I’m calling this post “Follow Up Friday.” This is where I review some of my interactions with others when I’ve been faced with those challenging situations in which I could apply the U Love guidelines. It’s sort of like I evaluate how well I am progressing along the way. I know God is not keeping a scorecard on all of this, but I thought I’d take a time out to assess things on my own. After all, from my experience with God, He has a great sense of humor. He’ll probably get a chuckle out of the evaluation, as well as how I assess myself in it.
Even though Rebecca and I usually collaborate on writing, I guess I am on my own in this post. This is not, after all, one of Rebecca’s problematic areas. It’s mine. For me, I think it is important to look at this part of my life because it’s where I feel I need the most change. I have always thought self improvement to be a worthy goal in life. It makes sense to me to look at the specific sliver of my life most in need of adjustment.
Truth be told, I personally find that, in some cases, the U Love principles are challenging to apply. Please don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that they should not be applied. It’s quite the opposite. These principles are invaluable to people as individuals and to society as a whole. They lead to the greater good. Nevertheless, for me, they don’t come easy. Perhaps others may feel the same.
For example, I am in the process of doing some necessary renovations on my home. My calendar is filled with endless appointments with home improvement specialists. You meet all types of people under these circumstances. Some are honest. Some are not. Some are competent. Others are questionable. As I resolve one issue, another arises. It takes a great deal of effort to sort it all out. Even the most patient person would find this wearing. As I interact with others in these circumstances, I am very aware that this is prime territory for applying the U Love guidelines.
Here’s a for instance. I find it difficult to deal nicely with customer service schedulers who act in charge of the company they represent when, in reality, they are not. Yet, they create tension with the business from the onset, and can even completely lose me as a customer before the process begins. (You may also have had these kinds of interactions with people in customer service, so you can relate.) It is a real internal battle for me to be courteous in these conversations and not say some choice words and slam the phone down in their ear!!!
To prove my point, recently I called a well known company for an appointment for an estimate on replacement windows for my home. This would have been a sizeable job for the company because I have many windows in my home. A primary criteria in my choosing a window company was that they had to be able to install the windows in a timely manner. Time was of the essence for this part of the renovations. All the subsequent renovations were contingent on the windows getting done.
Before the scheduler would make an appointment for me, she screened me with about eight questions. Apparently, I qualified at the first step because she passed me along to an appointment setter named Jay. The appointment setter then again asked me the same eight questions as the scheduler, and also added a few more. I must have qualified at this point, too, because Jay went on to read to me a list of rules for the appointment. By the time all this was completed, we were nearly twenty minutes into the call and he had not yet scheduled my appointment. (I’m not kidding. This actually happened.)
Just as Jay was about to schedule the appointment, he read me one last rule to which I could not agree. Jay said that he could not have a salesman come out to give me an estimate unless my spouse attended the meeting. For most people, this is not a big deal, but for me it was. My husband is in the accounting field and we were in the throes of tax season. This is a “bigger than life” part of our year when my husband works an enormous amount of extra hours. I simply could not ask him to attend the meeting with the salesperson. There was absolutely no spare time for that. And it really didn’t matter anyway. My husband was not involved in the minute details of the renovations. All he was really concerned about was the bottom line! (Not surprising considering his profession!)
I carefully explained all this to Jay, but it didn’t sit well with him. He suggested that we meet with the salesman on a night or weekend. I repeated to Jay that there were no free nights or weekends for my husband during tax season. Jay kept pushing the nights or weekend meeting as though I hadn’t said no to this at all. We wrangled for a while and then came to an impasse.
Since Jay was not willing to compromise, and I couldn’t meet him halfway, we decided to part ways, which we did. After thirty minutes of aggravation, I came away from the call with no appointment and back at square one. Needless to say, after that call, I was incredibly annoyed. I wanted to lash out at Jay for being dogmatic, and wasting my time. This was only one of many such examples like that during our home renovation process.
So how did I do in applying the U Love principles during the call with Jay? I’d rate myself a five on a scale of one to ten, with ten being the best I could be. I was calm with Jay and never lost my temper (even though I wanted to scream at him at many junctures during the call). I was somewhat patient with Jay when explaining our reason for not complying with his rules (even though sarcasm was constantly on the tip of my tongue). And, although I wasn’t dripping with kindness, I did maintain some semblance of courtesy throughout the call. This, for me, was a victory. I wasn’t a ten, but I wasn’t a zero either.
Throughout this evaluation, I realized I am actually making progress in learning how to love unconditionally (remember that patience and kindness comes under U Love). I pay attention to what we write in this blog, and, even though it is difficult at times, I am becoming more successful than not in applying the U Love principles. Not surprisingly, I am more at peace with others, and with myself. It really feels great to be able to love others better.
See you next time! Please sign onto our U Love chain here.