How to deal with Valentine’s Day (without ripping its beating heart out)
How’s Valentine’s Day going for you so far? Get a card? Breakfast in bed?
Maybe you’re pouring latte hearts all day for other people or tearing heart-shaped brownies from their tins for a display. And if you’re not, someone near you will be.
Valentine’s Day has massive potential for the food and drink industry with specials and package deals flying out the door like heart cakes. Takes some work but nail it and you’ve got a great gig for a day.
But here’s the thing – not everyone loves Valentine’s Day (shhhhh). Some people couldn’t really care less about it, others despise it. Me? I wanted to call this post Kicking The Heck Out Of Valentine’s Day but I should probably park my antipathy at the log-in bay.
So, instead, let’s call it Dealing With…
Got me thinking.
Don’t you hate that expression? Who wants to be Dealt With? Certainly not Valentine’s Day, that’s for sure.
“We’re dealing with your request”
“We’re dealing with your complaint”
“We’re dealing with the awkward situation you created*
“I’LL DEAL WITH YOU LATER YOUNG MAN/LADY,” was boomed at your teenage self as you skulked to your room to consider the worst thing you’ve ever done, again, and await your fate, lying on your bed staring at the ceiling and wishing you hadn’t been born.
If Dealing With was a colour it would be the dreariest of greys with a hairline streak of yellow as an underlying warning that somewhere out there, in a place you will never know and by someone you will never meet, you are being Dealt With.
It’s the carpet tile of expressions. It’s what you put down when you don’t know what else should go there. It’ll do.
But will it?
When I’m the customer and someone is Dealing With me, what I’m hearing is: “You’re in an invisible triage of awkward situations that we’re trying to fix and get rid of, we’ll be back when we’re ready, bye for now!”
Being Dealt With sucks.
So, especially today, this Valentine’s Day, when everyone’s longing for a little love and some people have to seek it in cafes or stores, please don’t Deal With customers.
Serve them, help them, hear them, even if you don’t have the answer immediately.
But don’t use the word Deal. Unless you’re playing Crazy Eights. Or Hearts.
This Valentine’s, wear a love-and-be-loved badge and if you can’t, buy yourself a heart-shaped brownie.
Better still, secretly send one over to the person sitting on their own.
It could just make their V Day.