An e-mail that really stands out from the rest, was from a client who implied that if I didn’t upgrade to the newest version of Eclipse immediately (I was waiting for the patch to fix the software bugs), this obviously meant that I just didn’t have an interest or heart for the scoping profession and I would not be given her expedites; they would instead go to her other scopist.
I was shocked how deeply this hit a nerve with me.
My thoughts starting swirling and I quickly typed out an email of exactly what I wanted to say, completely unfiltered, and hit “Send.”
Just kidding. Please don’t do that.
“Before you light your match, think about the fire.”
Instead, I quickly typed out an e-mail of exactly what I wanted to say, deleted it, walked away, and tended to more important matters.
A few hours later, I returned and calmly sent a professional reply. Though this working relationship ran its course a few weeks later, it would have met an abrupt end had I chosen to lash out in defense.
Sadly, these kinds of incidents happen all the time and they’re detrimental to the industry.
Though it’s tempting to use colorful language in the heat of the moment, it’s rarely a good idea.
While you can’t always change how clients talk to you, you can choose how you’re going to respond.
Some days I’ll even type out an email, save it to my drafts, sleep on it, and reevaluate in the morning. It’s amazing how much clearer your perspective is after walking away.
I highly recommend you try doing this. It’s therapeutic, helps you stay professional, and will essentially keep you from burning bridges. No matter how badly you feel you’ve been treated, it’s never a good idea to burn bridges.
Though, there are exceptions to my theory.
And for those instances, I’ll leave you with these quotes:
“Sometimes you get the best light from a burning bridge.”
“There comes a time when you have to stop crossing oceans for people who wouldn’t jump puddles for you.”
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