I gave in to a bully.
Standing up to bullies seems like an important thing to do, and I’m conflicted a little that I rolled over and complied.
Let me explain. If you read my post last week, you may have noticed the line about me “yelling at the plumber.” Not my finest hour. In my defense, I didn’t yell anything mean. As a matter of fact, I yelled (over the phone) for him to have a nice day. I think my exact words were “Well, I hope you have a REALLY nice day.”
I had called because one of his employees had come to my house and left our dripping faucet in much worse shape than it was before he got there. We were annoyed, and I was emotional, so I figured instead of just writing a review, I should call and let him know I wasn’t happy.
The call wasn’t to ask for a refund or for them to come fix anything. All I wanted was for him to acknowledge that mistakes sometimes happen and that he understood my frustration. That’s not what I got. Instead, he put the blame on me. Somehow it was my fault that his employee left an unstoppable stream of water running in my bathroom. I finally gave up and ended the call with my infamous well wish for his day, and then I turned to my comfortable place – words.
I wrote a review. Two reviews actually—one for the Better Business Bureau and one for Google. They were honest reviews recounting my experience, and I gave him two stars.
And that was that. I wrote the reviews in June.
In the fall, I decided I wanted to take down both reviews because maybe I had overreacted, and I didn’t want to have something so negative out there with my name on it. Besides, the guy only had three reviews at the time, and mine was the only one with an actual written review and not just stars. (The other two were a 1-star and a 5-star review.)
Time passed, though, and December rolled around, and I still hadn’t taken down the reviews.
And then I got a message from the plumber. He messaged me on Facebook—tracked me down to tell me that I was a bad person and that he was gonna spread the word. His profile picture was a Guy Fawkes mask. It creeped me out.
So, I took down the reviews.
If I hadn’t already planned to take them down, maybe I would have stood up to his taunt and left them out there. But I don’t know. Life is fragile. Why push mean buttons if you don’t have to?
Still, it seems wrong to lose my voice because he didn’t like the truth. Not only that, but how about the next person he seeks to silence? Maybe I should have thought of them a little more. I don’t know. What would you have done?