Should I Have Said Anything?

Through the years I’ve been told I share T.M.I. Too much information. That I have a tendency to tell too much. Spill the beans. Tell more than the whole story.

I ‘d like to think that’s more of an honest trait than a talk-too-much thing.

But the other day at a major retailer I had a moment I wondered if I should curb my sharing or say something “constructive.” (Constructive being relative, I know.)

I had ordered a laptop online on Black Friday, and was able to pick it up the next day at said major retailer. Showing up at the customer service counter, the young girl told me to pull up my order on the kiosk. Since no one was around she helped me out. I was digging through my emails on my phone, looking for my order claim number, and she said all I needed to do was put my name in the computer. So I did. The order popped up and I waited for someone to bring the computer up to the desk. I waited and waited some more.

Customer Service started to get busy, and before I knew it there were six people in line. I asked about my computer, and the girl quickly put her head in the back room and told someone I was waiting. Just like that they brought out my computer. Wonderful. Did I need to sign anything? No — all was good.

As I stood adjusting my sweater and purse, I realized how easy it would have been to walk out with someone else’s computer. I mean, I could have hung around the service area, overhear someone put their name in the computer, then, perhaps, since they were waiting around that long anyway, tell the customer service person they were going to run into the store and buy a few things and be right back. Customer Service would get busy, a different employee would bring out the goods, not ask for an ID or a order number, and just hand the computer to the wrong person.

No one double checked my ID, my receipt, even my phone number.

I wondered if I should tell someone. If I would have been considered a tattle tale. I had my goods, no one was hurt, so why not take it and go home.

Well, jabberjaw me thought I should tell someone. Maybe someone in management.

So I walked over to the kiosks where people were self checking out and told one of the employees. I was really nice; I said I didn’t want to complain or get anyone in trouble, but I was a little concerned that no one asked me for any identification. I went through the scenario I just told you and noted how easily it would have been for me to walk off with someone else’s goods. The girl was very nice and said they would mention this to electronics. I was very nice and walked out with my computer under my arm.

Yet I wondered.

Did I get the Customer Service girl in trouble? Did I make up this scenario that didn’t happen just to cause trouble? I mean, no one was hurt. Everyone had gone merrily on their way, no less for the wear.

Why did I have to open my big mouth?

I have not suffered any repercussions from my moment of honesty. But I realize that, with my luck, that could have happened and I could have come back from picking up a few things and someone could have walked off with my computer.

But no one did. 

I’d like to think that in some big cosmic way I helped the world of commerce run smoother that day. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and all that.

But most likely it’s just that I have a big mouth.

 

Instinct? Or Over-thinking?

How do you know when to listen to your first thought — your instinct — and when to think about things first before you make a decision? How do you know if you are giving a project due consideration or over-thinking everything?

Getting lost in the psychological maze occurs more often than not. And its especially rough when you are working in a creative sphere.

That nasty little devil big mouth sassy bored opinionated faerie often sits upon my shoulder. Yours could be a little angel, a seasoned sprite, a naughty muse, or a shadowed spectre. It doesn’t matter who second-guesses you. They’re always there, hanging around.

Do any of you sell your artwork? Do you sell at art fairs or online or at a gallery? Did you have a lot of paperwork to fill out? Did you wonder if your wares would impress the masses along with friends and neighbors?

Self doubt sucks.

Whether you’re sending something to a publisher, submitting something to a contest, applying for a booth, or being critiqued for a gallery showing, it all tests your confidence, your imagination, and your business sense. 

These are good things, of course — but they do test you.

You can apply the same doubts to applying for a new job, changing your hair color, or starting new classes. Any time there is something you want and/or need to move forward to get it’s stressful. Any time there is something “more” that is within your grasp, it’s stressful.

Any time you have to work towards a goal, it’s stressful.

How many times does someone have to say they like your work before you believe them? How many kudos and pats on the back do you need before you believe in your work, your art?

I come from a history of self doubt. I’m so much better these days, but somewhere in my past I fell down and didn’t get right up. And not getting up for a long time skewered my view of myself and what I could do.

But as I got older I found I wasn’t such a bad flower after all. I fell in love with writing, with my family, and with art. It was all new and glorious and, I tell you, I’ve never looked back.

But preparing to show my recent art wares to the world is stressing me out. That little faerie keeps bugging me, telling me no one will like my work. 

It wouldn’t matter if I were preparing to take a final in college or submit a story to a publisher. If I were putting together a proposal for work or submitting a bid for a house. I’d still think I thought too little or too much.

Don’t let your self-doubt stop you from doing what you need to do to get where you want to go. Let that faerie/angel blabber away, nod and say I hear you, then go with what you believe. With your gut feeling.

Tomorrow is waiting.