The seven year blunder: Sending a parcel to the WRONG CLIENT!

The seven year blunder: Sending a parcel to the WRONG CLIENT!

In the seven years since I opened my business, I have never, ever sent a parcel to the wrong client. Until now.

I guess I should have been prepared for it to happen eventually. After all, surely it’s not unreasonable to expect human error to sneak in once in a while (or once in seven years)?

But alas, the sudden flop sweat, profuse heart palpitations and the slew of more-than-colourful language proved otherwise: I was not nearly ready for this blunder…

In fact, it took me a fool's moment to even realise that I made a blunder. I received a very sweet message from Client A: A pic of the hand-written note from me included inside her parcel. “Should I open it?”, she asks. “Only if you’re dying to see it!”, comes my ridiculous response, after I hardly looked at the photo she attached. “No, it's got different children's names on it. Not Annarose”, follows her polite response.

Awkward pause…….. Comprehension dawns……. Noooooooooo!

And, like I said - sweat, racing heart, a dictionary of profanity… I’m pacing up and down like a caged animal, wringing my hands in an effort to not pull my hair out. Hubby, Alex, stands staring helplessly, one foot out the front door in case he needs to make a hasty escape. He dropped the parcels at the courier — was this his mistake? My first thought (well, second, if you include foul language as a thought) -- who else received the wrong parcel? I packaged various orders from Decorex at the same time -- is this but the first little wriggler to appear before the entire can of worms comes GROTESQUELY TUMBLING OUT?!?!?!

And then I see it: A tubed client order standing on a table by the door. The only one that was not couriered, but instead awaits to be collected. And also the only one that was quite a bit smaller than the rest. Annarose. Sweet, beautiful Annarose, the answer to all my problems…!

I call my client. Apologise profusely. Hug Annarose to my chest like a safety blanky. Thankfully, Client A is beyond understanding (you know who you are - THANK YOU!). She graciously offers to help me fix my blunder by sending the “other children” to their Real Home.

While I’m typing this, my flop sweat cools and my heart palpitations calm. I even manage to laugh at myself out loud a couple of times. But my belly still crawls with butterflies (worms?) — TWO people have been impacted by my blunder! And I haven’t yet heard back from Client B, grandma of the “other children”… Since she was expecting to collect her parcel in Somerset West over the weekend, I can hardly keep quiet about its unexpected travels all the way to Wynberg!

As I hold my breath, I wonder and wander……… Messages from my other Decorex clients start pinging in on my phone (from people who did, in fact, receive the correct parcels!): Messages of gratitude and delight! So — what if Client B is terribly unhappy? What will be more important to me; affect me more? One client’s hypothetical displeasure, or dozens of reports giving praise and thanks?

I already know the answer to that question, and it actually makes me really sad. Human nature is a funny thing. We don’t expect the people around us to be perfect, and yet we beat ourselves to a pulp when we make mistakes. Do we not deserve our own kindness, forgiveness and grace? The Logical Me bravely steps in front of the Emotional Me, and answers with a resounding “YES!”. And yet…

Since today this wisdom has fallen on my own deaf ears —

Let me finish by sharing a heartfelt message from the Emotional Me (standing quivering and unsure, shielded and encouraged by the Logical Me) to the Emotional You: You are beautifully human, perfectly flawed and remain worthy notwithstanding. Now, go make yourself a cup of tea.

Or… something stronger. It’s five o’clock somewhere, and I hear alcohol is an excellent worm-repellant!


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PS. YES, you can order a name like Annarose's online! YES, I can ship to your door, anywhere in South Africa (99.9% of the time...). See the entire SA Animal Alphabet range in my online shop:
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