November 4, 2009

Acid Moods

I've written before about the ways I cope with mild depression (need I say that if you have a doozier depression, you should not consult ME, a blogger with zero qualifications of any kind, but should instead consult someone who possesses ACTUAL MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE?):

1. A Pitiful List
2. Day Sadness
3. Easy, Inexpensive Ways to Feel Better

Sunshine and lights, coffee and warm food, skin contact and cuddling, small purchases, funny stuff, things that smell nice, music, fish oil and vitamin D---those are the basics.

But I haven't yet figured out how to deal with acid-in-the-stomach moods. Today I am obsessing senselessly about an altercation I had with a clerk yesterday: my mom and I found a rack of stuff marked "$4 and under," and we asked the clerk to price-check something from that rack that was marked $7. Even though the clerk was standing right at a register, she wouldn't check the price, saying the price marked was correct. So we pointed out the sign on the rack, which she felt was irrelevant, and then there was a discussion about whether a store could have a display marked "Everything $4 and under!" that was more than half full of items marked higher than $4, with my position on the subject being "No" and her position on the subject being "I'm sorry, ma'am, but we don't print the signs and we don't mark the prices and we don't have anything to do with anything including checking prices at all, so we are not responsible for any illegal and fraudulent errors our total lack of involvement may cause." I may be paraphrasing both positions.

[Notice I'm not mentioning the name of the store, and it's because I shop there regularly and I have never ever had any sort of problem even remotely like this before. So I don't want to slam the whole chain just because a single problem with a single clerk. I plan to shop there again and everything, I just plan not to go to the particular location with this particular clerk, because now the whole store feels tainted by this encounter. But there is another location I can go to instead.]

Anyway. The real trouble is what home remedies to use on this acidy, stewing, unpleasant mood. When I feel like this, treats don't really help, nor do any of the "be nice to self" things that can help with a depressed mood. Coffee might help, but also might backfire considerably, adding acid and adrenaline to a situation already steeped in it. Tranquilizers or drinks just make me tired and sullen in addition to crappy and acidy. Sometimes I work on chores, because if I'm going to be a miserable bear to live with no matter what, I might as well be getting the laundry done while I'm at it. I try to eat good foods, because I've found that sugar can make this kind of mood worse.

But that's all I've got. Tips appreciated, as long as they're not "Just don't think about it" or "Just don't let it bother you," both of which are the equivalent of "Just be a different person! It's so easy!" What little things do you do/use to shake yourself out of a bad mood of this sort?

76 comments:

StephLove said...

I'd go with chores. When I can't be happy, productive is good.

the new girl said...

Hmm. It's hard to 'get your mind off of it' when it just may have to 'run its course.'

That's a tough one. I have those moments, too, almost always accompanied by an agitated feeling that can make me do things like ACTUALLY shake my head in response to something completely internal...like telling her off, over and over in my head--if you know what I mean.

I'll be checking back for some suggestions. Since I am of ABSOLUTELY NO HELP AT ALL.

Celeste said...

If your stomach feels really affected by acid, it seems like it couldn't hurt to pop some antacid. Sometimes a mild pain sensation and a mood can work synergistic hell on a person.

Otherwise, blog it out. LOL

I think your anger at the clerk was justified. You asked for a small amount of customer service and were DEEEEEE-NIED. Your alternative was to go to buy the item and watch as they rang it up to see what the price was, and then have to decide if you still wanted it at the higher price if so....unacceptable.

Some days we manage our moods, and other days our moods manage us. I hope today improves, because happy is just more fun.

Dawn said...

If it continues to bother you call the store manager. Even if it's just to express your concern with the false advertising and lack of customer service. If nothing else you may feel a little vindicated.

Celeste said...

Dawn has an excellent idea there.

Check out this recipe. It sounds great.
http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/11/salted-brown-butter-crispy-treats/

Snarks said...

Music? I like to turn up music really loud and scrub something if I'm really upset and not sure how else to channel it.

Tess said...

Calling (or, who are we kidding, writing a letter) might help.

I am a stewer also (FLAW), so sometimes I like to counter with one of my Not-Flaws, which is empathy. For example, I'll try to imagine that the clerk is having a really horrible day, or has a sick child, or is getting a divorce, about to get evicted, etc.

I get angry, for sure, and I know it's justified (as is yours), but I can often diffuse it with empathy.

Or exercise. But, uh, try the empathy thing first. Heh.

Jen said...

YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I am the exact same way. I'll stew over an encounter or someone that cut me off in traffic, etc. I don't have any good advice though. Over the course of the day, it falls from my mind and doesn't bother me anymore. Good luck!

marybt said...

I personally take a lesson from Abraham Lincoln.

He wrote letters. Mean, nasty, hateful letters. Letters that never got sent.

Just writing it out and blowing it out of your system is very therapeutic. I can't tell you how many nasty letters I have written and then thrown away. Just writing it makes you feel better.

Oh, I won't lie. Like Abraham Lincoln (reference the letter to his brother in law), I have actually sent a couple caustic letters. But that's pretty rare.

Hotch Potchery said...

I also spend time fretting about stuff that really I should let go...and for me, honestly, the only thing that really helps? is time. Or someone else (or me) doing something more frustrating.

Nowheymama said...

I would write an email to the specific store. Not to get that clerk in trouble, necessarily, but to get it off my chest. If I feel like I've done *something* about the situation, even if it yields no results, it is easier for me to stop thinking about it.

Leeann said...

I yell at someone, thus effectively passing my bad mood off at them.

Not recommended, but good for a quick fix.

(God, I'm a beast!)

Alias Mother said...

I try to sweat it out either through exercise (a long walk or hike in my case) or a major cleaning project. Usually I start off majorly stewing, then I gradually work my way around to "it doesn't really matter" and by the time I'm done I've moved on and am thinking about what I deserve for dinner after all that work.

Lola said...

I think having lots of people tell you you're right should help, so: Swistle, you are right. Seriously, if the item was in the $4 and under bin it's at least arguable that it's $4 or under, not $7. In fact, lots of stores would just give it to you for $4 rather than argue with you about it. So I do think you're right and I hope that helps. Personally I wouldn't call the manager or write a letter because then I would start to feel guilty that I lost someone a job, and the guilt would just be another thing to bother me.

Linda said...

I write a letter of complaint to the store or company. I outline very clearly all the ways that I was offended and emphasize how angry I am. I only send half of them (and only after a 24 hour post-writing revising), but it feels SO GOOD to get it off my chest.

I also like to blog about it. It helps me think through the whole experience and end with a snotty, holier-than-thou attitude of "I am SO GLAD that I'm not that bitchy clerk with a crappy job" or something like that.

Also, my husband is a really nice guy, but can be an ASSHOLE and is very good at making fun of whoever pissed me off. It's not very nice or mature, but it's FUN and makes me feel better.

Lawyerish said...

I think writing a vent-y, haughty and indignant letter/email can be cathartic, as others have said. Up to you whether you do a blow-out scribble on a notepad that you never send, or craft a tight yet scathing email to the chain and/or store about this totally absurd scenario and the butthead clerk you encountered.

Turning on some music and doing some frenetic cleaning also helps me get out my aggression, but I am perhaps a bit weird.

Audrey said...

When I'm really grouchy, I take a bath. Which is, in fact, where I am headed now. My beasts of children woke up at 6:00 this morning.

mylittlebecky said...

acidy stomach means cheese or milk or yogurt and then a book on tape so i don't have to think about anything. or a movie that i can't not watch. an old favorite. OR a favorite book that i love if i have the time.

basically if i get into one of those "can't stop thinking about" whatever and i'm dissecting it, it's like a loop of sour stomach inducing badness. so, i have to completely, utterly distract myself.

Amanda said...

I used to have to just get out and make myself do something or be around people to make myself stop feeling that way.

Of course, I have moved way past the mild depression to "the real thing" since having my daughter, so it's kind of a different story now. :/

Raven said...

I would've demanded a manager on the spot but that's because I worked in customer service for way too many years. It takes a but a moment to call a manager yourself as an employee when it's not your responsibility and have it handled, but so few do it that it bugs the crap out of me; that is what they are FOR. UGH.

Someone IS responsible for the signage, the pricing and they are the ones that should have to answer for it, regardless of if the clerk thinks it's a big deal or not.

When I am spinning on something, I find that I have to do something that requires me to focus, all of my focus. Chores don't take up enough...I really need something tedious. Like a super complicated recipe or puzzle or trying to knit a thing (haha) something that requires my whole mind.

Jen said...

First off, I have to commend you for knowing so well what won't work for you. That's huge! (I hope to get to that point some day myself.) What I would try myself is writing a letter or making a phone call to complain. You were in the right and maybe having someone acknowledge that would help?

Fran said...

I agree with many of the ideas already mentioned. My personal favorites are loud music and furious activity. Once I start to calm down I try the favorite movie/bath thing. My problem is the what-I-should-have-said hindsight that doesn't let me fall asleep at night. Good luck Swistle!!

Fran said...

PS--I LOVE!!!!! pig piling :)

Mairzy said...

I grew up with simplistic religious advice like, "Give it to God and have peace!" Which just aggravated the condition when peace didn't come instantaneously. I do reach peace and forgiveness eventually, but I've got to go through a lot of internal acid to get there.

So go ahead and obsess senselessly today, knowing you're working toward resolution. Maybe the knowledge that you weren't in the wrong will help you have patience until it all settles down?

-- Mairzy

Julie said...

I like imagining people like that as toddlers and deal with them on that basis. "Oh, you're really frustrated because your job sucks. Poor baby. Guess you need a nap!" And I use the most saccarine voice I can come up with. And in my mind I pinch their cheeks and am actually way more in-their-space than I am with actual toddlers, whom I actually really like. But people like that have about the same logical ability as toddlers, so they get to be toddlers.

And then, somehow, I feel less crazy.

CAQuincy said...

I usually read a really good romance--like Pride and Prejudice? And envision Mr. Darcy. Or better yet--watch the BBC version. Or at least FF to that Colin Firth-in-the-lake bit. (Bridget Jones much?)

Basically, anything warm and fuzzy which helps take me AWAY from my own mind.

(Should probably do that tonight--as noted on Twitter and Fb, am feeling STABBY today.)

Jen said...

Several have already suggested my first thought, which was to write a letter to the manager of the store detailing the event. Or call. Whether you send it/call or not, I think it will help you feel better about it.

My husband is a retail manager and BELIEVE ME when I say he would want to hear what you have to say. Even in cases where the customer is clearly wrong (not in your case, you clearly are right), my husband would use it as a learning opportunity for the employee on how to diffuse the situation. The employee you encountered clearly needs more training.

Elizabeth said...

I am STILL upset about an unpleasant run-in with an unreasonably rude airline employee over a lost luggage incident that happened in August. STILL. I think I have forgotten about it, but then I will go pick someone up from the airport and feel the same sick-to-my-stomach feeling and ruminate all over again about the unjustness of it all. Why does this happen? Why am I so fixated? Arg! Perhaps it's because logic and being right just didn't matter and it is suppose to? That something inside me believes that justice and reason prevail, and when it doesn't, even on such a small scale, my whole universe is altered? So maybe it's not such a bad thing to be upset about it for awhile.

Melospiza said...

Oh, I stew. For YEARS. And YEARS. And then one day I wake up and I am over it. Mostly.

But you know what? The one or two times I've done something--like writing a letter, or calling a manager, etc.--and been polite but FIRM, and occasionally tart if the need arises--I find that I am so miserably and anxious and dreading every encounter during the letter-writing/ manager-contacting period that once it is over and I'm done, I feel much better and don't think about it much at all anymore.

Sabrina said...

I did not read other comments, so sorry if this is repetitive. But my suggestion in the case of ruminating about an unpleasant experience is to get it off your chest--call the company's 800- number! Since you say there are multiple locations, it is probably a big chain. You say that you generally like the store, and that you have never encountered someone acting this way in that store, and honestly, I think that management WANTS to hear about unpleasant encounters! There is a way to complain constructively, to tell someone that as much as you like their store, you had a negative experience. I think they will receive it warmly, and you will feel like you did something to better the store. If the employee is eventually chastised, good! You can still choose to not go to that location, but maybe she will not be so snippy with another customer in the future. There. Problem solved.

Good luck. Oh! And if the acid really is a problem, I rely on greasy food. I avoid all tomato products and coffee, and eat the equivalent of one Happy Meal. I feel like it lubes my stomach. That sounds disgusting and I think greasy food gives some people upset stomach, but for me, works like a charm!

Mrs. Dennis said...

Call the store and ask to speak to a manager, and detail what happened. You should not have been dealt with in this manner. She should have at the very least: scanned the price, called the department, gotten a manager involved. I work in a department store and I would get written up if I had behaved that way. Seriously.

Call and tell them what happened. It's true that she had nothing to do with the signs or pricing, but it's her responsibility as a customer interfacer to call the department whose responsibility it IS and get the information for you. A manager could also override the marked prices if you yelled long enough, because they were in the wrong location.

Call or write, and get something done. At the very least, you'll feel like you're in control again.

Today Wendy said...

Posting again because I think my comment got eaten...

The only thing I've found that helps me with this particular mood is being ridiculously altruistic. When I'm really pissed off, helping someone else for no reason lets me feel like I am *SUCH* a good person that I don't even need to think about crappy situations anymore. For example, you could go online and donate that $4 you wanted to spend to some charity, and then go around all day feeling like a wonderful person because you have made the world a better place.

Ok, so possibly I'm totally crazy, but this is what works for me.

MoMMY said...

Bad TV. Works every time.

Jewels said...

Venting. Inviting others to share in my indignation usually lessens it a bit. Plus, the more frustrating the experience, the more interesting the story and I do enjoy entertaining people with my misery.....

d e v a n said...

I like to blog or vent about it and make my husband listen incessantly to my complaining. Then I try to forget about it and can't, so I don't know. I still get twisty inside when I think of a specific confrontational conversation with my FIL - and that was probably 9 years ago. Yeah. No help...

d e v a n said...

Also, geez, it would have taken her about half a second to price check it. How annoying.

Sarah Lena said...

COMPLETELY NOT HELPING: but I had this same situation at our local Target. They had a sign up that said Xhilaration Boho Maxi Dresses, $7.99.

I figured it was part of the major seasonal clearance they were currently running and got the two left in my size. (There were also only about six left altogether.)

They rang up at $24.99 a piece. I told the cashier that OH HELLS NO, your sign does not SAY THAT PRICE. But he was like, "Oh. Want 'em or not?" And that was that.

(I didn't want them.)

LoriD said...

Write a letter/email with all the expletives, sarcastic remarks and smart-ass retorts you would like to make, then send the email to Paul or your mom (or post it here!) If you still feel yucky, write a more appropriate letter of complaint and send it. Don't leave a phone number for them to call you back. IF you get a response, it will be in writing and I guarantee it will be apologetic and nice and MAY contain coupons.

Barb @ getupandplay said...

My never fail things to snap me out of a wretched mood are 1. exercise 2. crying and 3. sex (yes, I said it)

I will leave it up to your imaginations which one I usually end up doing (it probably isn't what you think, get your mind out of the gutter!)

Leah said...

Definitely call the store and talk to a manager. Or, if you're phone-phobic like me, write a letter to that branch. My husband uses the "contact us" forms on websites and is constantly getting coupons. But I worked in retail, WAS a manager, and honestly I would far rather give people the chance to correct their staff than make corporate come down on the manager of that location! That said, I think I can diffuse the worry about losing that person a job as someone above said. 1.) the management probably can't stand this person either and would LOVE an excuse to fire them and 2.) in this economy, someone far more kind, helpful, and deserving is likely waiting in the wings for that job opening. So even if the person did get fired (fat chance, given labor laws, of course), you'd be helping a deserving someone else find a job. ;-)

Or, you know, ice cream.

Beth Fish said...

I exercise. I hate exercising so much that it gives me something more miserable upon which to focus my bad mood, but then it is over and I can usually move on from there.

Leah said...

What works for me is to say to myself "So what if the clerk is a b1tch to me? I can handle it. - oh wait I DID HANDLE IT!" and then "So what if I see the same clerk again and have to deal with her? - I can handle it." etc etc. I find that saying "So what..." and "I can handle it" really make me feel confident about dealing with what did happen and what could happen - makes my anxiety evaporate and closes that chapter in my mind. Also helps when nervous about something - "So what if I screw up? I can handle it!"

Leah said...

And one more thing that was once said to me - "it's about time you get comfortable feeling uncomfortable" made perfect sense to me at the time and really helped me gain perspective, the yucky feelings are perfectly normal - see? a very worthwhile exercise that you are going through ;)

Marie Green said...

I think what might help is validation. From us, from other people you tell the story too, from the chain itself. Because this sort of behavior is crazy-making, and you want to feel validated that how the sitch was handled was CRAZY.

Also, after I talk or write the shit out of it, fresh air and exercise sometimes help. Not necessarily a "work out" but a "getting outside with the kids and perhaps walking quickly for a bit while outside".

I'd be interested if the other location has the same rack with the same problematic items on it. That might make you feel better- go to the other location and see how it's handled there.

Annika said...

My method of stewing and griping and feeling rotten and angry for days (weeks, months, years) until suddenly a switch flips and I feel OK again might not be the BEST method, but it kind of works.

Scarlett said...

Post on your baby-name blog! Even if you are all caught up, naming other people's children has got to be more entertaining than stressing over obnoxio-clerk.

Leah Rubin said...

Put on some salsa music and dance around the room! It really can help you shake it off!

TB said...

Do not write a letter or call the manager! This will only fuel the fire. Seeking validation (telling friends, blogging, complaining) will only lead to the need for validation in the future. Take time to let the uncomfortable feeling pass. Soon your brain will be bored of it and the little alarm switch that is making you feel bad will turn off. For some, their brains become bored in seconds for others it may take days or weeks. Researching and learning some of the tools for dealing with anxiety and obsessive thought patterns really does help. The only person you need validation from is yourself. God, I sound like a self-help book.

jen said...

I'm this way too - I dwell and stew and rage, and while it helps to talk it through with my husband or a friend, sometimes it just feels good to be righteously pissed off. But when I know I need to get over it, I distract myself - reading a book, watching a movie, or playing a game on the computer, anything that doesn't let me think. Chores & exercise might work for some, but I do my best thinking when I'm on the treadmill, so it doesn't help me.

Just Jiff said...

I would've spoken with a manager. That attitude is not one that the store wants representing them, I'm sure. How difficult would it have been to check the dang price? The clerk was probably having a terrible day and just the slightest thing set her off. Who knows, but that's just not acceptable.

Talk to a manager and let them know what's going on.

Then you will have done something about it and you should feel better. Or if not, try cleaning the house. lol. I dont know, that's just what works for me.

Alice said...

OOOOH that is INFURIATING!! i'd write a letter too. and then probably not send it, because i'm a wimp.

Laura said...

Thank you so much for posting about this -- I'm still stewing over an altercation from Sunday night. I'm a natural, lifelong stewer. Now I'm going to look through all of these comments to see if there are any that might help me... thank you!

Celeste said...

I do find it stressful to march back into the store with something defective or to ask for a refund. I don't find it stressful to send an email. So much depends on your appetite for confrontation.

May I suggest distraction? This site always blisses me out:

http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/storytime/index.html

Jenni said...

This is totaly childish, but I'd likly call some kind of customer service line (my bank, my phone company, a credit card) and basically pick a fight with them. I know that is small, but getting all my frustrations out, even inappropriately, makes me feel better. "What do you MEAN you won't lower my interst rate?! Have been customer for XX years!" Nothing cures my acid stomachs like a little rightous indignation at The Man. Admittedly this sometimes backfires and makes things worse.

Joceline said...

I'm such a stewer too. I've been known to say to my husband, "You're not bothered enough about this!" And then he'll say "What do you want me to do?" and I'll respond, "Tell me how unfair it is/how angry it makes you/etc." Once I feel like someone (usually my husband) has expressed how terrible things are, I can move on better. So maybe it will help that you've just had a bunch of commenters tell you how terribly you were treated. Because that situation would definitely have me stewing too!

Other than that, at some point, I have to consciously tell myself, "I am putting this behind me. I am letting it go." And then when my mind brings it up again, I mentally squash it down. I do that until I have let it go. That doesn't mean I can't tell the story again in a year and get just as angry again.

Rah said...

Agree with the others who said make a call. You could tell them you just can't get it off your mind because you feel (betrayed, loss of trust, whatever). They don't want that happening to their customers.

That said, if it helps any--I'm in your corner. Go Swistle!

Hulga said...

The remedy for any kind of funk is a half hour of frisbee. You can't think about anything else when you're playing frisbee.

Melinda said...

Wow...I could have written this post. Not that I had a run-in with a store clerk yesterday, but I had run-ins of a different sort.

I think someone said it earlier, blog it out. This helps me! Well, that and vast amounts of ice cream and chocolate.

Ami said...

Speaking only for myself, I find that if I've vented/been commiserated with and am STILL STEWING---in fact, maybe even STEWING HARDER than I was before the venting and commiserating, then I know I have two choices: 1) Confront the source (i.e. call the 800 number) or 2) Wait for time to pass.

Hannah said...

I hear you Swistle. And while I do think its good advice to call the store manager and report what is absolutely a valid complaint, I also know that if it was me, and I did make such a phone call, I would later feel guilty. Because you know, it sucks to work at a chain store in the first place, and in the second place, maybe her child/father/husband/married lover is DYING! Or maybe her house is being foreclosed on, or maybe it already got foreclosed on and she's living in her car! Or maybe her car got repossessed, and now she's living IN the store, just like Natalie Portman in that one movie. Except its even worse because she's obviously no where near as pretty as Natalie Portman, so she doesn't even have that to make her feel better. So all she has to keep her going are these infuriating power trips with customers, where for a brief moment she feels in control of something. Or maybe she's just a bitch. It's really hard to tell. So while I'm not saying you shouldn't complain, I'm just saying I know that it wouldn't make me feel better, because I'd end up doing that neurotically guilty thing. And if you do that kind of stuff to, then I HEAR YOU.

So if fantasizing about her tragic life and comparing her negatively to Natalie Portman doesn't work, then I'd move on to composing an impassioned speech about why I'm right and she's wrong, not only on a practical level, but also philisophicaly and how if she wants to get ahead in life or ever have any friends, she needs to learn how to treat people and also how there is a little saying about how the CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT. The speech may or may not be sprinkled liberally with f words.

And if THAT didn't work...well then I'd move on to the most powerful tool in my acid mood tool box. I would blast loud music...and I would angry dance:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMjgSkfQPSY

And you may think I'm kidding on that one, but Swistle, I AM NOT. I don't know why, but dancing around angrily always makes me feel better. I think its because a) it takes energy, which drains the acidity, and b) Its fun, so that cheers me up and c) its ridiculous, which ends up making me laugh, and puts me in a much better mood. I guess exercising accomplishes kind of the same thing, except you totally can't pretend your having a dance off with whoever your pissed at...so what's the point?

Jenny said...

I have 2 approaches when I can't stop thinking about something annoying. Method one is to Do Something--in this case, write a letter, call the manager, etc. Method two is to figure out why the situation is so bothersome. They call it "downward-arrowing" in CBT. You just keep asking "why?", digging and digging until you get at the underlying issue. This particular sitch probably doesn't need that much analysis, because the store worker was just SO ridiculously wrong-o, but for deeper emo stuff, it's worked very well for me.

Misty said...

I know this feeling intimately. Really. And I plan on hearing what other people have to say because the only thing I know how to do is just wait until I don't care anymore, justify in my head all the reasons why it doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things. So basically, I adopt the 'if you can change the way you THINK about things, you can change the way you FEEl about things' plan.

Don't smite me.

bluedaisy said...

I didn't read all the comments before mine because there were LOTS but I saw this idea in at least one- I would contact the manager or some such authority. The nice thing about the internet is that most stores have a website with a customer service option & you can usually share a concern/frustration there. It is not as confrontational as calling the particular store- if that's not your sort of thing- but it still gives me a sense that I have done SOMETHING to get this out of my system. I would have actually found someone else to help me in the moment but I am pregnant right now which makes me more ballsy than normal and much less patient so I get testy very quickly (not always a good thing!). I like the chore idea too because scrubbing something generally gets some aggression out in a safe way. I also try to remember that sometimes things happen that are more related to another person's issues than they are to my own--that seems to help me let it go a bit and not have that "acidic" feeling linger any longer than necessary! I hope you feel better about this soon!!
PS- And I would feel no guilt about calling a manager/authority-type because even if this clerk was having a crappy day, she could have at least PAGED someone helpful--that's a no brainer.

bluedaisy said...

PPS: Maybe if you use the website, you'll get a coupon or percentage off or something? My hubby wrote a complaint about a local store (you know it was bad if he took the time to write to them) and the DISTRICT MANAGER called within 24 hours and asked what he could offer us as a consolation prize- like 20% off or something equally awesome. Stupid hubby was all "I'm never shopping there again" and I could have killed him (note that anger directed at store transferred immediately to hubby, lucky him) because we were looking at an area rug and 20% off would have ROCKED. Stores have all sorts of things like that and it's win-win: they keep your business and you save a couple of bucks :)

Bea said...

The last time I had that acid-stomach mood, it was against the director of Pie's day-care centre, who had the power to determine who did and did not get into on-site school day-care and who was choosing for Pie NOT to be on that list. At the time it felt like the only way to fix the mood would be REVENGE. I did not end up getting, revenge, however, and I found out that acceptance worked just as well, and surprisingly quickly.

Snarke said...

Yell at your couch. I swear to God you'll feel better. Whenever I have an interaction with someone where, for whatever reason, I cannot make myself heard or hold myself back from making myself heard, I wait until the house is empty and then pretend that the person is sitting on my couch and I Let Them Have It. Out loud. With stomping and waving my hands and "oh my god you are such an assshoooooollllleee!"

Yes, I feel slightly insane when I do it as, obviously, I'm yelling at my furniture. But you know what? Saying all of the stuff that I'm too "civilized" to say to the person's face and hearing it said outloud really helps me feel better. And then later I can laugh at myself for being a crazy chick who yells at her furniture.

Sometimes you have to say it out loud or it won't go away. But there is no rule that it has to be said out loud to someone's face.

Also? You really should tell the manager. You were right. The clerk was wrong. Period.

Hobo Mama said...

Murder. Violence is always the only solution.

All right, I was just going to post that as-is but didn't want the police to interrogate me when that clerk ends up...missing. So I'll take it back and say that what helps me most, if anything does, is complaining, complaining, complaining, to anyone who will listen, until it passes. My friends always agree with me, which is why they're my friends.

What hasn't worked for me in the past is yelling swear words into the ether (for me, just makes me angrier), yelling at the person involved (just makes me feel foolish, eventually), or complaining to the company (makes me feel like a heel and like I shouldn't take advantage of whatever freebies they send my way — this might be just me, just saying what's my experience).

So, yeah — time. Complaining. And murder.

P.S. I agree with you. It should have been marked down, or at least price checked with an apology for the incorrect signage. Grr.
P.P.S. Don't really kill the clerk.

Sarah said...

I hate those moods. But, I drown myself in crappy reality television. I recommend The Hills or The City. That way I can laugh at other people's crappy problems :)

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

(Didn't have a chance to read the previous comments so if this is repetitive, my apologies!)

For me, it's all about talking it out. Venting like crazy. To anyone who will listen. To the point when I know they are certainly no longer interested, BUT DAMNIT I NEED TO KEEP TALKING. Blogging about it is also helpful as it is similar to the venting-outloud strategy.

Once I've talked it out a bunch, I try to find a distraction in the "I need to laugh" variety -- I watch a favourite sitcom, or a funny YouTube or Funnyordie.com video ... I do something that'll make me laugh.

Here it's totally A Real Law that if something is labelled with an incorrect price, they HAVE TO give you one of the items you're purchasing under the incorrectly labelled price (subsequent items however would be at the "right" price, so that people can't rush back and buy up 20 things because of the error of a 15-year-old shelf-stocking idiot), and then stores are supposed to promptly change the signage lest they give away more discounted items when they're not supposed to.

Katy said...

Sadly, I'd probably call a bunch of people and tell them the story so I felt all vindicated that I was, in fact, right at being annoyed. Then, I'd watch an episode of Friends. Looking over some of your advice, I see that Steph the Wonder Warrior and I handle these things in almost hte exact same way.

sara said...

When some one in a store pisses me off like that, I usually find their manager and complain. If that isn't an option I fill out a comment card or feedback email or call back later with the employees name and the incident. This serves two purposes: First of all it makes me feel better, and secondly they really do want your patronage and don't want people being chased away by surly clerks. You are being a good customer by letting the store know that the clerk wasn't willing to do her job.

Omaha Mama said...

Tums.
Light reading (magazine, or happy fiction)
Chick flicks or DVR'd shows that I like

Hope your mood has passed. I know exactly the kind of mood you are talking about and sometimes the only thing that will help is the passing of time. Dammit.

Stacia said...

I'm a stewer too! Usually blogging it out helps (I have a LiveJournal for that), as does keeping busy and ranting to someone else about it. Often I just let myself stew knowing it'll take a few days to get past it. Once I calm down I decide whether I'll shop there again or not, and a couple of times I went to online review sites and wrote a calm note about the problem I had and why I'm not going back. A couple of times I have tried talking to managers, but in both cases the manager was completely unresponsive, so I don't bother now. It just made me stew more.

Actual acid in the stomach issues respond to Tums for me, also I need to avoid soda and juice and coffee. OTC omeprazole works well enough, but it's kind of expensive and it's 1 pill every day for 2 weeks, which stinks on ice.

The Gori Wife said...

I do this, very badly and over many, many things. I don't actually have a plan for how to deal with it, but reading through your post I realized that - for me - I would definitely NOT be doing housework. When there's something like this grating around in my head, doing something mindless like housework will mean I spend hours going over and over and OVER the situation in my head, getting angrier and more upset and composing letter after letter in my head. It's a vicious cycle.

No, what I need is distraction! Something to stop the letter composing, something to get me fixated on that instead. Perhaps a good movie or book, a long phonecall to a friend who has an interesting life and tells good stories. Perhaps a trip through the old yearbooks or a shopping expedition to somewhere far away that I love to go to but don't often get the chance. Then I can think about going there for a few hours beforehand, hopefully think about it afterwards to and all my great finds or good convo or whatnot.

If I can't find any suitable distraction, I just go ahead and write the stupid letter already. Sometimes it seems my brain just wants to organize the argument out all nicely, so that I have some closure as to what I WAS GOING to say! Even if I know I'm never actually going to send it. Then sometimes I can let it rest.

Erin said...

I start by warning my husband, via text message, that when we both arrive home for the day, he is not under any circumstances to bother me.

Then, I make myself a little pallet on the couch, pop in a disc of The Office, and demand he bring me delicious treats.

He knows that by following these instructions to the letter, he can have me out of my acidic mood usually by the second episode of The Office.

If my husband isn't around for me to boss and be babied by, I do pretty much the same thing only I gather a whole bunch of snacks before settling down and set them on the coffee table, so I don't have to get up. It really works better with a personal butler, though.

Jenny said...

Go running. Clean things. When driving, indulge in major and compeltely unnecessary road rage. Get cross with inanimate objects. I shout at my sudokus - when I get womething wrong, it's blatantly the fault of hte 7 i was trying to place, and not me at all...! Helps me anyway.