Walk Away

4C65EDDE-AE5D-497A-8094-C6A3821D6AE7A couple of weeks ago, I was trying to make prints of the photos from our recent family vacation, but the local camera store’s site which I often use wouldn’t upload over half of them.  Frustrated, I called the store and asked for help.  The man I spoke to was very nice, but said that the site must be acting up and suggested I come into the store and load them directly onto their equipment from my phone.  

I drove to the store and asked the young woman behind the counter for directions on using their equipment.  She told me bluntly there was no point in doing that, because obviously the files for my photos were corrupted.  Which was annoying enough, but the little smirk that accompanied her words made the situation worse.  I wondered aloud how some of my photos could be corrupted when others, taken at the same time and with the same phone, seemed to be just fine.  She began a long explanation of the many ways photo files can be damaged, but none of them pertained to my situation.  When I tried to tell her so, she told me, sharply, not to interrupt her before she was done speaking.  

And that was when I realized there was absolutely no point in continuing our conversation.  She was not going to admit that the problem could be on their end, and I was not prepared to believe there was anything wrong with the photos that wouldn’t upload to their site.  I would have asked to speak to a manager, but I knew that I was very, very close to completely losing my temper and I didn’t want to take my anger out on someone else.  So I simply turned away and walked out of the store.

The older I get, the more I believe that simply walking away from confrontations is often the best way.  There is rarely any good that comes out of arguing with people who have already made their mind up, or trying to negotiate with those who treat others like idiots.  While I will always believe that being in relationship with people who are different from me is a good thing and that the world needs more, not less, communication, I also know that true communication can’t be one-sided.  Both parties have to be willing to respectfully engage, which means that there is no point in trying to talk to someone who refuses to listen.

So I went home and logged into the site of a company I’ve used many times to make photo books.  And you know what?  All of my photos uploaded successfully, even the supposedly “corrupted” ones.  I didn’t even have to wait for my prints to be mailed to me, as I was able to pick them up at a local drug store about two hours after I ordered them.  I’ll admit that there’s a part of me that wanted to take the prints back to the original store and show them to the rude clerk, saying,  “See?  I was right!”  But I resisted that urge, because I know it would be both petty and pointless.   I have my vacation photos, neatly displayed in an album, and that’s good enough for me.

87 thoughts on “Walk Away

  1. Oh, dear. I feel sure this is typical for the times in which we live. Too often nowadays, people refuse to listen, refuse to admit they might be wrong, and are ready (even eager) to get into heated discussions with others. I’m sorry this happened to you, Ann. At least you finally succeeded in your goal: getting your photos to the place where you could preserve and display them as you wanted. Kudos for refusing to take the bait of an argument … and for finding a new way to get your photos done!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Debbie! And I agree, some people are actively looking for arguments, I guess because they’re stressed and angry and want to vent? But I don’t think it’s ever okay to use our anger to justify hurting someone else. It all worked out in the end, but it shouldn’t have been that difficult.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Exactly! A couple of other clerks heard the conversation and saw me walk out. Hopefully, they said something to her about it, but honestly, I was too angry to be rational, so I just left. And the sad thing is, she’s the only rude employee in that entire store, so she not representing their typical customer service at all.

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  2. Knowitalls seldom do. It is like the IT Crowd (British sitcom). Did you turn it off and turn it on? They think one flippant answer explains all problems. It is fine to ask the customer to listen to the explanation, but also fine that they listen to you. Rude and crafty businesses no longer get my trade. We stopped going to a pharmacist who “made inside deals” with several suppliers to ensure clients had to buy their more expensive (3 times) product. We have not been back since and they have never asked why, so I know they still have plenty of other customers who fall for their shenanigans. I am with you…no point going back to say See! I was right. But you can smile smugly to yourself Ann. Cheers. Allan

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is sad. Bad customer service is rampant these days, and the pandemic is only partly to blame. I also get tired of tech support that isn’t at all supportive. All we can do is move on to support those companies who know how to do it right! Thanks for your comment, Allan!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I would have if I hadn’t been so angry. But I was too mad to speak rationally, and didn’t want to yell at someone who hadn’t caused the problem. And trust me, this young woman wasn’t going to learn anything from anybody, because she didn’t want to. She was one of those people (who come in all ages) who seem to take genuine satisfaction in telling you they can’t help you…it’s a mindset, I think. But I agree with the intent of your comment; we do need to let others know why we are upset with them. I should probably write a letter to the manager of the store or call him/her now that I’m not angry anymore.

      Liked by 3 people

        • Hi. A wise choice to walk away and now is the time to compose the letter with the details of the poor service.

          Customer service is my forte and I notice the optimal service and the failed. At stores where they issue a survey on the receipt, I ask the clerk to write their names onto the receipt so I can mention them specifically to give a good survey.

          I recently dealt with a pharmacy tech who for five years, I endured her lack of service. She was outright brazen with her rudeness. Once home, I made a list of the details of her failures and also told her manager that she consistently serves the public poorly. I suggested that perhaps she requires training! I told the manager what I expect from the cashier. The manager informed me that if this occurs again to call her and she will serve me. I asked the manager to observe this tech. Apparently she did because there’s a new tech behind the counter who does a winsome job!

          Liked by 1 person

          • You’re absolutely right, I do need to let the manager know. I didn’t want to at the time, because I was too angry to be civil. But now that I’ve calmed down, the right thing to do is report it. It may or may not make a difference, since all companies are now desperate for employees and struggling to stay afloat (which is scary), but it is still the right thing. And you’re right, if customers don’t speak up, the owners and managers have no way of knowing who are the good employees and who are the ones who need more training!

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            • I admire you for walking away and waiting until you could deal with this in a mature, rationale manner. I wish more people did! You’re amazing! It’s wise!

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  3. Oh Ann. *shakes head in sympathy* I would definitely send a message to the store manager and apprise him/her of the treatment you received. Although there is a shortage of workers, it does a business no good to retain employees who sabotage your sales…. You would be doing everyone a favor to at least let the store manager know what happened and let him know that his store lost a sale (and tell him how much you spent at the other business)!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I know, honestly the only reason I didn’t was because I realized I was about to lose my temper, and when that happens, I’m no longer in control of what I might say. I didn’t want an ugly scene, so I just left. But now that I’m calmed down, I probably should let the manager know that I was very unhappy with the way I was treated. It’s a good store, they do good quality work, and all the other employees are both professional and nice.

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  4. As I read your post, Ann, my first thought was how that woman was probably wrong. You did everything right by going elsewhere. And avoiding confrontation seemed wise to me. It preserved precious energy and led you to a better outcome!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Judy! The good news is I can still go into the store (their prints are of very good quality) without being embarrassed, which I could not have done had I lost my temper and yelled at them. I have been back since then, and one of the other employees showed me how to work their equipment. I actually told him I’d been told my files were corrupt, and he said, “they’re not corrupt, the systems just aren’t talking to each other properly.” Which was the truth. I decided not to let one rude employee turn me off a favorite store, but I will say that I’ll never deal with her again!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. well done Ann, I too have turned away when I realise it’s a one-way dialogue. But I’d take Val’s point and inform that store manager … I don’t usually but I do hope security were eavesdropping and took it further. Everything in stores are now monitored by cameras which record helpful and harmful staff encounters.

    Most are still very fragile but that is no reason to take it out on others … glad you got the ideal result!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, there were other employees around who heard the exchange, and saw me walk out. I imagine she heard about it from some of them, or the manager, but at the time I was too angry to deal with it. And I’m sure she thought she was right, but the way she talked to me was not right at all. I know we’re all on edge these days, but taking it out on each other doesn’t help anyone. Thanks for your comment! You are always a voice of reason.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. “Petty” and “Pointless” are my middle names, Ann! You’re such a great role model for my future self, because as I read this, I was getting angrier and angrier. Anywho, I’m glad you went high on this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Kathy! Trust me, the key words in your comment were, “this one.” I’ve been petty and pointless many times in my life. I just knew that right now, we’re all basically on our last nerve, and the wisest things to do is walk away. I also know that I won’t always be strong enough to do that, but that’s okay. We’re all human!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi. Sorry that happened to you. It’s pretty ridiculous since someone else told you to go in there! Happy to hear you got your pictures though. I’m a bit behind on reading, where did you go on vacation? And, how is your husband doing?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for commenting, Jessica! It was silly, because I was only doing what another employee suggested…and turned out, he was right! We went on vacation to Florida with our whole family. We rented a house for a week and all hung out together, and it was so nice. My husband is doing well, thank you. His surgeon released him from his care this week, which is a very good sign. He’ll still be checking in with his oncologist and radiologist for another few years, but that’s normal for post-cancer treatment. Here’s hoping it’s gone for good! And thank you very much for asking.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Good for you for recognizing that confrontation and further discussion with this woman would have been both pointless and futile. While I felt anger toward her reading this, mostly I just felt sorry for her. What a miserable life she must have to seek these little victories to sustain herself. And I fear she’s planting the seeds for a lonely and bitter future.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re so right about that woman. Happy people don’t take pleasure in telling others they can’t help them, or seeing others fail. My guess is that she is probably already rather lonely and bitter, and that’s sad.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Bev! Although in many, if not most cases, engaging with others is a good thing, there are definitely times when not engaging is exactly the way to go. It’s not always easy, but it saves a whole lot of heartache and angst…especially when nothing good can come of it.

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  9. You were smart to walk away (I’m not sure I would have been that smart 🙂 ). I really think you should send a note to the store manager (especially if this is a local, non-chain store). If I was the owner or manager, I’d want to know why I lost a sale, and quite possibly, a loyal customer. Local camera stores have huge online competition. What they offer – and why I continue to shop locally even though it may cost a bit more – is for their expertise and one-on-one help. You would be doing them a favor letting them know about your experience. You don’t even need to identify the clerk – they may know already, and/or they could reinforce the value of good customer service (and good listening skills) at a staff meeting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right, Janis. Especially because all the other clerks in that store are both helpful and professional, and the quality of their prints is superior to the ones done in drugstores. I didn’t ask for the manager at the time because I knew I was too angry to be civil, and I didn’t want to burn my bridges. I’ve been back there since, (not interacting with that clerk, and I never will again) and they have been more than helpful. But I should let the manager know that they have one clerk who is busy alienating customers, because the overall store is so much better than that. Thanks for your comment!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. It is surprising, and equally dismaying, how commonly such creatures are to be found all over the world. What is much more perturbing than that is the surge in mediocrity as we grow more and more liberal, allowing all kinds of unnatural inclinations as essential components of individual freedom.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree…I think human nature is human nature, and for whatever reason, some people just enjoy telling others that they can’t help them. Why we accept this behavior is a mystery to me, but you’re right…we do accept it, more and more as time goes on. Mediocrity is the friend to no one, I believe.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. What a huge relief that you were able to print your vacation photos, Ann. If your first shop was a small business, it might be worth letting them know that you had success at another place. Most small businesses would want that feedback and that gives them the opportunity to better train their staff. Also, they don’t always know what their staff are up to. Still, I would be inclined like you to walk away, except if I had a really good experience with them in the past.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really have had good experiences with them in the past. The man who answered the phone the first time was typical. He was honest, explaining that their online service is run by an outside source so that he can’t really recommend fixes when it’s acting up, but he also offered a good suggestion that I come in and upload them there. That’s part of what annoyed me so much about the way I was treated by the clerk at the store: what she told me directly contradicted what another, nicer and more knowledgeable, employee had already told me.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Sounds like you handled that situation perfectly Ann! Some people prefer to be right than anything else and therefore you can’t win and certainly can’t have them recognize that they might be a part of the problem. So glad it worked out for you in the end and you got your photos. Sometimes people are also having a bad day or are angry or frustrated and then take it out on innocent parties, unfortunately!

    Peta

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Peta! And you’re right. She could be just one of those people who love to tell others they’re wrong, or she could be someone who is usually nice but having a rotten day and took it out on me. Either way, I’m glad I was able to get them printed!

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  13. It’s a sad fact that good customer service is a dying concept all over the world. You find gems of course but overall curtesy and kindness are becoming harder to find. I don’t know if I could have done the same as you. Well done in taking the high ground and not adding fuel to her anger. At the end of the day, I’m glad you got your vacation photos!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Brenda! And you’re right: between most people shopping online and the frustrations we’re all feeling from the pandemic, people just aren’t in a really helpful mood these days. Which is too bad, because businesses are really suffering right now and can’t afford to drive customers away.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Kudos to you for prevailing on two fronts – you got your photos! And, more importantly, you avoided an angry exchange.

    I agree with others that a letter to the employer would be appropriate. But would it make any difference? And if you have resolved the issue within yourself, then what’s the point in giving it any more energy?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. “I also know that true communication can’t be one-sided.”

    You did the right thing by walking away from the store, and the less than helpful employee therein. The one-sidedness of your conversation is not because you were right or wrong, it was because the employee was being willfully intentionally disingenuous. Talk about passive-aggressive behavior!

    Liked by 1 person

    • She really was passive-aggressive! And for some reason, people who are like that actually seem to take pride in telling others they can’t help them, as if they are scoring some kind of points by doing so. Personally, I get a kick out of knowing I CAN help someone, so that’s a mindset I just don’t understand.

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  16. I am not surprised that you handled this situation beautifully. We do not need to engage in the drama this particular clerk was offering to you. It was uncalled for, but you did not take her unkind attitude to heart. It is best to walk away from conflicts that really have absolutely nothing to do with us. In the end, your keeping calm saved the day…You have a beautiful book of memories to cherish, and you turned a not so good experience into a very good thing.

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    • Thanks for your affirming words, Linda! When she told me not to interrupt her, I almost said things I shouldn’t have. But then I saw, clear as day, that the best thing to do at that time was walk away. I didn’t want to argue with her, and I didn’t want to lose my temper with her. So I left and found another way to get my prints….and as you say, it turned into a good lesson that I hope will help me when I find myself in a similar situation in the future.

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    • That’s a very good point, Chel! Many businesses can’t afford to be picky about their employees right now, and that’s something we need to keep in mind when we’re dealing with their staff. Luckily, even in these crazy times, I’ve found many employees who are both cheerful and competent, and now I appreciate them even more!

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  17. I agree that your best path was out of the store. But I’d call the person you spoke with at the start and report the behavior. It’s hard to find help these days so probably not much would be done about it but the store should be aware of her actions. She must think she is superior to the customer but in the end you were the better person.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Steve! I think you are right and they should know about it. Perhaps they could have her working in a different area, where she doesn’t have to interact with the customers. That would be a good thing for everyone!

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  18. I’m so glad you walked away, Ann. At least now you can enjoy your holiday photos without too much of the shadow of that unpleasant encounter to mar things. Yours is a view I am now beginning to agree with. In the past, whenever I’ve been baited into confrontations, even if I come out the winner, I am always the wounded. It takes me days and days to get over something. It’s just not worth it. I now prefer peace of mind and heart. Walking away or even resisting being drawn into into an unnecessary battle is the way to that peace.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like what you said so much! I’m the same way: when I’m drawn into a confrontation I don’t want to have, I’m always upset afterwards, even if I win. So it really isn’t worth it at all. If we can, walking away from an unnecessary battle just makes us that much happier, I think. Arguing with someone who doesn’t listen never gets us anything except heartache.

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    • I know! She would not even entertain the thought that the problem could be on their website. And that was very frustrating for me, but it did work out in the end. I’m glad I didn’t lose my temper over it, though…nothing would have been gained, and I would have felt even worse!

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  19. Most of the time walking away makes perfect sense, Ann, especially if the difficulty isn’t life threatening or expensive or going to end the world. 🙂 I’m really shocked at how rude that young woman was. She’s going to learn some hard lessons in life. Kindness is soooo much easier. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It really is! Plus, if we turn out to be wrong (and I find myself in that situation a lot!), it’s so much easier to admit it if we’ve been polite and civil in our words and actions. There’s nothing worse than throwing a hissy fit over something and then realizing we were completely off-base. So if nothing else, the young woman should have said, “It seems to me as if your files might be corrupted.” That left room for a real conversation, and she could have saved face once she realized she was wrong.

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  20. I applaud your action, Ann. There is something to be said about walking away…unless they kick your fanny after you’ve turned. The other check, I guess. My personality strives against walking away. Truly, if I walk away, it’s because His Spirit nudged me in that direction. God’s grip – Alan

    Liked by 1 person

    • I loved that use of “turn the other cheek!” And yes, I think that we all need a little help now and then to walk away from a confrontation, especially if the person is being especially annoying or abrasive. Good for you for being open to that help! I think it comes into play with me, too.

      Liked by 1 person

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