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?
Hmmm..that’s a tough one. Part of me thinks, I would have removed the review like you did but then part of me thinks I would have copied his response to you (like you did above) and added it to your review showing how he treats folks. Or you could have posted this blog and added this link to your review. But it doesn’t matter. People who run their business like this don’t usually make it for long. Don’t beat yourself up! You are a wise warrior and a child of the Living God. He’s got your back!
Thank you, Tammy! I did think about posting a picture of his post on the review page, but I thought that might make things worse. I haven’t been feeling like much of a warrior lately, but you are very right. God has me in the palm of his hand! Thank you!
I read this and then gave myself a bit to mull it over. As Christian women I think we struggle to find the “line” more than other groups. The line between firmly dissatisfied, nice, and full of Jesus. I bet that you just spoke the truth about the work that was done at your house that you wrote the review for, and the letter to the BBB. I mean we are “nice Christian women”. He had the opportunity to make it right, didn’t do that, but then also thought intimidation was a good plan. Not everyone wants to hear the… Read more »
Thank you for your thoughtful response, Mauna! I think you’re right. Taking it down did have to do with the state of my heart. I love what you said, “God is always willing to give us a bath of unmerited favor, sweet grace.” Beautiful!