I spent the evening at IKEA. I was picking up some items I ordered online. I ordered them online so I would not have to wait or try and pick them up myself. When I got to the counter the employee told me my order had not been picked yet, so I would have to wait. She said I could go enjoy dinner and come back. I had already eaten my dinner, so eating again was tempting but not an option.
An hour and a half later my order was still not ready. The anger was stirring me to eat, so I went to the cafe area. I looked and looked, and there was not a Swedish Fish in the place. Nowhere, not one to be found anywhere in the store. They are one of my favorite candies, and I found myself disappointed. My hopes were now dashed and it was all I could do to wander and not get more angry.
Finally my order was ready, over two hours after I arrived. Several items were out of stock, which explained the delay in filling my order. The employee was very apologetic, gave me a couple gift cards to compensate for my wait, refunded me for the unavailable items, then again apologized for their poor service. As I drove home I thought about all the unmet expectations, the frustration, the waiting, and on top of all that no Swedish Fish to munch. I had most of what I wanted, but not much of what I needed. I needed IKEA to be effective, well run, organized, and full of tasty treats to eat. Tonight they were definitely off their game. My expectations were dashed as this was not anything like my past experiences.
Life is full of moments when we will be disappointed and have unmet expectations. If you are breathing you will eventually or have already been disappointed about so many things on so many levels. There are many people who are more than willing to tell you all the awful things they have hoped for, only to have their worst fears come true. They tell everyone who will listen. It’s the reality of the world we live in, we will be disappoint about something.
The true lesson is how to recover and NOT let the unmet expectation leave you jaded or broken. If it means taking up boxing, or running, or basket weaving to release the anger…then do whatever it takes to prevent the seeds of disappointment from puncturing your soul. We all must learn how to let the anger go, give it another try, and hope that our next encounter will be better. We can hope that Swedish Fish will be there next time. We have to forgive and realize that everyone has an off night, even IKEA.