Department of Oops

It’s hard to complain without sounding like a nasty person. Someone told me the other day that I could have handled that cold coffee incident better than I did and that’s true I think. It’s hard to get the tone right. 

One thing I’m gathering is that if you’re going to complain about something you shouldn’t start out with a lot of apologizing for doing so. Too often that just infuriates whoever it is that you’re interacting with. It’s enough you’re about to get satisfaction for the ‘wrong’ done you from the persons you are addressing; you don’t need to insult them by seeming to seek their friendship.

What I had done that day was to bring back a cup of coffee two minutes after it was served to me to say that wasn’t hot. Then when the person who had poured it answered my complaint by giving me that undeniable poker faced Gimme a Break look I got flustered and said “No it really isn’t hot! Stick your finger in it.”

“I’m NOT sticking my finger in it! “she harrumphed and turned away to pour me a fresh cup.

Her reaction taught me two things about interacting with strangers, whether they’re waiting on you or you’re waiting on them or you’re just jostling past one another on some sidewalk and those things are:

  • (1) Don’t be referencing people’s body parts, pretty much no matter what.  And…
  • (2) Stay away from any suggestions that have the verb “stick” in them.

Two good rules for a new day!