I was going through the archives, and came across this story: http://www.etiquettehell.com/?p=1466
It put in mind a situation that happened a few years ago with my own family. My mother is a florist, and owns her own business. Among her employees and designers are my sister and another young woman in their 20's, and two other women the same approximate age as my mother. All of these women are mothers, the youngest two were both brand new mothers about to celebrate their first Mother's Day with their new babies. This is all important to know in terms of the story.
Since Mother's Day always falls on a Sunday, and also due to the fact that my mother's business never opens on Sundays, all Mother's Day deliveries are made in the week leading up to the holiday. This is rarely, if ever, a problem. Most women receiving flowers from their husbands/boyfriends and children are thrilled to have gotten something in honor of the day, regardless of whether or not it is ON Mother's Day itself. However, one such woman was not so pleased about the notion of having the roses she ordered for her mother delivered on Saturday instead of Sunday.
I had been working at my mother's store for a few days to help out with the holiday, and was in the front room manning the phones and cash register. A woman in her mid-to-late 30's approached me to place an order for a dozen yellow roses to be delivered to her mother. When I asked if she would prefer they go out on Saturday afternoon or Monday morning, the following exchange took place.Her
: I want them delivered on Sunday...you know, Mother's Day!Me
: I'm sorry, ma'am, but we are closed on Sunday. We will be happy to deliver them on Saturday or Monday if you would like.Her
: What kind of *%&$ is that?! Who would order Mother's Day flowers to be delivered any other day but ON Mother's Day?!Me
: Ma'am, I am sorry. But, Mother's Day is on a Sunday and we are always closed on Sundays. If you like, we can hold the arrangement here for you to pick up on Saturday so that you can take them to your mother personally on Sunday.Her
: Absolutely not! Look...you're a man, so you couldn't possibly get this. Mother's Day is on a Sunday, and I DEMAND that my flowers be delivered then!Me
: Again, I'm sorry, but that won't be possible.Her
: That's it! I want the owner!At this point, I admit that what I did could possibly cast me in to eHell. And, for what follows, I am willing to accept condemnation. I did not handle it the best way that I could. Perhaps it is because it my mother's store, with my sister as one of the designers (along with the two women my mother's age being like mothers to me, having grown up around them, sitting on a stool at their side, watching them work). But, I admit, I lost my cool.Me
: Come with me. (I lead her in to the back room, where the designers are all busy preparing arrangements for delivery.)Me
: Ma'am, this is Susan, my sister. That is Angie next to her. Both of them just had a baby in the past several months and will be spending Sunday with their new children. Over there is Marie and Patricia, who both have children and grandchildren of their own. Finally, over there, is the owner...my mother. I would like to spend Sunday with her, celebrating Mother's Day. Now, we will be happy to deliver on Sunday, but in order to do so you will need to explain to each of these mothers here that YOUR mother is more important than they are to their children.
At this point, the customer mumbled something under her breath and then said, "Saturday afternoon will be fine," before making a hasty retreat. None of the designers, nor my mother, had heard the first part of the conversation and were all highly confused at what had just happened. But, when I explained the situation, they were all happy that I stuck up for their time with their children (especially my mother and my sister).