I work in real estate sales and I received a request for additional information on Friday from someone interested in a listing I have. I told the interested party (I'll call her Caroline) that releasing the information would require her signing a confidentiality agreement and she wrote back saying she would come by my office sometime before lunch on Monday (today).
So, this morning I go in to the office and while waiting for her, I work on paperwork, etc. At 11:07am she calls me to say that she would not be able to come before lunch but would be by this afternoon. Unfortunately, I was not available in the afternoon and told her that would not be possible but that I had an opening to meet on Friday. She was incredulous and said "Friday, why do I have to wait that long? Why can't I just come today?" I told her that I had already come in to the office this morning to meet with her and had other appointments this afternoon. She very abruptly said that "well, can't someone else just give me the information? I don't want to wait until Friday." I took a second to think it over and then said, "okay, come ahead this afternoon." She said okay and then hung up. I could tell by her lack of proper ending of the conversation that she was annoyed.
I asked a colleague of mine who was going to be in the office all day if she would mind looking after this for me. I explained the whole situation, gave her the pertinent details of the listing, the paperwork and explained exactly what I needed from the client before releasing the confidential information. Then I left.
Almost 2 hours later, my phone rings and it's Caroline. I didn't answer but her voicemail said she would be arriving in 20 minutes. I called my office to let my colleague know. My colleague said that Caroline had already called the office to speak with me and "wow, she is such a nice person." That not having been my experience with her on the phone, I replied "really?" and my colleague said "no, she was a giant B."
She said that Caroline called asking for me and my colleague explained that I was out of the office, could she take a message? Caroline replied that she had already left a message on my cell phone was supposed to be meeting with me to look over some paperwork and my colleague said "oh is this Carole?" (she accidentally got her name wrong, innocent mistake) and she coldly replied "no, actually my name is Caroline."
Anyway, my colleague called me back afterwards to tell me how the appointment with Caroline went. She said that when she got there she was really grouchy but that she sat with her and by the end of the appointment she was much better. When I asked why she was so grouchy, she said that Caroline told her that I was "lippy" with her on the phone.
So now, wanting to grow and learn from my mistakes, I'm wondering...would you consider what I said to her "lippy?" I realize that I was not accommodating her the way she wanted but from my point of view, I was simply protecting my time/schedule and shining up my spine...
In any case, would her anger with me excuse her initial rudeness to my colleague?