It’s happened to us all. We buy a flashlight that doesn’t work, purchase a conferencing service that doesn’t record when it’s supposed to (true story, still bitter) or we work with a person who turns out to, well, suck.
And what do you do about it? Do you write a letter, an email, make a phone call? Or do you make no direct move? With social media, you could take to your blog, tell everyone on Twitter, put a picture of the offensive thing with a big X over it on Flickr. Or not.
What are the repercussions of voicing your dissatisfaction? You could get a new flashlight, a reimbursement, a door in the face, the ‘bad person’ could be so slimey that they retaliate…or nothing at all could happen.
And if you don’t say anything? Well, you won’t get a comped replacement, there will be no reimbursement. But, there also won’t be an uncomfortable confrontation.
Let me tell you a little story…
I do not come from a line of practical jokers, but my wife does. I’ve seen her dump a bucket of cold water on someone who was enjoying a warm shower (me), I’ve seen her glue a handset to it’s phone base (her co-workers), I’ve seen her cover an entire car in duct tape (a friend). But her shining moment was when she got every member of my family (5 in total) soaking wet, one after the other.
You know the spray hose thingy on your sink? Well, she secured its lever to the on position with a rubber band, aimed it forward and systematically watched as every single one of us turned on the water and got blasted. This was during our summer vacation and we were all sharing a house – so her plan was contingent on those of us who had already been sprayed keeping quiet. We did, we maliciously let those around us go down in flames drips.
And, as I ponder this dilemma – to speak out or not to speak out – I can’t help but look back at the water spray incident above and think that it is important to speak out about a bad situation. Because if you don’t, everyone that comes after you will get sopping wet in one way or another.
Now, I know that every situation is unique, but all in all, dear readers, do you have an opinion? How do you handle these situations and why? And, yes, something has happened and I’m having a very heated internal debate about how to handle it – and, yes, it was someone on the internet and, no, I don’t want anyone else to get ‘sprayed’ by him.