Over the last six months I've been working hard on a big event. Now I'm about three days out from the the big day and my patience is starting to be tested. Today I got a nasty email from someone who was angry we closed registration without telling them. Here's what she wrote:
I'm sorry but screw you for having closed registation! I was told there
was no deaedline but have been working my tail off to enter in the
race. I was so excited to run...awful, awful planning for a woman's
health run and fundraiser. I am beyond pissed and disapointed by this.
Maybe you ought to consider better planning for next year or more
notification of an upcoming deadline well before it happens. Thanks for
Okay, maybe not publicizing our closure was an oversight on my part, but we did tell people to register early. Now I've had two downright enraged women contacting me with nothing but venom about the closure. One even told me she had the ad we ran from July on her fridge.
It seems like blaming someone for your own procrastination is like blaming Santa for bringing Christmas when you haven't purchased gifts for your family.
We knew we'd have people begging to get into the race, so we held a few spots aside. I was being judicious about who I would grant the right to get in at the last minute and wasn't about to give the golden ticket to that grouchy bear. I waited for inspiration to strike before deciding how to respond to mandabear77. About four hours after the seething email from her arrived, I received the following from her:
Sorry, my last message was a bit mean. I am upset but I shouldn't have
reacted in the heat of the moment. I do apologize for being mean.
To which I replied, as I've learned to do from years of motherhood:
Now that you've cooled down, do you want to know how to get into the race?
A woman I admire told me once that she never writes anything in an email that she would be ashamed to read in 25 years. I feel good about that reply and I think I'll still feel good about it in 25 years.