Dealing with the public has many rewards—meeting new people, providing value to customers and clients, passive income. There are also lessons and surprises beyond the powers of a good novelist. I enjoy the people who have lost a book or cracked a CD and ask me to replace them for free. I get a kick out of people who order from me and concurrently critique my ordering system. (I recommend all of them hop over to Amazon.) There are people with no record of making any payment who insist I send them something they think they ordered. And then there are the people who become outraged at me when their own bank denies use of their credit card (“How dare you insinuate my credit is not good?!!”). I told someone the other day that “please” and “thank you” were still in the English lexicon, and were magical tools. To his credit, he apologized for his impolite demands, another great example of how to put something right instead of pouring fuel on the fire of your self-indulgent outrage.
When you’re cold, don’t expect sympathy from someone who’s warm.
— — Alexander Solzhenitsin, “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch”