastor.

We suggest the following three tips as means to recover from a bitch-a-thon.

  1. Admit you blew it: Apologize to whomever you need to as quickly as possible. Take ownership of your bad behavior and then SHUT UP. No excuses.
  2. Thank the person for their graciousness: Front line service work sucks—these folks end up at the receiving end of some pretty crappy shenanigans. No one remembers to thank them for keeping their cool
  3. Send a note or small gift: If you went above and beyond in your temper tantrum, then do the same with your apology. Sent a note and small gift to the person you offended, and if possible connect with their supervisor to alert him/ her to their employee’s valiant conduct.

Stuff happens. We all make mistakes, but recover quickly when you’ve offended others. Then move on.

About the Author

Katherine Toll

Katherine (Kathi) Toll possesses more than 20 years of management and consulting experience within the retail and beauty industry. Her industry experience combined with her special brand of irreverence fuels her mission to find the ‘must-have’ beauty products for Career Girls of all ages. She aspires to remind women the airbrushed perfection of the beauty industry must be tempered with a healthy dose of humor. Kathi holds a general management certification from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, along with an undergraduate degree from Northwestern’s School of Communications.