My Dad, the Original “I’m Disappointed” Magician
I remember how much my father enjoyed going to various high-end West Los Angeles restaurants in the 1970s and 1980s. As a gourmand, he had high standards.
One evening Dad had a bummer of a meal at The Velvet Turtle. (By the way, turtle soup and anything else turtle-related or velvet-related was not served there!)
Dad didn’t go home to face indigestion of body and spirit. He wrote The Velvet Turtle’s manager a letter expressing his profound disappointment with his dining experience. This incident occurred long before the advent of email, so my father handwrote a double-sided letter explaining exactly what fell short at the establishment.
Lo and behold, Dad promptly received a profuse apology and a gift certificate for a full-course dinner for four. (I
stole took his certificate and brought my then-boyfriend and grandmother out for dinner – the food and service were very good!)
I never forgot my father’s satisfaction with his informing the manager he had a less-than-magical experience, nor did I forget the end result.
Whenever I’ve been deeply perturbed by the actions of an individual or group, I get in front of my laptop to write my “I’m Disappointed” email.
My fond wish is that the“I’m Disappointed”email “technique” will work as well for you as it has worked for me.
Here are two easy steps to take for your happy dance touchdown time.
- The phrase “I’m disappointed with…blankety blank” always goes in the subject header and also the body of the email.
- I never use foul language, despite having been very tempted to do so sometimes. I keep it short ‘n sweet and chock full of disappointment.
For you writers out there, here’s an example of an email I sent to BringChange2Mind. I asked for author/mental health advocate Jessie Close’s consideration to endorse my book.
It’s followed by “I’m Disappointed” missive, & then the prompt, courteous reply I received from BringChange2Mind.
--------------------------- Original Message ----------------------
Subject: Attn: Jessie Close/Book Endorsement Opportunity
From: "Dyane Leshin-Harwood"
Date: Tue, 7 March, 2017 2:23 pm
I hope you're doing well!
Like so many other readers, I bought "Resilience" and was deeply moved by your journey. I especially related to your love for dogs. I enjoyed seeing the photo of you with Redstone Rocket - I have a
Sheltie/collie mix named Lucy, and her face looks a lot like Redstone Rocket's. I also loved the photos of your adorable Wowie and
I'm a writer and mental health advocate.My memoir "Birth of a New Brain - Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder" will be publishedthis fall by Post Hill Press.
I'd be honored if you'd consider endorsing it.
You'd join other inspiring movers and shakers including:
--Dr. Verinder Sharma, Perinatal Psychiatrist
--Dr. Nancy Byatt, Psychiatrist/Professor, University of
Massachusetts Medical School
--Mark Lukach ("My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward")
--Jay Mohr ("Gasping for Airtime," "No Wonder My Parents Drank," Podcast One's MohrStories, "Keep Oregon Well" Spokesman/Mental Health Advocate)
I've attached the front & back cover for your review. The book on Amazon for pre-sales and you can read its brief description here:
I look forward to hearing from you very much!
After two weeks with no reply, I sent the “I’m Disappointed” email:
Subject Header: Very Disappointed
“Dear Bring Change 2 Mind Staff,
On March 7th, I left a voicemail message at the website’s contact number
(for Annie) and I emailed that same day, but I never heard back from
I realize that working at a nonprofit is demanding (I’ve worked at three
of them here in Santa Cruz!), but I’d really appreciate a confirmation
that you received my email and that my request is being considered.
Thanks so much,
The next day I received this response from BringChange2Mind’s Staff
Hi Dyane, thank you for your email, and please accept my sincerest apology for not responding sooner. It sounds as though you understand how time manages to slip by too quickly in the non-profit world! And, as a small staff of three, I am afraid that it’s always moving faster in the BC2M office than I would prefer!
Congratulations on your book! If you could send us a copy here at the office, I could put it in the mail to Jessie with the hope that she would be able to read it. She has been extremely busy lately so I can’t make any promises, but it’s always worth a try!
Thank you again for reaching out to us!
I’m astounded at how quickly I usually receive a courteous response after I fire off the I’m Disappointed email. Oftentimes I’ve heard back from someone within 24 hours of sending it. Of course, I don’t always receive a reply or get what I want – although once in a while I do – but it feels good to get such a quick turnaround.
Try it the next time someone lets you down, and let me know if the magic happens for you!
p.s. I’m writing this post at the Cliff Cafe which is down the street from the Munchkin Cabin in beautiful Alpine Meadows. My view of the Truckee River:
We’ve been coming up here for almost a decade. The cabin owner has become a friend and she gives us the “friend’s rate” that makes this trip possible.
Next Friday I’ll let you know about my latest adventures in this magnificent wilderness – hopefully I won’t have a bear come inside the cabin while I’m there (been there, done that!) or get lost in the Sierras (ditto!), or have Craig break his foot while walking down the stairs again, or ride Squaw Valley gondola when the staff fires off an avalanche-prevention explosive almost directly beneath the tram (yep!) – and hopefully I won’t need to write an “I’m Disappointed” email while we’re up here!
In this short video, I’m watching Lucy swim for the first time. She’s braving a pond that’s fed by snowmelt from the top of Alpine Meadows. I was so verklempt over my furry girl’s swimming prowess & her concern for Rilla! (Apologies for the loud “Oh my Gods” in the background!)
If you want another brief dose of Lucy’s cuteness, check this out!
Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder, with a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw, will be published by Post Hill Press on October 10th, 2017. Birth of a New Brain is now available on Amazon for paperback pre-sales. Kindle pre-sales will be available in August.