How to keep your cool (?)

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Johnny Moondog, May 11, 2015.

  1. Johnny Moondog

    Johnny Moondog Member

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    Just had an argument with the staff of a car rental company office.

    My wife picked up the rental (our car is in the body shop).
    I told her to make sure they gave her all the proper papers, before driving off the lot.

    I pop home on my lunch break - sure enough - she forgot to check - and sure enough - invalid/expired insurance papers, etc.
    I had to go back to the rental office on what was left of my lunch break - so they could correct the paperwork.

    Admittedly, I was already irritated, and running late.

    Did they apologize for our inconvenience ? - No

    Instead they gave us lip about how it didn't really matter if we drive around with incomplete/incorrect/expired permit and inurance.
    I told them that they were wrong - but they continued to be beligerant.

    I got mad - and we left.

    Later - I called and complained to our insurance company (they had arranged the rental) - they said they would look into it, and get back to me.

    My wife thought I handled it improperly (should not have gotten mad), and now fears that they will hassle us, when we return the vehicle later.

    I get that I did not "keep my cool" -and I wish that I had.
    But I do think I had a right to be mad.

    My wife thinks you should never get mad at anyone, anytime, ever.
    I try to be polite and courteous when I can - but if someone is pushing for it - I can get verbal.

    Thoughts ?
    Tips for not letting idiots get under my skin / keep a cool head ?
     
  2. claudel

    claudel Member

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    Ever since I lost it just a bit too much over something trivial a while back I felt
    so badly about my loss of self control that I just decided to not do that anymore.

    Not really that good of a "how to", but that's worked for me lately.
     
  3. tcdrover

    tcdrover Member

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    My grand mother used to tell me....

    If you let someone get you mad, you have to deal with being mad, AND also still with that person...

    Ultimately it is up to us whether or not we get angry.

    Really, from my POV, I don't like to let people know who have irritated me. This way I have MANY more options down the road.
     
  4. stevieboy

    stevieboy Clouds yell at me Gold Supporting Member

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    It's okay to get mad. It's better if you can maintain your cool when you get mad and not go off. But that doesn't mean you don't express your opinion, it just means you do it in a way where the manner you express it doesn't overshadow what you have to say. And it tends to make you "lose" your credibility when you go off on people no matter how justified you might be as far as the issue goes. Any further interaction with them, you're going to be looked at as "that guy" rather than someone who may have a good argument.

    Interesting to me, the last time I "went off" at a business, actually the only time I can remember doing it, was at a rental car location.
     
  5. BadgerDave

    BadgerDave Gold Supporting Member

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    Concentrate on what you are trying to achieve.

    Rarely, if ever, does getting angry and confrontational work to your advantage.

    In your situation, you wanted correct documentation for the rental vehicle. It's not about winning an argument or showing them who's boss.

    If they get snippy, counter with logic, not attitude. A good response is, "you may be right, but, with my luck, I'll be the one in a thousand exception that gets hassled because the docs aren't in order." or "I know, but I need to have everything in perfect order or my insurance company will hold back the check."

    If you know you're about to enter into a tense situation, plan your strategy ahead of time. It's impossible to think clearly when you're angry. Make it your goal to get what you need as quickly and painlessly as possible. Let the other guy think he's won.
     
  6. ripple

    ripple To keep fresh, keep capped & cold. Silver Supporting Member

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    I have a horrible temper, especially when it comes to useless morons and f*ckups, so I can empathize with the OP.

    It doesn't always work for me, but I try to tell myself that if I lose my temper, then I have lost control of the situation and am now "playing defense". I like playing offense better...

    When all else fails in these situations, a blitzkrieg of overt sarcasm helps me keep my really nasty side in check. Doesn't always result in positive resolution, but it helps with the anger threshold.
     
  7. m1911

    m1911 Member

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    Serenity Prayer.....OR...
    Don't ever leave the house.....
     
  8. FlackBase

    FlackBase Felonious Monkey Gold Supporting Member

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  9. Mr. Kite

    Mr. Kite Member

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    I lost my cool real bad at a neighbor a few years back. Even though they started **** with me I had to go apologize afterwards for going bananas. I hate having to make amends and I don't want to have to do it again so I'm going to try not to lose it. Looking back I see I was carrying a lot of pent up anger over my divorce and a few crappy cards dealt. So, my way of not losing my **** is to go make amends for my wrong, nevermind the other turd, just clean my side of the street. Crow is bitter, I don't want any more. Sometimes anger builds over years and just comes out. Prison is full of guys that just lost it a little too much one time.
     
  10. Guitar Josh

    Guitar Josh Resident Curmudgeon Silver Supporting Member

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    It is extremely doubtful you would have been charged with anything if stopped if it is a rental car. Extremely doubtful. So you did overreact.
     
  11. Matt Jones

    Matt Jones Supporting Member

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    This is how I see it. The pain of beating yourself up for days afterwards isn't worth losing it over something so trivial.

    OP - for what it's worth, I've rented a lot of cars in my time and never checked for that stuff. :dunno
     
  12. poolshark

    poolshark Supporting Member

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    On top of this, most of the time, your primary car insurance is the first line of coverage for a rental anyway. Then your homeowner's insurance, then your complimentary credit card insurance, then a whole slew of insurances that extend rental car coverage before you're actually liable. So while it sounds like you overreacted regardless, unless you had a specific reason to purchase the rental company's insurance, you were also wrong.
     
  13. Bozak

    Bozak Member

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    I'm with you, I love getting angry, I would have dragged that obnoxious little pencil-pusher from behind his fancy desk, and thrown him out the window, then following with my full 6' 6" 250 lb. frame, I would have put him in a Camel Clutch hold until he apologized.
     
  14. NAC25

    NAC25 Supporting Member

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    Without knowing the exact scenario (I'd have to be standing there listening), it's hard to judge how much lip they gave and how belligerent they got. I've been in similar situations, but always judged how much I still needed of them before pushing my &sshole button. One pushed though, it's go time.
     
  15. spyeman

    spyeman Supporting Member

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    I've read all of your $*$^($ posts and you are all a bunch of $(&(*#&$#*&_. God, such %$()_)$ drivel I have never seen, when did they let all you $%)&)Q#ers out of the +#$&%)# local nuthouse!

    I find that if I let loose on internet forums, it helps keep real life anger explosions at bay.

    Carry on with your *(_^&%^$).
     
  16. Benny

    Benny Gold Supporting Member

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    The first and last time that I seriously lost my temper as a young adult scared me, and made me feel awful afterwards. I'm 6'7" and not small. Getting violently angry is not a viable option for me in a civilized society. My job now also includes a fair bit of adversarial discussions/negotiations where the guy on the other side intentionally tries to be bullying/beligerant/obtuse or otherwise trigger a reaction. Here's what works for me, and might work for you.

    1) I refuse to raise my voice. This takes practice and commitment, and sometimes a test of will. But, in my experience, raising your voice to another adult in transactional situations is non-productive and usually counterproductive. If you can, use the energy and agitation to focus your mind on understanding what the other guy is saying, and choosing your next words wisely. Use that focus to observe, gather, and process the information that is lost when you yell.

    2) Diagnose the problem. For me, this is detecting whether the source of conflict in an encounter is a true and reasonable disagreement, a lack of capacity/understanding on the part of the other guy (or on my part), or the product of intentional rhetorical techniques by the other guy. The upshot is for most things, if you can hear the problem, you can hear the solution - or at least know what's pushing your buttons.

    3) Escalate if you can. A surprising number of line level employees are not authorized to solve non-standard problems or deviate much from a few set approaches to "helping". If you need to talk to a manager, ask.

    Recently, I got rear-ended by a driver whose insurance company tried to give me the runaround about her insurance being expired, etc. It was pretty clear that the front-line employee had a script to follow and was not authorized to do anything that looked like paying my claim. Kept my cool, determined what was going on, and asked if the front-line employee could transfer me to a manager to help explain his company's position. Escalated that manager to his manager, and it took one more level of escalation before I found someone who recognized that they needed to pay my claim. Check showed up last week.
     
  17. BrewDrinkRepeat

    BrewDrinkRepeat Member

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    LOVE this. I'm no good at it (I got my temper directly from my dad), but I love it nonetheless.
     
  18. m1911

    m1911 Member

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    Yep....I agree....

    [​IMG]
     
  19. fool

    fool Uncouth Savage Gold Supporting Member

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  20. Madsen

    Madsen Member

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    i think you get better results these days saving your frustrations for a well articulated yelp review or something of that sort. occasionally someone in a service dept that is empowered to kick you down something for your trouble will respond.
     

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