A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire.
~ Proverbs 15:1
It seems I was pre-destined to have a temper. I don’t know if it’s my father’s fault, my grandfather’s fault or even my great-grandfather’s fault—I just know that I can have a very bad temper. So, it’s easy to see why a career in outside sales was not a good mix.
Now, when the economy was good everyone was happy with smiles and business deals were being made right and left with wild abandonment. I believe I hardly dealt with a financially disappointing day. As soon as the economy tank? OH BOY, here comes the Pitts boy temper!
As I tried to continue making sales at my earlier pace, the more resistance I came across—at least it felt that way. The more desperate I got, the more aggressive I became. When a business owner decided to go with Company B because price was more important than value I became upset. It wasn’t until a general manager, who I clearly knew was using me but I held out hope he was going to keep our service, left me an email at the end of the day Fourth of July weekend that I became enraged. What was a flippant and easy email for him to send, was the livelihood of my family being tossed into the recycle bin.
I wrote a scathing email back to him. I told him he was a dishonest person who only used me for his gain. I exclaimed that he never gave me a chance to earn his business and that his mind was already made up before I sat down for our initial meeting. I stated that when Company B screws him over and lets him down that he shouldn’t think about giving me a call because I don’t do business with liars!
I didn’t send the email.
Something deep down inside of me told me that’s was not the right way to handle this. Of course, in business they always say not to burn your bridges. Little did I know then that I was living out what God teaches us to do. By not sending THAT email, but one that was more professional and left the door open for the future I was responding back not out of anger. I was talking the talk and walking the walk.
Well, the general manager called me back about six months after using Company B. He went so far as to say they made a mistake in using the other company. Instead of telling him I told you so, and asked how we could help to make things better for him.
About a month later I quit that job.
I had heard my former employer finally got the account. I even heard a sales manager took credited for getting the sale. But I know it was because I went against my built-in nature to get angry at the general manger and remain calm towards him. Little did I know then—I wasn’t strong in my faith—that I was living for Christ. A lesson I can look back at now, and see God still working in my life—even when I wasn’t devoted to him.