The opposite of love isn’t hate. The opposite of love is indifference. This idea came during a conversation with a friend about recognizing the exact moment we stop feeling the destructive inferno of emotion about a person or situation that has cost us something precious within ourselves. I try not to use the word hate in my writing. Not for any reason other than it doesn’t have a place in my life. I believe in focusing on the positive. I also believe there cannot be a true appreciation of it without the ability to discern it from the negative, and that ability, comes from both positive and negative experiences.
Half of all marriages reportedly fail. The reasons for this staggering statistic are innumerable. It’s interesting to me how often it is claimed that love and hate are the culprits.
“He loved his job/car/hobby/mistress(es) more than me.”
“I hated the way she always complained about not getting enough of my time/attention/sex, oh wait, she never actually complained about that, hmmm, oh it was money, yeah, she said we never had enough money. She doesn’t have to complain about that anymore.”
“We fell out of love. We loved each other; we just weren’t ‘in love’ anymore.”
“I hated how she nagged me to share my feelings and be more like Janet’s husband/grow a pair and be more like Derrick at the gym/ take out the trash/ take her on a vacation/ take some Viagra. Well one night, I walked into the kitchen, pulled a beer from the fridge and after I ate the dinner she prepared, I told her I thought for dessert I wanted a divorce. Take that you old bat!”
Those are excuses more than reasons. There are plenty of valid reasons for ending a relationship. It’s interesting that many of the same reasons why marriages fail are the same reasons why so many businesses fail. Of all the different relationships, personal and business, I have ended over the years, it wasn’t hate, but indifference that was the reason.
I’m not a perfect person. Duh. I try to limit my excuse making, but I can come up with some pretty creative excuses. So, when I hear excuses like “we’re really short-staffed” or “it’s been crazy busy,” “the economy has…”, or the absolute worst, “that’s our policy” masquerading as reasons for poor service, I think to myself, COME ON! You can do better than that.!#$%@
Why not try something like, “We love that you’re here in our store/restaurant/dealership/digital customer interfacing module, spending your disposable income so that our owners can maintain their habit/child support/lawyers and still make payroll. We hate to take your money without so much as a glance in your direction or the slightest intention of actually serving you. We’d love to just get you in and out of here, but hate to see you leave without asking if you found everything alright, even though we really don’t care if you did or not. We love it when it’s time to go on break, we love talking about when we will be going on break and what we did on break. We hate that you are so needy.”
“The service is what the service is.” That is a real statement given to us once by a FedEx customer “service” employee when we issued a complaint. It has become one of the phrases we use when we find that we have been given “the business.” I’m not an expert on many things. I guess I just don’t have the dedication that being an expert takes. But I know customer service. Not the “she’s one tough customer” kind of customer service, but the genuine, quality is job one, follow-up, follow-through, make ‘em fill the basket AND sing your praises kind of customer service. CRM was my job and I can say with 100% certainty that businesses large and small may fail for reasons of competition, mismanagement, unreasonable expectations, deceptive business practices, greedy bastards, distribution channels that cross the Bermuda Triangle and El Niño. They don’t fail because of hate. They fail because of indifference.