Last year I bought a high-end electric lawnmower. It has tons of power, cuts my carbon footprint, cuts my grass, and the silence makes my neighbors very happy. I am that guy with the yard that mimics Pebble Beach Golf Links.
A few weeks ago, I plugged the wonder battery into its slot and pushed the appropriate buttons. My new age machine fired up but there was an annoying orange flashing light. I pulled the battery out and placed it back on the charger. The four green bars indicated full power. Five days later my lawn was looking a bit shaggy so I repeated the process. The orange light was persistent.
I called the customer service department and learned that my “Tesla” lawnmower was defective and covered by warranty. I expected the rep to tell me that the new one would be on my doorstep in two days and to put the short circuited clunker in the box with a prepaid shipping label. Amazon has ruined me.
Instead they told me to put it in the car, drive to a distant and specific Home Depot and the big-box store would take care of the problem. Upon arrival, they directed me to the tool rental shop, charged me $18.95, and said it would take three weeks for them to look at the mower. If it was beyond their limited capabilities, it would need to go back to the mothership and may take an addition four weeks. I was quite pissed on the drive home and even threw a little pity party.
As I get further down my spiritual path, I quickly learn that every setback is an opportunity to grow. I remember watching a video of Caroline Myss and someone asked her “Why do bad things happen to me? Her priceless response was, “Because it did.”
After my fiesta of pity, I began to evaluate the scope of my mowing problem. I got a lemon and by next season it will be just fine. My worst case scenario is that I may have to borrow a mower from one of the many great neighbors in my hood. The best case scenario is that I now have a very legitimate excuse to hire someone to shave my grass so I can do something more productive like working on my book.
I could write bad reviews or scream at some innocent customer service rep. I could turn “mowergate” into a real problem by repeating the story all my friends. Instead, I plan to send them a letter of gratitude for giving me a break and reminding me how lucky I am that my real problems are far and few.