This is the story of how I became the owner of a new pair of glasses.
I work a lot. Especially lately. It never feels enough, and it never “is” enough. That is, why I haven’t picked up new test contact lenses from my optician for several months.
While going back home from our office, I was near the vicinity of the optician. On a whim, I decided to pick up the contact lenses.
In the shop, I was told that there was no order for the contact lenses. The woman offered to clean my glasses and change the nose pads on them (for free), as I was there already.
That, by the way, is a great strategy to get the customer to engage with the glasses displays which they have. This is precisely what I did.
They had a selection of sunglasses – and I started taking different pairs of them, and trying them on in the mirror which they also had.
Unfortunately, while I took a third pair of glasses to try on, my jacket got stuck on another pair and they fell down.
I picked them up, and inspected them. They seemed OK, but were slightly scratched.
I am an honest man, that is why I waited for the lady who was cleaning my glasses, and told her about what had happened.
I asked her to look for damage on the glasses, and said that if they’re damaged I’ll take them.
She misunderstood me – and said “that is not how it works”. Apparently, she was assuming that I had dropped the glasses, and wanted to have them for free.
I explained that I, of course, wanted to pay for them, since I had damaged them by accident.
She then sold me the glasses, and that is how I became the owner of a new pair of sunglasses.
What is the takeaway of this story?
This little story might not seem much, but for me it stood out in this moment that certain people would have felt triggered by the lady “making assumptions.”
Every perception is a gamble. Informed by our previous experiences, the context and randomness.
My intention has been to be honest in this situation, and point out what happened, to take the responsibility and pay if necessary.
When the lady misunderstood the intention, I calmly informed her of my actual intention.
My emotional state was unchanged. Her words did not evoke defensiveness / fear / anger in me.
This is what not getting triggered looks like. I corrected her impression, calmly paid for the glasses, and was done with it. I did not build up negative associations to avoid that particular shop anymore, I understood that she had made an honest mistake in her assumptions, which was easily corrected. After the transaction, emotionally, I was in the same state as before.
Have a good new year everyone, I wish you a pleasant and increasingly emotionally balanced journey through the year!