Don’t Look Back in Anger

Conquer anger
with lack of anger;
bad, with good;
stinginess, with generosity;
a liar, with truth.

-Dhammapada, 17, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

I hung up with the so-called Customer Service representative of my (former) cell provider and huffed. It took all my control not to rail at the woman on the other end of the line.

“I know this isn’t your fault, and that you’re just doing your job here. But do you see how ridiculous this is? Do you see the logic here?” I was pleading.

I simply wanted to be heard, but she kept repeating her script over and over again. Every time I’d interrupt her, she’d start again with the terms of my contract, the early cancellation fee.

“But the phone doesn’t work!” I said, “It’s nothing more than a piece of plastic now, and you’re going to charge me for that?” And then I added, “I’m not angry at you personally.” But I was.

Eventually I gave in. “Just do whatever you need to do and I’ll write a letter.” I said. And I let her begin, one more time, from the top.

When I hung up, I went to the computer to write my letter. First I checked my email (a force of habit that deserves its own entry), and found this quote, perfectly appropriate, and sitting in my inbox. Smiling at me.

And I had to smile back before I began my letter. “Dear Customer Service Department…”

– mmny

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