Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It's Just Small Stuff - No Apologies Needed

I made a purchase today and used my credit card for payment. I was in a rush to get home from the city and didn't expect to encounter the long delay which was to follow. Apparently the cashier had inadvertently entered the "invoice number" rather than the actual purchase price through the credit card machine. The amount was approved and as he handed me the receipt to sign, he instantly realized his mistake.

I assured him that things like this happen and it was no problem at all. He would just credit back the amount and make the correction. His first attempt did not work however, as the amount for which he originally debited my credit card, exceeded the allowable amount he could credit. Therefore, the only way he could reverse his mistake, was to call the credit department. He apologized for his mistake and assured me that it would soon be rectified. I smiled and said "no problem".....things like this do happen.

Now, all of us who have ever called any credit card company, can attest to the length of time it takes to reach an actual person on the other end of the line. Today, it was practically impossible, no doubt due to early Christmas shoppers. He apologized once again for not being able to connect with someone and I assured him that it was fine. As he made another attempt to call the credit company I decided to look around the store.

I found another item to purchase and had another cashier ring in the sale on one of my other credit cards......you won't believe this, but oh yes, he also entered the incorrect amount and the transaction was approved before he noticed his mistake. This time however, it was easier to correct due to the smaller amount, and he just had to enter a credit directly from the interact terminal...no calling involved. The correct amount was then transacted and my purchase was complete. Another apology and another "no problem" from me and everything was fine again.

Meanwhile, cashier #1 was still on the phone awaiting personnel from the credit department to answer. Apparently, he had already reached one agent, who transferred him to the credit department. The wait was about another 30 minutes....I was patient throughout, but I could certainly tell that the poor cashier was feeling so terrible for his mistake. I interrupted him to say that "things like this happen and that we all make mistakes....there was really no problem."

He looked at me somewhat in amazement, thinking that I was slowly becoming enraged at his mistake.....in fact, I was feeling quite the opposite. I understood how it happened and I assured him once again that this was merely small stuff. I decided to leave as I had more shopping to do and said he could call the credit card company later that day and to mail out the credit receipt once it was corrected. He commented on how I was so "ok" with all of this and I left by telling him to "have a great day!"

After all, when you have been affected with any serious illness, you realize that the things you once thought to be of importance, now are just trivial and the most important thing in life, is your health. Cancer has made me realize that the small stuff is just that.......STUFF............and nothing more. There are certainly more devastating things that can happen in life, then a cashier entering the incorrect amount on a sale.

Rule #1 - "don't sweat the small stuff....
Rule #2 - "it's all small stuff..............
Robert Eliot


Anonymous said...

Thanks for putting it into perspective for me. I needed to hear this.

DaveT said...

As you say Deb, especially at this time of year, nerves are frazzled with Christmas shopping and the hustle and bustle. We all need to stop and take the time to realize what is truly important.