What a world we eke out a survival in. We pay lip service to conflict resolution, but in reality, is anything ever resolved, anyone forgiven, any culture or group prepared to examine itself rather than point the finger and shout that it’s the other guy?
I recently sold a beautiful doll I made on e-bay. The buyer was very complimentary about her and as a little gift I enclosed my new book.
But in the past few days, everything that can go south has. She didn’t like the way the doll was painted, so she asked for a refund and said that she was refraining from giving me a feedback rating until she got it.
I felt that she was hypercritical and that nothing was wrong with the doll. Then today, she took her apart and discovered, gasp, that I had weighted the doll with something she believed–and trumpeted to the world of doll crafters–to be rabbit or cat litter pellets!
Wrong: organic, clean wood pellets–perfectly appropriate for the task. There is no right or wrong way to weight these dolls.
She opened a case on e-bay and e-bay has ordered us to work things out. She has herself worked up and over the top, posting huge photographs of the doll and uploading them to Facebook– correction, photos of what was my doll and what she immediately took apart and is repainting and rebuilding to her own taste. What it feels like to me is that this is a scam to get a free kit and win sympathy from other artisans. Since when do you rebuild something you intend undoubtedly to list as for sale, and then demand your money back?
I have stood by my work and refused to refund her money–she has made the doll her own and it is no longer the one I made. I am hopeful that the auction site will see through all of this, but the money from the sale has been put on hold and this unpleasant interaction has bled out into the day, contaminating and complicating everything.
Learning to handle such things is not coming easily to me. I would like to choke the living shit out of the …. But…. I am practicing forbearance.
Forbearance is useful; it doesn’t mean one is caving to maltreatment; it means that one is not retaliating in kind. As far as wishing her well, praying for her and so on…are you kidding?
As any who read my blog know, I am a veteran barricade artist. I go on the barricades and mount the heavy artillery when I am wronged or when I am convinced I’ve been wronged.
Calmly holding my ground in these circumstances is difficult. But that is what I have chosen to do. At first I was hurt– I made something beautiful–that other people praised–and sold it, to get through the month. And now, everything is up for grabs.
Still, this is just a doll. This isn’t about violation of my or anyone’s civil rights, loss of my home, rageful and abusive and lying neighbors and landlords, or any of the usual suspects.
It is about a very unpleasant bump in the road, which calls for remaining calm, curtailing retaliatory impulses and taking the high road.
I used to hate it when others took the high road or refused to join me in the world of ire.
But how great is it that I am able to play wait and see– we both have strong feelings and it will be up to the powers in cyber space to make a decision.