I've had some practical experince in the last few weeks at learning how to remain calm, polite, and focused in a rather crappy situation. This has been especially hard because I caused this situation.
The short version is, I had a dumb. I was distracted while pulling into my driveway and hit a large ice pile (iceberg, I swear). I was mildly concerned about my car and got out to do a cursory inspection. I found nothing looking amiss on the exterior, and assumed all was well. I pulled it into my garage and heard/saw fluid gushing out the bottom of the car. Now, I'm no gear-head, but even I realized that was likely really bad.
Much damage was done, and then the saga of bad luck really began in earnest. This was a holiday weekend, so fuck-all happened that day. Then my lovely wife had it towed to our local mechanic who said he could take care of it and just needed the insurance adjuster to come out before he got started. Except that took 3 more days. And then, when re-assessing the damage, he determined he couldn't do the work. So we had to have it taken to another shop. Which took an entier day (the car moved like 4 miles). And didn't arrive until about 15:30 on a Friday. So, again, fuck-all happens. This makes a week where literally no progress has been made.
That entire week I worked from home. This is not a think I care to do. I much prefer to be in the office.
Then, on the Monday of the second week, the in-house estimator at the dealership was out. Then I was promised that they'd get it up on Tuesday and start looking at it. And that I'd have a call back by close of business that day. Didn't happen. The same happened on Wednesday. Finally, on Thursday determinations were made and parts ordered.
But that wasn't the only misfortune. To compensate for being car-less, I rented a car. This was surprisingly harder than expected. I had gone down to pick it up, and was informed that local policy stated that I had to have a credit card to pick up the car (after careful scrutiniy of the online reservation, I still cannot find this). This is problematic because neither my wife no I typically carry credit cards. While I have the restraint not to use it, I aid that restraint by simply not having it around. So, my wife and I had made a ~50 mile trip for nothing.
I finally got the rental car two days later, and am still waiting to see if my car gets finished on time.
Its been real challenge to not lash out at folks during this trying time, and one I've not always been up to. A few times I've lost my temper with folks (the rather understanding people at the car rental counter). But, the one major time I did, I went back a moment later and appologized. its undrestandable (but not acceptable) to loose your cool in a bad situtaion. Its NOT understandable to not acknowledge when you've been a tool and take responsibility.
So, this one's on me, and its been a real trip, but overall I think I've done OK not loosing my cool over all of it.