Give Them a Chance to Make it Right.

I really hate being a woman taking my car to a mechanic. My dad was a diesel mechanic so I know that I am completely out of my league. And they know it too. When I was married we used to play this game, Jeff would tell me what was wrong with the car then have me go to different places, by myself, to see what they would tell me. Amazing the results.

Last week I took my car and my son’s car to one place and the estimate seemed very high, so I called my mom and asked her to talk to her mechanic. She has a wonderful business relationship with him and trusts him. He quoted me a price on my car and we took both up there the next day. Unfortunately the owner (her trusted advisor and mechanic) was not in and what we experienced was not pleasant to say the least. Just a small bit to give you an appreciation: my quote jumped over double what he had told me and in the end landed somewhere in the middle. It just got worse from there.

Once I rescued the cars I told my mom about the entire experience. The owner was out until today but she assured me that her husband was going to go talk to him. The irony that it is the husband going did not escape me, but I let it go. Anyway, she apologized several times and I told her that it was not on her or the owner, but those that were there at the time.

The owner was told of the situation and he was appalled at our treatment and is making every effort to make it right. It may take a bit of time to unwind everything that happened, but I am confident that it will be done.

My point is this: I could have blasted this company for what happened to me without giving the owner the opportunity to make it right or even know what happened. But that, in my mind, is not fair. I feel that he should have the opportunity to make it right and how can he do that without knowing about it? Mistakes are made, wrong paths are chosen, errors in judgment happen – people are human. It was worth it to me to give this man the opportunity to correct the situation because my mom thought so highly of him and this had not happened before. It was worth it to me to cool my jets a few days and give us both the opportunity to know the whole story in order to move forward.

Whether it be in business or professional relationships, mistakes happen. If the relationship is of value to you, give the other person the opportunity to make it right. Listen, communicate in an adult manner your issues and “side” and then have an open mind in letting them make it right. If you are the one that made the mistake, swallow your pride and fear and own up to it. If the relationship is important to you know what you are willing to do to make it right and then do it. Sometimes when we screw up we are afraid that people will be mad at us and not want to talk to us or even give us the opportunity to explain ourselves. But the key concept here is if the relationship is important to you. If it is, then step up, no matter what side you are on. If you were wronged keep in mind that there is probably a time or two that you made a mistake and it inadvertently wronged someone else. What’s the saying: “To err is human, to forgive is divine”…

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
Career Polish, Inc.

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