Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Burn Notice

A few years ago I heard a story about a woman who unwittingly gave a sexually transmitted disease to one of her partners. She worked in a call center and when the guy got tested and found out about the disease, he embarked on a campaign to humiliate her. He called the 1-800 number dozens of times and when a representative answered he'd say, "Hey, do you know Amy? Does Amy work there? She burned me." The office was small, about thirty people all in the same room so everyone knew Amy and pretty soon everyone knew she had "burned" someone. The guy continued to call all day long, even after Amy went home, mortified and in tears.

I tell this story because it shows that we are only as good as our reactions to shitty situations. Sometimes you get burned and you want to lash out, but if you go about it the wrong way you'll lose all your credibility with people who under other circumstances would have totally been on your side. So no matter how upset you are and how slighted you feel, you can't make a hundred phone calls. You can't mount a campaign to make someone else's life a living hell, just because. We all get burned. Slap some salve on that thing and move on.