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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 6092
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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I have been very stressed and worried lately. I own my own

Resolved Question:

I have been very stressed and worried lately. I own my own business and I try to be nice to everyone that calls, I don't swear, I don't talk harshly...even tho a lot of people talk to me that way.
Because of the recent labor day weekend, I was able to take some time off and get away....I guess I just snapped before I left. I left a vacation message on my email that just said that I am gone, I don't care what your needs are, it's going to have to wait until Tuesday and what ever nasty message you leave me, it will be deleted.

I really don't know what made me do this. Other than I have just had it with all my customers and vendors demands. I have been doing business with some of them for 20 years now and they act like they don't know me and they find it easy to call me up and chew me out for a late payment...or some thing.
on Tuesday when I got back I thought I took this message off my email. I forgot to save the changes and it stayed on there. One of my customers sent me an invoice request and got the message and they were easily offended. They took it as I had sent them this message in reply to their request. They sent the message all over THIER office to managers and bosses, they called and yelled at me and told me its not in my relm to be nice and that they were going to find another vendor and a phone call finally made it to my husband. They all went nuts. they didn't read it and take it that it was a Vacation notice. It was not directed at them. I apologized and apologized and said I would address the situation. I sent the invoice they were requesting and told them it was not my intent to hold an invoice and that we appreciate their business. I screwed up royally. what do I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

DoctorZ :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern

DoctorZ :

I am so sorry that you were feeling stressed like this and then this recent event must have added to it significantly, I can imagine how distressing this is for you

DoctorZ :

I would like to ask you a few questions, if I may, so I can give you the best information possible.

Customer:

ok go ahea

DoctorZ :

Would you consider yourself a passive or assertive person?

DoctorZ :

Were you under a great deal of stress of anger right before the holiday weekend?

Customer:

probably more passive...but some assertive

Customer:

yes

Customer:

are we done?

DoctorZ :

Was this stress or anger before the holiday weekend building up or something that happened suddenly?

DoctorZ :

No, sorry I am not the fastest typist, so it takes me some time to get things out on the computer

Customer:

nothing is suddenly. My husband and I own a small construction company. About 4 months ago we had a shake up at our shop and we had to find some new help. most of the people we have now are very green. They are very slow, so the jobs run long...when the work goes out it comes back for a re-do. so we do it twice. We have had some jobs go wrong where we had to take the hit for the mistake and we lost money...this has been going on for about 4 months now. last month I could not pay my bills. I did my best to give everyone something, but some bills I only paid half. That's when people would call and instead of talking with me about it, they just come after as if I am the biggest dead bead alive.

DoctorZ :

I understand, so it definitely feels like the stress and frustration was building up and you can only take so much, so that vacation notice automatic reply on your email was more of you lashing out and venting. I think you may have an anxiety disorder, I can recommend some techniques to help you through this, but they usually work gradually and take around 2-3 months to start being effective, and I am sure you would want immediate relief of this. So I would recommend seeing your primary care doctor and asking for a fast acting benzodiazepine (e.g. Xanax, Ativan, or Klonopin) as these are great anti-anxiety medication that work very quickly, within a couple hours to help you

Customer:

my concern right now is what to do with this situation. I will worry about any disorder I have later. A pill is not going to fix what I did

DoctorZ :

I think one thing you may be able to do to apologize to your customers and vendors is to give them a discount on material and services, that can help them mediate the situation and show that you care a lot about your customers. It will hurt your business somewhat, but at least you may not lose any customers from it or at least not as many

Customer:

The one customer in this instance has already said they would find another vendor. So its over. No one else that may have gotten the notice ever said anything and I have talked to them in the mean time and no one acted like they had any fight with me at all. Just this one......was easily offended and not to diminish what I did... but their reaction is almost worse than what I did. Also, can I be sued,...just for being rude?

DoctorZ :

No you can definitely not be sued for just being rude. I think that is a good sign that other vendors were not upset with you. So this vendor's reaction was upsetting to you, most likely this vendor is very sensitive to criticism or may have even had a bad too and this just put them over the top

DoctorZ :

So what exactly is your concern, I think possibly losing one vendor, while bad, but it could have been worse actually

Customer:

This is my problem...I am nice to everyone...I did something that was very out of character for me, it bothers me to have people mad at me, I thought I had gotten rid of the nasty message and it was still there and they got it and I feel just dreadful

Customer:

I also don't want this to come back at me sometime down the road. I am sorry and I want it to go away. I have blocked them on my office email and have left my ap email open, but that's it

DoctorZ :

Well if you want to be proactive and mediate the issue to show your sincerity in an apology, you can give a discount to these other vendors as a show of good faith, most of them will be very appreciative of that to you. And also I think you are very focused on the negative of what might happen, but you have to think of this from an objective viewpoint and that it seems like most of your vendors understood what happened and also brushed it off like it was nothing, that is a good sign

DoctorZ :

I think this worksheets can help you put this event into an objective mindset by focusing on alternative thoughts and positive outcomes

Customer:

I will take a look....our solution is to sell our business and get out of it all together. My husband has been in our particular industry for over 40 years. We have been in our current situation for 20 years. This one incident is no the reason why we are thinking this way....With all the government stuff going around and people just don't have the drive these days to do a good job...all they want is a pay check. We also had a situation last year where we got involved with a company that was going to give us work for 2 years. So we geared up. we bought more equipment, hired more people...only to have the job end 3-4 months later. Now I am paying the price. Workers comp came after me (even though I pay what ever is due) I owe them so much money It is going to take me 2 years to pay it off. I have paid less payroll this year and DOUBLE the taxes so far this year and the year is not over. Being a small business owner is very difficult these days and we are just done.

DoctorZ :

I am so sorry, I just recently started my own small business and I am realizing how difficult it is. You are right this could be a sign for you that the stress of this business is not worth it for your psychological and emotional health. What would you do afterwards if you both get out of the business?

Customer:

We have seriously been looking at buying an RV park in Oregon

DoctorZ :

Oh that is very interesting, is that an area you both like and have some passion for?

Customer:

yes it is....our daughter lived there a few years ago and we were out there to see her every time we had a spare minute. We love it there...its green all the time and we have an RV and like going in it. , so why not have a job doing something that we are interested in and the people that would come there are having fun.

DoctorZ :

In addition, I wanted to give you this worksheet as well. I use this with patients that are not assertive in many ways and express their anger and frustration in a non-beneficial way, I believe your email was a passive expression of your frustration.

Customer:

ok thanks. We should end this now. thanks for your time

DoctorZ :

I think having a job that you are passionate about and actually enjoy going to, will help your stress levels a ton. It sounds like you no longer enjoy your job right now and it just increases your resentment for the vendors, who just want a paycheck, and it increases your frustration level

DoctorZ :

Okay, is there anything else I can do for you to assist you?

Customer:

that's exactly it

DoctorZ :

Well I want to wish you and your husband the best of luck in your future and what ever decisions you both make. My goal is to provide you with excellent service, so if you ever have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime.

Customer:

thanks

DoctorZ :

Anytime, have a pleasant rest of your weekend :)

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 6092
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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Dr. Z
Dr. Z
Psychologist
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Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.