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The Time Game



For those of you who don’t know, I work part-time for a high-end fashion retailer. One day, I was speaking with a customer and saw first-hand how the enemy uses time. She’d recently placed an order and paid for expedited shipping. Though our site specifically states that a delay may incur, she failed to read the disclosure. As a result, her merchandise arrived later than she thought. During the delay, we were running a promotion. These promotions are for select merchandise only and are time-sensitive. She placed her order prior to the promotion. Because her garments arrived later than expected, she not only requested that she be compensated for the delay, but she felt entitled to partake in the promotion as well.


Entitlement and Compensation


I listened quietly as she raised her voice to express her frustration. I waited patiently as she went on and on about how poor of a job we did and how she expected more from a high-end establishment. I held my tongue as she personally insulted me and as she went on and on and on, repeating the same thing and demanding that we be penalized for her mistake. Protocol and policy states to give the customer what they want for the sake of the sale; even if you have to bend that policy to do it. After going round-and-round, trying to appease her, she kept going. After a while, even the most patient and understanding of people tire of hearing how bad they are. Yet, I kept my composure and did as much as I could to compensate for her mistake. I reimbursed her for the shipping, gave her a substantial discount and even apologized at length. But that wasn’t enough.


Time Based Decisions


Thirty to forty minutes have passed and again; even the most seasoned associate would have given in to her demands, just to get her off the phone. But because I try to live by a level of integrity, what she was asking for, went beyond what I was willing to do. At this point, fear tries to kick in as you realize the call is hurting your call time. Not to mention the fact that the micromanaging staff are probably monitoring the call and will reprimand you for not saving the sale. As I considered my options, I had to make a choice. Do I abide by the policies set in place or do I give in for time sake? Almost immediately I saw it. This is what the enemy does. He tries to get you to bend the rules, sin a little, and compromise just to make the struggle stop. His goal is to wear you out. That customer had been doing business with us for years. If you looked at her profile, she had a history, of making unreasonable demands – all of which were met. She knew the high-end system and she used it to her advantage. Her goal was to wear me out. Get me to the point where I said, ‘Girl, here! Now get off my phone!’ But I didn’t. I instinctively knew what she was doing. If she truly felt she was wronged, she would have demanded a Supervisor, yet she didn’t. Which let me know, she knew the game. The time game and so should you.


Don’t be moved by people trying to wear you out. The enemy figures that if he can get on your nerves long enough that you’ll give in, quit or even worse, go off. Don’t! Pray in the Spirit under your breath. Smile and shake your head. Use those times as opportunities to develop your patience. Don't make time-sensitive decisions out of fear and frustration. And remember, those who try to wear you out, will get worn.


Pray this with me: Heavenly Father, I am tired. I have been waiting and the enemy has been pressuring me. I ask You to set a guard over my lips and give me the grace to not give in, quit, or go off. In Jesus’ name.


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