*Ignoring* isn’t bliss.

by | Jul 10, 2024 | Blog Posts, Communication, Leadership Lessons from OOO, Uncategorized | 0 comments

I only have three pieces of “good furniture.” As in, solid pieces that I’ve bought as a grown-up.

I’m currently obsessed with finding furniture for my new condo. But when I came back to Chicago last summer, I really only cared about three pandemic purchases: a desk, its matching 2-drawer filing cabinet, and an ergonomic desk chair, all from Room & Board.

For 22 months, while I was exploring other places to maybe move, that at-home office, along with almost everything I owned, sat in storage.

When I decided to boomerang back to Chicago, I re-hired the same “5-star” company that had moved me out of my condo in 2021.

Instead of donuts, I made sure the movers had turkey wraps, bananas, and Kind bars. Which somehow makes the following worse in my mind…

First, I spotted scratches on the steel legs of my good desk… despite its label from years before. 👆

Looking closely, the matching filing cabinet was also scuffed.

Three for three, one of the arms of my expensive desk chair was punctured.

The lead mover said nicely, “that’s why you purchased insurance,” and told me to file a claim.

Hold onto your hat…

The moving company denied the claim because, apparently, that same nice mover lied to them:

“…he did indicate that the damages were addressed at the starting storage facility prior to handling/loading items, which suggests that the damages occurred prior to the move date.”

I tried repeatedly to set the record straight.

The moving company didn’t reply. 😣

I’ll leave that story there.

Let’s talk about Subaru instead…

Did you know that leaves around your sunroof = bad?

After a rainy day in Richmond, the inside floor of my car was saturated.

Far from my Chicago mechanic, I figured my best bet would be an official Subaru service center.

I paid them almost $1500 to fix the problem, including removing and drying the carpet. But, oddly, when I picked up my car a few days later, there was a clump of pet hair on the floor, which looked as road-trip dirty as when I’d dropped it off.

The lead technician assured me that the work had been done… and the hair must have blown onto the carpet while it was removed. 🤨

Fast forward: After months of different repair shops not being able to identify a worsening smell… avoiding driving as much as possible… putting my windows down in the middle of Midwest winter…

A local Subaru service center identified the odor:


Remembering my once-wet car: I took it to a non-Subaru shop who determined the carpet has never been removed. Which means I paid for a service that wasn’t performed.

I asked the VA dealership for $7,057 (= the amount I paid for the work they didn’t do + the amount quoted for the resulting mold remediation).

The dealership didn’t reply. 😣

My recent real estate lawyer…?

After closing on my condo, I found mistakes in a clause that had become important.

I messaged, “Could that wording be an obstacle if…?”

The lawyer didn’t reply. 😣

This email is more than just catharsis…

When someone expresses their frustration, you might be tempted not to reply, too.

—> Maybe you don’t know what to say… so you don’t say anything.

—> Maybe you think that, in acknowledging them, it might seem like you’re saying they’re right (and you certainly don’t want to convey that).

—> Maybe you did mess up! But you won’t admit it.

When someone’s upset, waving their arms, trying to get your attention (so maybe you’ll do something to make the situation somewhat better), ignoring them isn’t likely to solve things.

>> They might write a Google review. (Or a blog post. 😉)

>> They might vent over drinks; the listeners think less of you, no matter how accurate the other half’s rendition was.

>> They might disengage (aka “quiet-quit”) because why should they care if you don’t?

Disclaimer: there may be some situations where, legally, it’s legitimately better not to reply.

But, more often than not, in de-escalating situations, you can avoid costly (visible and invisible) repercussions.

Comment below and tell me about a time when someone didn’t acknowledge your legitimate frustration. What happened?

I promise you’ll hear back,


PS. Missed the first two emails in this series? Read about Concerned Clients and Making Mistakes.

Sheila Devi is an Executive Life Coach.

–> One-on-one, she helps clients to navigate professional and personal challenges so they have more time to focus on what’s most important (and can be more successful in all of it).

–> Sheila also works with high-pressure organizations, such as law and accounting firms, to increase employee morale, engagement, and retention.

Currently in Chicago, Sheila works primarily virtually so she can help no matter where you’re based.

To talk with Sheila about how she can help you and/or your company, please email sheila@sheiladevi.com.

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