Friday, October 2, 2009

Failing at Failing

When we bought our washer and dryer for our new house from Sears, they were supposed to install them for us. But when our home's dryer vent turned out to be inconvenient for the setup, we ended up with an uninstalled dryer sitting in our laundry room. Home delivery: fail.

When we called Sears repeatedly for days and sent an email explaining how upset we were that the job we paid $75 for was left unfinished, we were given an online survey to fill out and told they'd "get back to us." Customer service: fail.

When we had the cable company come set up our Internet and TV for us, a 15-minute job turned into about 3 hours, resulting with a faulty wireless router and no Internet on Katie's computer. I had to buy a new router and set up the internet myself. Tech support: fail.

A few weeks ago, I had prepared a lesson for junior high, had studied and prayed and knew what I was going to say. When I went up to teach, I stumbled and stuttered for about 10 minutes, rambling off incoherent ideas and forgetting how to use the Keynote presentation before simply dismissing the students to small groups. The worst part: I was teaching about the Gospel, the central tenet of the Christian faith and the truth that drives my entire existence. Teaching junior high students: fail.

I'm learning the balance between holding people accountable for their incompetence while also allowing for grace, because I know I'm not perfect either. It just depends on what one does in the midst of failure that determines what that grace and accountability will look like. Sears and the cable company have both failed at failing; they haven't changed, apologized, or really done anything to make up for the mistakes (online surveys just don't cut it, Sears). They had an opportunity for growth and to make a good impression, and they failed at that too. I pray that I can learn and grow from my mistakes so I don't end up failing at failing.

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