Rage against the machine: How I hated (and later loved) a frustrating purchase

I like to be prepared for emergencies. I know you can’t prepare for all of them but I like the idea of being prepared for a few contingencies that could arise. So when I saw a generator that was being promoted in a flyer from my local hardware store, I went out and bought it.

It was HEAVY.

I brought it home, put it together, added oil and gas, and tried to start it.

And tried.

And tried.

And tried.

(Yes, I followed the instructions carefully).

It didn’t work. I hurt myself trying to start the thing. Plus, it has been a record-breaking, bone-chilling, spirit-crushing cold winter here in Winnipeg so that added to the frustration.

I’m embarrassed to admit that my first reaction was to rage against the machine. I was so angry at the generator. And furious at the company that manufactured it. And furious at the company that sold it to me.

But then something clicked in my brain (not sure what but more clicking like that would be good) and then I realized that all that fury may have felt good for a moment but was not helping anything. So I decided to let it go.

Yes, I was still frustrated at the situation but I chose not to get angry. I just decided to do my very best in the situation. The frustration (and the anger) rose again and again, since I tried to return the generator and they didn’t have any in stock, and then they did have one in stock and set one aside for me but then thought they had sold out of them by the time I got there to pick up my replacement.

But after some persistence, it all ended well. I got a new generator (and it works!) at an additional discount. Plus, I learned a lot about how engines work (in trying to diagnose the problem with the first one)… and that is information I can file away until I might need it in the future. And I mastered a part of myself that serves absolutely no useful purpose when things go wrong.

Overall, it was a win. Yes, it was a little frustrating but it wasn’t as bad as I initially thought it was. And I ended the experience richer than when I started.

So when I stumbled across this excellent article in DumbLittleMan, I thought it was perfect summary of that experience so I had to share it with you:

How not to make a drastic mistake you will regret

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