Monday, August 31, 2009

Dear Anne

Today as my son and I drove down Bellevue way in my well-marked Sugar & Swank Mobile we watched a car abruptly change lanes and cut off another driver, almost causing an accident. Moments later the same car suddenly slowed to well below the speed limit. The driver behind (the same driver who was cut off just moments before) had to think quickly so as not to rear end Nutty Driver. Unfortunately, his best choice was to veer into my lane, almost running into me. I honked once at Nutty Driver. Then, as she (at this point I saw Nutty Driver was female) pulled into the Bellevue Park & Ride, I honked again. I was scared, shaken and shocked at her neglectful driving behavior. She almost caused three major accidents within seconds.

Then I got this e-mail:

Comments: If you hope to promote your business in a positive way, perhaps you should use better judgement whilst driving around in your logoed van. Honking your horn once to show annoyance is a gracious plenty! You scared me by laying on the horn to a driver, then you did it again as you passed the car. I was in the middle of changing lanes and felt like blaring my horn at you! You write in your blog about how you so selflessly go to hospitals for others' cancer treatments. I was headed in for mine and already stressed enough. Please be a sugar and show a little restraint in the future.

The essential message in this email is honest and makes sense. In honking at someone who was frightening me I in turn frightened someone else. But the writer suffocated this important lesson under oozing, toxic, judgmental, mean-spirited sarcasm, causing me to focus less on her message and more on how unkind she is.

Too bad she didn't have all the facts. Too bad, as well, she didn't provide an email address so that I could apologize and explain. If she reads my blog again maybe she'll see this and know that, even though it was buried under hate, I did get her message. Of course, she twisted me going to visit friends and family at the hospital into something bad (That part just makes me want to cry - especially since we laid my uncle to rest exactly one week ago today.) so she's likely to misinterpret me again.

In any case, next time she's upset with someone I would suggest skipping the hurtful words and just saying, clearly, what she means. It is a lot more effective.

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