Wednesday 26 September 2018

How did I do today ?

It's all about the feedback. Not the sound you get when you hold a microphone too close to a speaker and it feels like your head is going to burst. Or the high pitched pips you hear when your mobile phone is too close to something electronic. The kind of feedback that is asked of you on the back of commercial vehicle, 'how is my driving ?' Or those cards they hand out to you in shops with a code - some even print it on the receipt so you don't lose them. It seems to be important to let companies know when they are doing well or badly. Of course customers will pipe up pretty quickly if things go wrong - often on social media. I refer you to our long drawn out dispute with Corgi earlier this year which was conducted almost entirely on twitter when they didn't respond to numerous phone calls.

Don't get me wrong I don't condone the vigilante style of feedback where someone will call out a company or individual abusively in order to get something for free. If I've had a bad experience I'll contact them directly first. It's only when they refuse to respond that I take it public in order to engage them in a conversation offline. I am also very fair and give credit when I've had a positive experience. A public recognition of good service or a kindly gesture is only fair when companies get so much flack.

So why don't we operate the same model for behaviour ? I took the boys out to see a show last night and when we got home I told Hubbie they had been really well behaved and enjoyed it. We always check in with each other like this and give a 'report' about our kids to each other. It's part of the deal with our shared parenting approach. If the boys know we are a team it makes them feel more secure, but also means they are less likely to try and outwit us with that old chestnut, "Mum / Dad said I could." It doesn't mean they don't try it on, but they are always aware it's unlikely to be a successful tactic.

Possibly the most common form of feedback we employ - which I understand is universal - is the, "how do I look in this dress ?" type. This is fraught with danger, but thankfully Hubbie has a pretty good approach to this. He is honest, but not brutal. Previous partners have been perfectly happy for me to wear a skirt that was too short or a top that is too tight, but Hubbie is aware that while he might like it, the outfit isn't necessarily for his benefit. Mind you recently I tried on a dress and declared, "my boobs are too big for it." and he responded, "No they're not. The dress is wrong." See why I married him ?

Of course asking for feedback doesn't mean we're always prepared to deal with what's said. I am aware I have many faults and the people who love me find ways to address those without hurting my feelings. I don't want to be criticised, but I do want to be told if I'm hurting or upsetting someone else by my actions or words. I do try my best to be kind and a decent person. However I am also aware that I can be petulant, unreasonable and downright moody. However I want to be seen as kind, thoughtful and rational. That's not always easy when people have known you a long time and know what you're really like. So I ask for honest feedback from those I trust. Who I've known a long time and would expect the same from me.

I'm not going to hand out cards to people asking them to rate how I did. I'd rather the people who matter know I'm doing my best.

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