Anger. The feeling of indignation that results from the denial of a perceived right.
Rights. What you are entitled to by divine providence, local law, or (if you’re an atheist) random chance.
Humility. Not demanding rights. Not getting angry even when your perceived rights are trampled.
After renting an unsafe truck from UHaul, getting a flat, watching coolant bubble over, waiting all day on hold for hours for the tow truck that never came, spending hours on long distance calls to get reimbursed for meals, hotels, and the rental, and being treated very rudely by some of their reps, we took our last shot at UHaul. Thanks to Philly’s Channel Six news station we were able to share our tale and will hopefully prevent many from renting a truck from that company. Yet the angle of the story revealed some of the anger disgruntled consumers hold against UHaul. We found it necessary to move beyond that point . . . and it’s been very humbling.
When you’re stuck on the side of the road waiting for someone else to help you and they are not, you feel completely powerless. It’s infuriating. My wife was upset, the sun was setting, our truck was unsafe, and man, did I hate UHaul. Not just as a consumer, but as a person, I felt like my rights were being messed with. I paid for the truck, it’s supposed to be safe, they’re supposed to provide road side service, they dropped the ball. If you drop the ball, apologize. Admit you did something wrong. No. Apologies were not forthcoming. I had to fight for every scrap of help from that company. I didn’t get a nickle back or a tire on the truck without investing hour upon hour on hold and on the line with reps who were not very sympathetic to our plight.
If anything is unAmerican, it would seem that powerlessness is one of them. We perceive ourselves as not having limits, always optimistic, hoping for the best, and getting things set right in the end. We sat , waited on hold, and the truck never came.
After a few months of stewing in rage at UHaul over their offense against us, I realized that the wound they left needed to heal. I could not keep picking at it and flaring it up, reminding myself of how bad it hurt. We forgave the people who worked at UHaul. Those who were rude to us and those who were trying to help, but failed to help because of the flawed system. We forgave those who neglected to inspect our truck. We forgave those in upper management who preside over the flawed rental system that lets people use trucks with safety glitches.
And it’s over. In my opinion, justice did not prevail. We did not get what we perceived to be our rights. They promised to reimburse some money to use. We got part of it. We wanted a full refund. That didn’t happen. I wanted a simple apology from some of the people I dealt with. They only yelled at me. It was hard and humiliating, but it’s over.
What more can we do but move on. There are greater tragedies that happen every day all over the world. When I look back at how angry I got over this, I realize that, while I was treated unfairly, there are much more worthy causes to get angry about. There are bigger issues that deserve my attention. Some of them are listed on the left column of this blog.
So I’m no longer interested in arguing my case. I forgive UHaul, I warned others, what else can I do? If anything, I have learned how lousy it feels when you are powerless and that has made me far more sympathetic to the plight of others who may be stuck in more difficult situations.