I know what I am doing!

“I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING” Hollered Captain Marko, with a few more colorful words in the phrase. We had been splashing about the Florida in-shore coastline for the better part of an hour on a charter fishing trip after having left more than two hours prior, and suddenly the fish were biting.

Captain Marko had to reassure himself because his website touted him as being highly sought after for charter fishing trips in this part of the state and had yet to prove himself worthy of such accolades to myself and the other gentlemen on the trip. Within about 5 minutes of leaving the slow wake-less channels we were gliding through what seemed like shallow waters at a speed that had me feeling like texting-while-driving was more responsible than this method of in-shore travel. We made a turn and with a few skips the boat came to a sudden sand-padded stop in the middle of the open water channel; we had driven right into the heart of a sand bar. My brother-in-laws, my dad and I all sort of gave each other that look that suggested maybe Captain Marko was not all that and a bag of fishing worms. Shoulders-to-bow we pushed with everything we had and the boat wouldn’t budge.

Reviews are easy to submit now, and in any brick and mortar retail application every social media platform offers customers a way of writing a review. I’d guess a recent change in android’s OS has been prompting a significant amount of Google reviews and boy have they been coming in. 5-star “Awesome customer service” happy Mark. 1-star “Never been there” sad Mark. I started living and dying by the reviews. Sure we average somewhere above 4.5 stars on almost every platform, but those one-stars just get you. They can exhilarate you or sandbar you.

Maybe you’re not in the “my business can get reviewed by anyone, qualified or not” part of the world, or as an employee you don’t have access to them, but you’ve had your fair share of customers treat you like you are nothing but a pathetic, under-qualified, pile of human debris and it leaves you thinking “maybe I’m not all that great.” Rarely are these people qualified to give you that criticism either. Back to the boat…

After a towboat came and pulled the boat back to water we motored around the bay to a few different spots. Our captain, his confidence clearly shaken, would watch for 5 minutes and tell use to reel in because he wanted to move on to another spot. One hour after leaving the sand bar we found ourselves approaching the exact same sand bar with similar speed, but this time an earlier turn (and maybe some of my prayers) got us to the other side and landed us in a small cove.

We cast our lines out and within seconds started seeing the sudden movement in our poles that suggests one possibility; fish on! Captain Marko bellowed with all that was inside him “I know what I am doing!” and yelled it loud enough that my dog probably heard it back in Michigan, Captain Marko certainly heard himself say it. After a delightful few hours we had brought in over 60 fish and brought home enough to make a delicious table full of fresh fish tacos that evening.

So you got a one-star review, or you had a customer say some things that have you stuck on an emotional sandbar. It’s a terrible place to be for certain, but a text/call to your friend with the towboat will help get you off the sandbar, and then you just need to get back to what you do. You brew that next cup of coffee and holler “I know what I’m doing!” You send that next billing statement and bellow “I know what I’m doing!” You get home to your family that loves you regardless of what some customer had to say about you and they hug you and celebrate you for being you, and before (or if you’re me, after) the lights are shut off for the night you yell “I know what I’m doing!”

Because there’s no voice you believe more than your own.

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