I don’t do well in conflict situations to begin with, and I completely lose my ability to function if I am having a conflict with a bully. It happened today. I had this unfortunate encounter with a woman about 10 to 15 years older than I who owns the lighting store where we recently purchased two chandeliers. Cristy and I hired a man who does electrical contracting work on the side to install all of our light fixtures. It is convenient because he works on the weekend and she and I don’t have to take more time off work to meet him at the house.
The new chandeliers are for the foyer and kitchen. Cristy and our installer went to the store to pick up the boxes this morning and he started installing them. Unfortunately, when he took the foyer lantern out of the box, he walked over to tell me that he had some bad news – the chandelier was broken. He showed me where the problem was and we packed it back up so I could return it.
Later, I took the fixture back and immediately felt a chill spread through the room when I suggested that I’d like to exchange it. I waited for a while with my boxed up lantern and then a while longer when they took it to the “back” for their “guy” to inspect it. The bully, I mean, owner, approached me with a stern look on her face and I felt like I was about to get in trouble. She went on the attack immediately: who was my installer, what was his name, what was the name of his company, was he a licensed electrician? I stammered and tried to explain that he was a qualified electrician, but had another full time job. That was all the fuel she needed. He was incompetent! He twisted up all the wires when he tried to install it! It was going to take their “guy” a couple of days to repair the mess!
This didn’t make sense to me. I told her that my installer merely removed it from the box and did not even attempt to install it because he noticed the flaw. Didn’t matter what I said.
I was instructed to return on Monday or Tuesday to pick it up.
Then she walked away.
I walked out to my car feeling scared and ashamed.
The store called Cristy later in the afternoon to say that the repairs were complete and we could pick it up. I don’t feel good about going. I know, I’m such a wimp. I’ll get it another time. When I’m feeling less diminished. Mean people suck.