What NOT to Say When You Receive Criticism (And One Question You Need to Ask)

Sometimes a word of advice is warranted AND well received.  Other times, not so much.  I need YOUR advice, Friends.  I'm a sucker for great customer service, and a stickler for bad service, bad attitudes  etc.  A friend today complimented my outfit sweetly and also commented on the shop where I bought an accessory I was wearing.  She said sadly she had been in the store twice but the salesgirl(also the owner) was kind of snotty to her.  I was surprised and lamented.  My friend went on that maybe she wasn't the right demographic for her store, but that she didn't  want to buy anything from there since she wasn't made to feel welcome at all.  I shared that I was always welcomed, the lady complimented me on my girls' behavior, etc.  I was embarrassed for the shop and sad for my friend.

Later that day I had a chance to pop into the shop.  I wanted to...I don't know, warn the lady?  Protect the viability of the store against any Uber Posh behavior?  Or just share how she had hurt my friend's feelings and thus her business?  My intentions were good.  I didn't describe my pal or name names.  And I shouldn't have bothered!

After our initial smiles and greetings, I said quietly, out of earshot of the other customer,"I wanted to let you know I was talking about my scarf with a friend, she said she came in here a few times but never felt very welcome. I love this store and thought you should know."  The woman bristled and snapped, "What did I do or say that was so offensive?"

YIKES.  She didn't seem to care AT ALL that she upset a customer.  She was not apologetic, concerned or anything I would have expected in her reaction.  I stammered that maybe she wasn't  the right demographic.  Maybe it was a bad day?

She caustically snarked something like "I'm not an idiot, I know how to treat people.  Some people aren't happy if you do not kiss their asses."  


I assured her my friend is not that sort of person.  She is sweet, quiet, almost shy.  As I type this now I remember another friend who said the same shop owner had yelled at her family member for returning an item of clothing.  I thought at the time maybe the returner was antagonistic or something since again, my experience with this lady had always been positive.    

Now I begin to wonder.

I left the store, feeling hurt myself.  I was trying to warn the lady.  My intentions were good.  Now I do not feel as warm and fuzzy about the store, the owner.  Now I might not be as eager to stroll through and shop there.  How many customers has she lost if just the two friends I have talked to cost her a minimum of five customers?

When you are criticized, please look at it as someone caring enough to SAY SOMETHING.  Many folks won't say a word.   Even though it HURTS, ask yourself "What part of this COULD BE TRUE?"  Work through it.  Take it humbly.  Someone cares enough to say something.  

And you already know what not to say when you are criticized.

What would you have said, what should I have said?  And if you all DON'T COMMENT I might just stop blogging because no one really reads my blahbloggityblah!   

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