From the people who know me (family or non-family) or worked with me, I am not a brash nor an irrational person. Sometimes, I allow myself to be a pushover for the reason of not wanting to stir ill-feelings with anyone. A few know I put up with matters that bother me big-time and take all the blows for the sake of keeping peace.
As Confucius said,
“Don't do unto others what you don't want others to do unto you.”
I live by this mantra as much as possible, however, I can't say that everyone else will sing to the same tune.
When it comes to committing to a task that you are not prepared to undertake, there will be unnecessary stress and unhappiness that comes with it. Sometimes, it is just a matter of putting your loved ones' priorities first, if it means more to them. However, most times, your acts of respect or kindness goes unnoticed, unappreciated and worst of all, misunderstood. I have learned to somewhat manage to live and let live. God knows my heart. Having close friends to listen to my woes and providing me with emotional support, helps me overcome the temporary animosity too.
Recently, I was very taken aback by a customer's reaction to my decision not to take on a clay bead making order. As my initial quotations were not accepted during the first few times she inquired many months ago, I cited my present commitment to a jewelry making project and also expressed my desire to cease taking in clay bead making requests as much as possible, when she asked me about it again. Instead of respecting my decision, she lashed out her disappointment with me by questioning my integrity.
In the course of my work in the past 8 years, though there have been difficult customers, there was none that was this overbearing. Naturally, my integrity took a beating and it took me some time to get back to my feet because I believe it plays a major role in sustaining my little business. I would never think of ditching this part of me that has brought me to where I am. I have never been unscrupulous.
Despite apologizing toward the way she feels about my decision and hoping for understanding toward my stance, I was harshly reminded to be humble and criticized for allowing success to get into my head. It has never occurred to me that a simple declination could bring about such malignment about me. I am saddened that this customer bore such bitter resentment toward me, even though this is not the first time I am working with her. I don't know if I should be the one disappointed in her, than her with me. It sure felt like it was a personal attack.
"You don't have to explain yourself to her."
- said one of my buddies whom I confided into.
Well, it is because I value my integrity and would protect myself at all costs. It would be very unwise of me to take on a job which I have no heart for because it would be reflected in the end product - my standards will be compromised. That is not something I would want in my undertakings as a crafter/seller. I have to believe in what I do in order to produce my best.
I sincerely hope that my customer has somewhat calmed down and perhaps realize that the inflictions she has caused, was uncalled for and a mistake. It may have taken just 10 minutes to lose this customer of mine (I would think I lost her), but I am so glad that I did not lose myself over this. I am pretty sure I did the right thing and would not change my decision even if I could turn back the clock.
So thank you once again, my friends, family and supporters of my craft, for believing in what I do, for coming back to me to make you more jewelry creations and endorsing me with your referrals. It has been a humbling experience.
Moving on, gambatte to me!