Keeping Calm Makes a Difference

I thought I’d share an experience I posted in my Rare Faith Discussion Group, because I want the rest of my Rare Faith Newsletter subscribers have a chance to see it, too. (I hope you’ll join me in the Discussion Group if you’re not already a member! It’s FREE!)

If you read to the end you’ll understand why the picture from Cars 3.

Here goes:

It was a rough day today – I’m not going to go into all of the details that contributed to my stress and frustration, but among them was my battle with three different online printing services, just trying to get my son’s High School Graduation announcements ordered.

The best deal I found for what we wanted was about $44.00. Okay, that’s fine – he’s worked 12 years for this, I shouldn’t balk at forty bucks.

But since the online systems were all failing me… (VistaPrint was going to take too long, Kinkos was sending me into impossible loops, and OfficeDepot was putting a white line across the bottom of every single proof, no matter how I uploaded it)… I got on the phone with an agent at OfficeDepot (since their issue would likely be the easiest to fix) and tried to get some help with the glitchy proofs. The agent couldn’t figure it out, so she said I’d need to come in.

I was not happy about that, but I “chose” it, and decided I’d better just drop my other urgent responsibilities and add the trip to my day.

Now, the question would be whether or not they would honor the 40% off that their online system was going to give me. The lady on the phone said she’d work it out when I arrived.

But by the time I got to their mostly-empty store (due to Covid-19), there was a different clerk running the print jobs who said she couldn’t give me the discount.

Pause for reflection.

How would you respond in this moment? Remember, you’re already at your wits end from spending hours with glitchy systems and juggling 10 other unrelated stresses. Which door would you choose?

    • Door #1: Get angry
    • Door #2: Get bossy
    • Door #3: Ugly cry and beg for mercy
    • Door #4: Keep calm and watch what happens

I was very conscious and intentional about my response at this point. I did two things: I stayed calm, and prepared myself to accept whatever the outcome would be.

Without being upset, I explained how I would have rather completed the order online, but that it was glitching, and that the agent I called said she would work the discount out with me when I arrived.

The woman responded that unfortunately she couldn’t give me the discount because it’s an online only offer, but asked to see my laptop screen where I showed her how the online tool was glitching. I also showed her my cart, and what the total was supposed to be.

Again, I didn’t get angry.

Then without any more fuss, she said she’d match the price.

That’s when I noticed I had selected shipping, something I didn’t need. I unchecked the box and the price dropped from $40 something to $28.

I thanked her, and before paying, I stepped away to pick up a few supplies for an upcoming event, and returned again to her register. Unexpectedly, the items I added to the order popped up as discounted too. She was confused, but then said, “Oh, I guess the 40% off is working for these items too… okay, I’ll allow it.”

I thanked her with even more enthusiasm 🙂 and then she said, “Well, because of (something or other I didn’t quite catch), the Grad announcements just dropped down to $16.” 😲

I don’t understand exactly what happened, but what I do know is that I went in expecting to pay somewhere around $70 for everything I needed, and after being presented with an opportunity and reason to get upset, but instead prepared to accept the worst-case scenario, I came out with the Grad announcements AND event supplies for only $22.93.

So I’m just curious now…

What do you choose to be calm about today?

Post below.

And whenever YOU have a “Keep Calm and Watch what Happens” experience of your own, I hope you’ll share it in our group. Things just go better when we choose to stay calm. I think we can ALL use the reminder sometimes, including me.

Learn more about the Keep Calm principle here: in this podcast episode.


And just for fun, about that Graduation announcement…

Yes, I have a 2020 Grad. All these years, this class thought they had the coolest “class of” moniker, but who knew how unique their year would actually be?

It’s been announced that their ceremony will be held at the nearby Schnepf Farms, which, because of Covid-19 now has a drive-in movie theater. One car per graduate, social distancing guidelines in place. I think it’s going to be awesome!

Here’s a sneak peek:


Leslie Householder
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