Adapting expectations for yourself and your customers

In the summer of 2021, I start planning a vacation to Hawaii. Counting down the days, it finally arrives.

My first actual vacation since February 2020, I felt grateful and excited for the opportunity to safely travel again!

However, the weather predictions look stormy with lots of rain, wind and cold.

It’s Hawaii though, an island with rain and rainbows on a regular basis. The weather changes quickly. Plus, I was staying with my awesome cousin! How bad could it be?

As if I planned it, the day I arrive is the day the storm kicks off it’s whipping winds and torrential downpour.

I heard locals complain about having to dig through the closet to locate their coats and beanies. I borrowed a sweatshirt from my cousin as I only brought a small jacket. Roads flooded. Waves destroyed the coastline on my cousin’s property.

I caught a terribly painful 24 hour stomach bug.

The friend I traveled with decided the weather sucked too much and hopped on a plane back home.

My cousin developed an infected tooth and was in a lot of discomfort as his dentist was closed until the following week.

I learned during a last-minute 6:30 am work call that the side project I had been working on over the last 2 years would be shutting it’s doors.

I can’t deny the fact that I was frustrated and didn’t sleep well. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t break down crying in the middle of a grocery store. All those hikes I wanted to do, all the sunshine I planned to soak up, all those coconuts I wanted to drink…it didn’t happen the way I planned it.

I knew I had a choice:

I could sit and simmer in the disappointment. Because hell, there was a lot to be disappointed about.

Or, I could make the best of it. It wasn’t really that bad, right? It would all work itself out, right? In the meantime, I WAS still a lucky SOB in paradise. It just looked a little different than what I or anyone else had in mind.

And, isn’t that just life?

When it comes to customer experience, we strive to support our customers in the best ways possible. And, our customers expect the most from us.

Sometimes, hopefully more times than not, we kick butt and knock the socks off of customers.

Sometimes, we fail and have to own up to our mistakes, hopefully learning and improving for the next time.

Then, there was a break in the storm. Only for a few hours, but we took advantage of it and did a short hike and snorkel.

This moment standing atop the Deadman’s Cat Walk in Oahu felt glorious in the sun, with a view, even if only for a short time:

I left Hawaii filled with joy knowing that while things are not always what we expect, even in paradise, we have the choice to react. I’m cool with giving myself permission to feel pissed off/sad/disappointed and then pick my sobbing self up off the ground and enjoy what I do have.

What’s something that has happened to you lately that caught you off guard and you had to make the most of it?


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