This falls under the heading of “Some of my classic flub ups”….. or “Lessons learned about how much I still need to learn about grace”.
I recently got a new iPhone and decided I needed a better protective case. I’m known for setting my phone on chairs – the arms or seats – and knocking them off accidentally and cracking the screen. I’ve probably had to have my friend Matt replace at least 3 glass screens, so I found a website called Zazzle that has a variety of products, but they also make personalized cell phone covers. So I poked around and decided to order one that I could create myself with a personal photo on the front. Even better, I could write whatever I wanted on it, so I came up with a take off of the “Keep Calm and Carry On” phrase created by the British in 1939 for motivational posters for World War II (that were never used and were re-discovered in a box at auction in 2000) and I created a work of art that says “Keep Calm and Offer Grace“. Get it? I blog about grace! I write about how people should give grace to one another. Aren’t I clever? And won’t people be so impressed that I do? And won’t people think I’m so good at offering grace to others? Yeah, well….wait till you hear the rest of the story!
Shortly after that, my cell phone case arrived and to my dismay the words were off center to the left. Ugh. I told you about how linear I am, and it was unacceptable to me that the words weren’t perfectly centered. I blame my dad – he was a mechanical engineer, had perfect printing, and had I known when I was young that I would have his neurotic linear-ness I would have made a great architect. So I called customer service at Zazzle to hold them accountable to their 100% Satisfaction Guarantee and can you believe it…they completely took responsibility and said they would fix the problem and send me a new cell phone case at no cost to me. I was impressed.
Within a few days I received my 2nd cell phone case in the mail….and guess what? It was exactly like the first one….off center to the left. Double ugh! Well….I was going to get to the bottom of this! So I called back and spoke to Megan in Customer Service. She was a delightful and helpful gal, and she was able to dig a little deeper and found that the way I had designed my cover had actually left some residual designs on the outskirts of the design area which pushed up against my design and affected the margins and kicked the words off to the left. It wasn’t anything I could see in the proof, but it was there underneath the design. Hmmm…..this was awkward. I certainly didn’t want to have to take any responsibility for the fact that my design might have caused the lopsided finished product, so I asked her why the first customer service rep had not dug deeper and found the issue? See how masterfully I placed the blame on someone else? Oh brother. When she readily agreed and said “that certainly wasn’t very professional of us” I jumped at that opportunity to tell her that I wanted them to correct the issue and send me another corrected case. This would be No. 3 this time.
Let me just say again that Megan was kind and caring in how she spoke to me. Even grace-filled. I’d even venture a bet that she might be a believer because of the gracious way she spoke and showed grace. Not that every grace-filled person on the planet has to be a Christian…its just that we’re supposed to be better at it, aren’t we? Well, I wasn’t feeling so gracious when she said the words “I wouldn’t feel good about just sending you a new replacement……” (WHAT?)… I didn’t even let her finish her sentence! WHAMO!….and with the picture of my beautifully designed cell phone cover staring me in the face on the computer screen in front of me……
….I cut her off mid-sentence and said…..”well then I want to talk to your supervisor!…or the President of the company!” I mean I was entitled, wasn’t I? As soon as the words flew out of my mouth, it’s as if those pious words on my cell phone cover started flashing like a neon sign in my face and all of a sudden it hit me that I was such a hypocrite….talking and advertising grace….and yet being so unwilling to practice it if my rights weren’t upheld. Sigh. My ugliness was staring me in the face.
What makes it worse is that Megan gently and tactfully (and way more grace-filled than me) said to me….”if you’d be OK with me finishing my thought, I’d like to tell you that I think the best way to handle this is to give you a credit to your account, and then I’ll just reorder it. There will be no cost to you.” Oh thanks Megan!…make me feel even worse about my hypocrisy. Triple ugh. Don’t you hate it when people are nice to you (grace) when you’re snarky to them?
Sometimes I think that’s all a part of learning grace. Crashing and burning and watching others offer it to you when you are so undeserving. That’s who and what I was. Undeserving of grace, and yet Megan was a perfect example of God’s grace to me. I am so underserving of it. And yet….he offers it to me even when I argue my rights.
So if you see my cell phone case you’ll know how undeserving I am of all that it represents. All that I blog about. But it’s still what I’m committed to learning more about and getting to the bottom of – trying to get better at showing it to others around me each day. And thanks Megan for showing me cell phone case grace.