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Elegant Letters, Issue #29 Grace Under Pressure (or my lack there of…a personal experience)

Warmest greetings in the month of May!

Happy Mother’s Day! (belated)

Mothers Day cupcakes - alternative box...

I hope all of you had a lovely mother’s day. If you are a mother, I hope you were spoiled silly, and if you were fortunate to spend some time with your mother, I hope you have spoiled her silly. 🙂

Today I wanted to write about my experience about ‘having grace under pressure’. I’ve been feeling quite a bit of pressure lately…I’m sure everyone has been through a period in their lives, whether it is self-imposed or coming from the people around us.

Grace Under Pressure

My Personal Experience

In times like these, it seems a lot easier to lose control and flare up, snap or even break down, for me at least. Today was a typical long day where I was running from one place to another with a big schedule book and a long checklist in my bag. I was looking forward to the last thing of the day, which is a pamper session at this spa, a deal with I found on Groupon a few days ago.

So finally, I made it there, even gave my car to the valet so I could get there quicker. Then to my huge disappointment, they rejected my voucher. You see, years ago, one of my friends had a manicure package there and she gave me the last session because she couldn’t make it. All I had to do was to show up. So I did, and I didn’t register or pay or anything. Somehow, I must have signed the liability form or something. While I was happily registering, they tracked my records down and voided my voucher.

It all starts nicely….at first

At first I was nice, and I tried to explain that I assumed I wouldn’t be considered as a ‘first time customer’ because I had never signed or bought anything from them.

“Nothing we can do”

Of course, they will always say that there is nothing they can do. So I asked nicely if they would make an exception. But my patience didn’t last very long because the lady who spoke to me cut me off, switched to Mandarin and started speaking really fast.

Rudeness begets rudeness

I don’t mind being spoken to in Mandarin but not when I first used English. Or at least ask nicely if I understood Mandarin. I’ll admit that I have not much patience for people who just cut me off and switch to the language they are more comfortable with.

Secondly, they tried to sell me another package. I wanted to scream, “are you listening?” Why are you allowing me to have another package but not this one?

Thirdly, I almost lost it when I was on the phone with Groupon and the spa consultant just spoke to me as though I wasn’t on the phone.

Calming myself down

I started to speak with harsher tones and began to show signs of impatience.

In Asia, many parents will tell you that the way to get things down is to be rude, loud and be really angry to the point of embarrassing the shop/restaurant/spa etc. to finally get your way. Of course, I’m not going to do that. I was a shop owner myself and I knew how that was like.

So I had to step back, swallow the lump in my throat, remain fairly gracious, say thank you and leave.

I guess it is hard to draw the line sometimes especially when you’re quite annoyed. Then again, we shouldn’t be push overs but speak up, stand our ground and do something when it’s unfair.

I’ll admit that I wasn’t the most gracious and left with lots of negative energy. I started to have dramatic thoughts until I calmed down later, I realized it was the pressure affecting me.

All about Character

At the end of the day, it is a show of character if one can remain in control, despite unpleasantness. I didn’t have to stoop to anyone’s level. It is just so easy to react.

If you fall, don’t worry, it’s always a brand new day tomorrow.

I hope you have handled a similar situation better. No worries, tomorrow is always as brand new day for elegance!

That’s all for now, I just wanted to check in and say hi!

Much love,

P.s. I tweet randomly about what’s happening in my life on twitter (which may not be related to elegance) and Facebook. While I’m busy reading, researching, planning and writing pages on elegantwoman.org, I occasionally blog.

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Thank you for reading ‘Elegant Letters Issue 29’!

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