People often struggle with the word “entitlement.” What does it mean? Do I have it?

Here’s an example. I was investigating an online eyeglass store this week and looked at the reviews. It seemed like all the reviews were either five stars or one. That didn’t make a lot of sense, so I started reading the one star reviews. Most of them read something like this:

  • “I’ve bought ten eyeglasses from this company and they’ve all been great. My most recent pair had a screw missing. These people stink!”
  • “I’ve been buying glasses from this company from the beginning. I didn’t like my last pair. So uncomfortable. Too much bother to send them back and wait for a new pair. These people stink!”
  • I bought glasses from them and they broke. I called customer service and even though they were out of warranty, they said they’d replace them. But they say I have to pay for shipping. I’m not going to do that. These people stink!” 

So many of the reviews were from people expecting to pay super discounted prices and get absolute perfection, even though the company has a liberal return policy. Many of the reviews were for people who thought they deserved a longer return policy, or didn’t think the rules were fair.  Not perfection = one star.

These are some hallmarks of entitlement:

  1. The rules don’t apply to me.
  2. If it’s not perfect, someone needs to fix it.
  3. Someone owes me something I assumed I deserved.

But I sure hope the glasses I ordered are perfect. My entitlement isn’t entitlement. I deserve only the best, but I shouldn’t have to pay for it.

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