How to Handle Bad Reviews

Have you ever tried something that just didn’t go the way you had hoped and turned into a bad experience? Sometimes we can ignore them, others we feel propelled to let others know about our horrible encounters. We all come across these events in our lives not matter the person, place, or thing of focus. Bad customer service; blast them on social media. Malfunctioning product; unpleasant reviews on company website. Read a lackluster novel; ream the author out on GoodReads.bad-reviews-online-yelp

There is no easy way to handle harsh reviews, but I have come up with a few steps to help my fellow providers of any product or service to come out stronger after such abuse. Before we begin, I want to be clear that there is a very real difference between constructive criticism and plain rude comments. Constructive criticism is exactly that, a positive offering from a consumer to help strengthen the seller’s position within any market. Malicious reviews do not fall in this category, and sometimes can be a little hard to swallow. This is where my focus will fall because constructive criticism is part of everyday life, so we should be acclimated to these types of comments whereas verbal lashings for most are a bit further and farther in between.

*Disclaimer: I am an author, so this will be geared more towards my colleagues, but all suppliers are welcomed to cite whatever piece they find valuable from this post.

1. Read the comments with an open mind.

Do not attempt to read reviews or listen to customers with a turbulent or distracted mind. Whatever is going on in another part of your life, whatever has previously upset you either work related or otherwise, forget about it for all of the amount time it is going to take you to complete this process before reading/hearing any sort of cruel negative feedback. Clear your mind, steel it if you are new to this process, and continue to the next step.

2. Don’t take it personal.

Remember the first step. Read the comments with an open mind and don’t take it personal. I of all people know that this is hard to do especially when a reviewer is literally dragging your name through the mud, but we have to remember that to them whatever product or service they were provided with did not meet expectations and therefore has let them down. This can be heightened dramatically as the cost to the consumer is higher. No matter what the reviewer has said, don’t take it personally, and continue on.

3. Find the constructive pieces.

Unless the customer is literally just throwing profanities and cursing your very existence, during these times of frustration, we all just want our voices heard. Again, if the reviewer is just lamenting that you occupy space on this planet, it is best just to ignore it and/or advise them to provide feedback at such a time that it can contain constructive points. If the consumer is frustrated, but still explaining why pertaining to the product, then there is hope for something constructive and possibly a lesson to be learned. It may be hard to sieve through some of the not so helpful points, but again, remember our previous steps and focus on what can be helpful advice.

4. Do not respond.

This may be equally hard to do, but specifically to my fellow authors, do not respond! Unless you are on the phone or in person with the disgruntled customer, do not respond. List out the constructive points as you read the statements with an open mind. Even if you think you have the end-all-be-all comeback, do not respond. This is about learning to find what is helpful to better yourself in the future.

Revert to the previous step if you are face to face with an unhappy consumer: advise them to provide feedback at such a time that it can contain constructive points, and if it does contain such points, acknowledge them, but do not offer excuses or explanations. Just listen and give their concerns merit. Do not take anything said to you to heart. Remember, it isn’t personal. They just want to be heard.

5. Remember that you are not perfect.

No one on this planet is perfect. We all perform the same mundane tasks every day between bathroom usage and clothing rituals. You will never make everyone happy no matter the product or service you provide, but we can at least continue to understand that there is always room for growth and use these scenarios to our advantage. If a reviewer says that your story lacks dialog, try to add more in your next. If a customer states that your product brakes too easily at this certain piece, evaluate their concern and strive to make it better. We can take these moments of criticism and strive to make ourselves. Not perfect, but better.

6. Grow.

We are all human, and life is a continuous saga of learning lessons. Be the bigger person, and better yourself from the experience. Take what you can from each lesson, and let the rest go. (Not to sound too “Frozen”-y.) Everything we do, we can get better with practice and determination. Never give up, just accept this new challenge and rise above it.

My husband will look at me at times and ask how I can stand to see some ill-intended comments. My answer is always that I take them and choose to grow from them. I refuse to let it get me down because then what does that accomplish. We all have too choose to be better, to strive for more, and with each new project, that is exactly what I do. In a way, I guess I am breaking one of my own rules with this post, but to all who have provided feedback on any of my works, I thank you for helping me reach for higher heights, and I will always strive for greater.

Let me know of any tips that I may have left out, or different ways you may cope with such comments. If you just need a listening ear, I am here for that also!

Movie Review: Hacksaw Ridge

125-hacksaw-ridgeI love this movie! Regardless your feelings towards Mel Gibson who directed the film, if you enjoy war movies, movies about historical events, or even just courageous people performing heroic deeds, this movie is a must see! Mind you, there is a lot of death, destruction, and carnage as it is set in World War II – Asian theatre, and our hero is a military medic. If that is not your cup of tea then you may want to just do your research on Hacksaw Ridge and Private Doss rather than watch this film.

***SPOILERS***YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED***Read More »

Movie Review: Arrival

mv5bmtexmzu0odcxndheqtjeqwpwz15bbwu4mde1oti4mzay-_v1_sy1000_cr006401000_al_Hubs and I have been playing catch up on our movie watching. The Arrival movie was not one that I was particularly interested in, but hubby wanted to see it. Jeremy Renner is in it, so I figured I’d take one for the team.

IMdB: When mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team – led by expert linguist Louise Banks – is brought together to investigate. As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and the team race against time for answers – and to find them, she will take a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity.

The above descripition is way more dramatic than I actually think the movie was, and I’m really not sure what chance they are referring to. Silly, IMdB. It could have been a decent movie, but it was ruined for me.

***SPOILERS***YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED***

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Movie Review: Deepwater Horizon

If you have never heard of Deepwater Horizon, then my friend, you live under a rock and/or are a vampire. If it’s the latter then I’m glad we’re friends. It was a strange coincidence that my husband and I watched this literally the same week I had a discussion board assignment on the tragedy. There was obvious dramatization to some of it and inaccuracies, but overall I really think this movie was very well done.

mv5botezndu0otgxm15bml5banbnxkftztgwnja0odm2ote-_v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_IMdB: In April 2010, there is no oil exploration operation in the Gulf of Mexico to compare with the Deepwater Horizon oil rig with its size or sheer depth of its drilling. However, the project for the BP oil company is beset with technical difficulties to the point where the general operational supervisor, Jimmy Harrell, and his Chief Electrical Engineer, Mike Williams, are concerned potentially dangerous trouble is brewing. Unfortunately, visiting BP executives, frustrated by the project’s long delays, order curtailed site inspections and slanted system tests to make up for lost time even as Harrell, Williams and his team helplessly protest for the sake of proper safety. On April 20, the workers’ fears are realized in the worst possible way when the rig’s various structural and system flaws spark a catastrophic cascade of failures that would create a massive blowout and explosion that threatens them all, even as it also begins the worst environmental disaster in US history.

I’m not going to claim any spoilers because as a proclaimed above, the Deepwater Horizon tragedy has been deemed the worst environmental disaster in US history, so you can pretty much guess what happens in the movie. If you can’t, here’s some light reading for you: 100 Days of the BP Spill. I absolutely loved this timeline as it was part of the reading for my discussion board in my Social Responsibility in Business class.

Mark Wahlberg had a great performance in this movie, but let’s be honest, when does he not perform well. I wonder if he spent any time with the man he was casted to play, but if you watched the CSPAN coverage of the Senate hearings on this tragedy, you heard his story already. Mike Williams stood before a selected committee and recounted the night of April 20, 2010 when Deepwater Horizon exploded and 11 people were lost at sea. This courageous man did everything he could to help his fellow shipmates, but this incident could have been completely avoided had BP not been so greedy.

I was a little wary that this movie was going to be a big political circus, but it was honestly just the retelling of a man’s story with a bit of Hollywood dramatization thrown in. It will make you mad, I promise you that, but not for the wrong reasons. The families that have been torn apart by this tragedy, my heart goes out to them still, even seven years later.

It was a great movie to watch, but the idea that these people had to actually go through something like this is crazy to me. It was 2010! How can something like this still happen? I’ve read where they tightened the regulations on the blowout valve to hopefully avoid another tragedy like Deepwater Horizon. Any engineers out there that can create an even better failsafe? I challenge you!

 

Movie Review: The Girl On The Train

Baby spent the night with her grandparents, so mommy and daddy had a pizza, movie, wine and beer night. I’m wine, he’s beer. Overall, a very healthy evening. (Back to that whole: Weight Loss or Pizza bit.) It’s been a while since we have been able to catch up on the latest cinema hits, so this may be a bit late, but I had to share my feelings on The Girl On The Train. This may start to read like a rant, so you have been warned.

girl-on-the-train-new-trailerIMdB: The Girl on the Train is the story of Rachel Watson’s life post-divorce. Every day, she takes the train in to work in New York, and every day the train passes by her old house. The house she lived in with her husband, who still lives there, with his new wife and child. As she attempts to not focus on her pain, she starts watching a couple who live a few houses down — Megan and Scott Hipwell. She creates a wonderful dream life for them in her head, about how they are a perfect happy family. And then one day, as the train passes, she sees something shocking, filling her with rage. The next day, she wakes up with a horrible hangover, various wounds and bruises, and no memory of the night before. She has only a feeling: something bad happened. Then come the TV reports: Megan Hipwell is missing. Rachel becomes invested in the case and trying to find out what happened to Megan, where she is, and what exactly she herself was up to that same night Megan went missing.

***SPOILER ALERT***YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED***Read More »

Movie Review: Hell Or High Water (2016)

Hubs and I have been on a movie kick recently. We typically stick to the more popular movies being released, but when we came across Hell or High Water, we couldn’t help but appease our curiosity. Chris Pine, Jeff Bridges, and Ben Foster in a bank robbing film set in west Texas. What better cast could you ask for?mv5bmtg4nda1ota5nf5bml5banbnxkftztgwmdq2mdm5ode__v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_

Following a series of armed robberies at a number of branches of Texas Midland Bank where very little money was taken, we learn that the motive of unemployed oil and gas worker Toby Howard (Chris Pine) and his brother — just released from prison — is to raise enough money to pay off the reverse mortgage that will forfeit their recently deceased mother’s ranch if not paid off. Oil was discovered on the ranch and in order to secure the future of his sons and ex wife, Toby needs $43,000. After two of the robberies, curmudgeonly Texas Ranger Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges) and his American Indiana deputy partner pick up the trial and just miss foiling the next, and last robbery.

***SPOILERS***You have been warned***Read More »

Star Wars: Rogue One Review

Hubby and I had a mommy/daddy weekend over the New Year holiday, and besides actually spending the night out for the big ball drop, we also decided to see the new Star Wars movie. We are definitely Star Wars fans, but since Disney has taken over LucasFilms and has decided to release movies on or around our daughter’s birthday every year, we will consistently be late to the viewing of these movies. mv5bmjewmzmxodizov5bml5banbnxkftztgwnzg3otazmdi-_v1_sy1000_sx675_al_

Hear that Disney! Make the release dates later!

The basics of the movie are: In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves.

***SPOILERS***You have been warned***Read More »

Movie Review: Alex and Emma

imageWe all find inspiration in the most inconspicuous ways. Actors who portray real life people will follow those characters around until they essentially become the person. Singers use their life experiences as well as writers, at times. Dancers use their emotions. Artists use their surroundings. We all use off the wall examples in order to fill the voids of our inadequacies and meet the needs of our muses.

When the muses find these holes in the creations we set forth to maintain, they demand we fill them, or face sheer and sudden annihilation. Whether that destruction be meaningless movements or portraits, or writers block, as I have come to know all too well. We must find the next foundation of validation for our work, the next fulfilling source of energy, in order to carry on the creation we have taken to task.

My greatest muse smiles irrevocably, whenever she decides to shut me down, on the movie Alex and Emma. I’m not sure if it is the basis of my second woman crush, Kate Hudson, which isn’t even based on looks, really. Don’t get me wrong, she is a beautiful woman and takes after her mother, but it is her personality and acting skills that I absolutely love! Don’t mind me with the personality bit. Typical woman answer, I know, since most men will tell you it is a crock, but I truly mean it. Everything she has performed in, I have absolutely loved!

“I don’t like tomato skins.” Alex and Emma

The above quote alone for me from the character Emma truly portrays her personality, and gives me all the more reason to love her! She perfectly demonstrates the term antagonist by being an un-moving control-freak, and overly anal-retentive. She is determined to make the main character see his own flaws and meet the expectations of their meet-cute. She gives Alex all the more reason to become the man she wants him to be, let alone the man he wants to be. She seriously steals the show in this contemporary romance that delivers every time I venture into the story of the two modern star-crossed lovers.

“Because I know the characters, and they tell me where the story goes.” Alex and Emma

The protagonist character Alex, played by Luke Wilson, nails the role of a reclusive writer with a romantically tragic past. Even with his monotone voice and, at times, maddening dialogue, his character shines through as a formulating author in the midst of his next novel and a love triangle he created for himself both fictional and real. His depiction of a starving artist sets the tone of his misled decisions and hits home within my heart.

“Every writer depends on the muses smiling down on them occasionally.” Alex and Emma

Ain’t it the truth? No matter your creative outlet, we have all faced bipolar muses on occasion. I know mine have hit more negatively recently which is why I turned to my proven source of inspiration, and heck, am even writing about it.

“-I, uh, you know. –I uh you, too.” Alex and Emma

So perfect! A beautifully scripted sentiment given to the audience to burst their hearts at the seams and drive us to root for their enduring love!

Moral of the story, my friends: find your muses vice and exploit it whenever they become moody! It just so happens mine is the movie Alex & Emma, and I’ll be watching until my muse breaks the dam on my creative flow.

Movie Review – “Lone Survivor”

Now, before I get into the actual review, I would just like to put a disclaimer that I typically do not like “war” types of movies, but because this was based on a true story/book, I really wanted to watch it. Plus, I really like Mark Wahlberg as an actor.

OK, review.

Lone Survivor was based on the life of Marcus Lutrell and his fellow service men during the “Enduring Freedom War” in Afghanistan, but specifically one mission “Operation Red Wing”. As the title shows, out of all of his fellow “brother’s in arms”, Marcus was the only one to make it out of the mission alive.

Before I go any further, I would like to thank every man and woman who has served in the military. Your courage, honor, and sacrifice can never be compared or repaid, but you are the people who keep this country “the land of the free”, and without you, we would become just like the countries you are commanded to be in so far from home. Thank you for all you do.

Back to the review.

The movie was about two hours long which I felt to be perfect. There is a lot of comparison to Saving Private Ryan with this film, but I just don’t see the correlation. Saving Private Ryan, albeit a good movie, was very drawn out and a work of fiction; this, my friends, is no fiction. This is the real life account of Mr. Marcus Lutrell, and he left nothing to be desired in his book and in this movie. I do not believe the movie could have been stretched out anymore than its current run time without losing the strongest emotion it brought with it. Watch it to find out which I’m talking about, but based on the title, I’m sure you can guess.

The movie’s cinematography was very well done; there was no guessing as to what was going on, or what anyone was thinking within it. What hurts me is the idea that I had never heard of this operation before, and am sad to say, I don’t remember the names of these gentlemen ever being mentioned. The idea that anyone can go through what Lutrell, all those that made the ultimate sacrifice on that mountain top, and their families back at home, went through, and I’m sure are still going through, breaks my heart.

Mr. Marcus Lutrell, I applaud you for the amazing work you have done with this book and film, and I can’t even imagine what you went through in order to put it all down on paper for the world to see, but thank you. Thank you for sharing not only your story, but the story of all those “frogmen” who gave their lives that day. (Lutrell makes a cameo on the movie, also, which I have no clue how he felt while doing so. I don’t know if I could handle it, but as a Navy Seal, I know this man has a stronger heart and mind than most in this world. Watch the movie, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.)

And to anyone who feels that this movie is just war propaganda, or as a very unintelligent critic said about this movie being “pro-war” and too violent, just what do you think these men and women are required to do over there in the mountains of a foreign country where most everyone hates you in order to get home to their loved one’s? Quoting Lutrell’s response, “No one is pro-war. Nobody wants war. It’s the most horrible thing in the world.”

Thank you, Mr. Marcus Lutrell and all of his fallen comrades, and I hope you know you all have this countries deepest gratitude.