How closely do I want to listen? How much do I care to hear?

I’m a big believer in the power of metaphor to show me who I am. I got a good lesson recently on how carefully I want (or not) to listen to something that may be difficult to hear. A woman called wanting several Canadian subscriptions, wanting to give me info by phone since she doesn’t have email. She had a very strong accent, I don’t know French and that accent is unfamiliar to me. I had hay fever, a clogged head and kept losing my voice. I no longer had a land line, so it was REAL difficult to decipher the addresses that she was saying on the cell phone. I told her I’d call her back.

I immediately sent her a letter with stamped return envelope, explained the temporary hearing/voice issue and asked her to mail me the info so there was no error. She mailed it back and I found her handwriting very small, words very close together.  When that happened, I knew I had inner work to do to make it right for her.

I first went to the post office site to the Canadian postal lookup. I found the correct spelling of the French street names and postal zone of each address. Looking VERY carefully, I could make out the spelling of the names. I created my labels, packaged up the May Horizons for each and another letter to the client, enclosing her invoice. My lesson was that if I slowed down and paid close enough attention, there was no reason I shouldn’t have gotten it the first time she called. I’ll know better next time.