I have exacting standards. It is important to do so in order to achieve success and make my mark on the world. Owing to this, I hate being let down. If you tell me that we are meeting for lunch at 1pm then I expect you there at 1pm. Punctuality is the politeness of kings. If you are late you are telling me that you do not value my time. That is unacceptable. If you explain that you can deliver the product I want, the way I want it and in the colour I have chosen, I expect you to adhere to that. I am not interested in excuses. I will exert my influence as far as I can to ensure that what I have been promised is provided. I will cajole, coerce, persuade and harass to ensure the outcome is as was confirmed to me. Hotels, restaurants, shops, online providers, sporting venues, bars, people, products – all of them have been subjected to my precision and desire for high standards. I provide excellence in my profession (of course aided by a legion of underlings but it is at my direction).
Nobody likes to things to be wrong do they? Nobody wants a blue car when they asked for black. Nobody wants the wrong name or age on their birthday cake. I am sure I am not alone in my desire to achieve error-free services, goods and people. That is a laudable sentiment. Should I fail to deliver on my promises then it will be because I have been let down first. I have an aversion to disappointment and my failing can only arise as a consequence of the neglect and negligence of another. Each and every day I strive to ensure that I am not left flailing in the wind, as dejection cuts through me as a consequence of having been let down. It cannot happen again.
Where does this demand for delivery and high standards come from? It comes from my dread and fear of being let down. I cannot stand it. It breaks me in two and rips open a wound that has never properly healed. Being let down undermines me, makes me feel unwanted, unnoticed and unappreciated. All things which are anathema to me. He let me down all those years ago. I relied on him. Well, we relied on one another. It was, or at least it was as I thought, an unbreakable bond. I looked to him and admired how he carried on, when all hope seemed to have gone. The towering waves of misfortune and misery would crash against him but he was always unbroken and unbowed. He said that he would always look after me. He told me that he would protect me against those slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. I knew the world was a dangerous place, a cruel domain which showed no mercy and took no prisoners. I had seen with my own eyes what this place had done and could do. I was under no illusion as to the harshness of the vagaries of treading along the mortal path. He listened to my hopes and fears and he understood them like no other. He made me feels safe and wanted. I hung on his every word, mimicked what he did and pledged my unswerving loyalty. He accepted my fealty with open, gracious arms and I fell into them, safe in the knowledge that nothing could tear us apart. He promised me that,
“I will never let you down.”
I still hear his voice saying those words. But he did. He left. He let me down.