Posts Tagged 'Selfishness'

Time for a Gibbs-Slap

Stop, or I'll Shoot!

While I can’t call myself an NCIS-fanatic, I do indulge in the television series.  Yes, I know.  I’m three seasons behind.  Yes, I have seen episodes of LA and I don’t think they’re as good.  My favourite characters are Abby and McGee, but if it weren’t for Ducky, I don’t think I could stomach the show.  His sense of humour keeps autopsy from being nauseating for a girl who still occasionally checks and makes sure zombies aren’t under her bed.

I have to agree with Everyone Else, though.  Without Gibbs, NCIS just wouldn’t be the same (and isn’t, thanks for proving our point, LA).  Gibbs is a great leader, and he always goes with his gut.  To Tony, Xiva, McGee, and Abby, he’s a definite father figure.  And when one of his children has (or is about to) go astray, he knocks some sense into them.  Literally.  So, here I am.  I bow my head down to the great master, because I deserve a Gibbs-slap.

Lately, I have been selfish.  I complain about my weight (yesyesIknowI’mnotfat… I’m just fatter than I wish I was) and how many hours I’m working (honey, a couple months ago you’d’ve killed for 40-hours/week) and my family (…at least they love me?) and my boyfriend (I know he loves me) and my friends (okay, only a couple of them).  I told myself I was going to be better.  That I was going to look at the little things and be appreciative.  And I haven’t been.

A couple days ago, my friend Matt bought me one of those Oreo-Milkshake-Things that they have at Wendy’s.  He didn’t flounce up to me and say “HEY!  I bought you ice cream!”  I found it sitting on my desk, frosty and chocolaty.  I knew right away it was Matt, because he’s the only one who knows I like those, and he’s at Wendy’s all the time.  But when I noticed the shake (it took me a while… I had been running around) he was already working with a customer and by the time I was able to thank him, I drank half of it.

For my job, I have to smile.  Even if something isn’t funny, even if I freaking-hate-your-guts.  But when I saw the shake, I looked at him, and smiled for real.  It was just a random act of kindness, and it meant a lot to me.  When I was able to thank him, he simply smiled and said “I thought you would like it,” and kept going.  I’ve been thinking about it ever sense, because even though it may have been a little thing to him, it was a big thing to me.

I wanted to share that, because I read this post on Freshly Pressed and I wanted to emphasise how important random acts of kindness are.  The more I think about what Matt did, the more I realise how quickly I let myself fall back into the sinking sand, and how I need to stop being selfish (which honestly is one of my greatest pet peeves in people) and start being more selfless.

I think that the last selfless thing I did was buy Reeses just to give them away to two people I work with, just because.  And that wasn’t very selfless.  It was more… “You are having a bad day.  Would you like a Reese?  Okay, here.”  Pretty pathetic, but I am going to do better.  IamIamIam.

What was the last random act of kindness you performed?  When you find yourself slipping into selfishness, what is the Gibbs-slap that wakes you up to reality?

Oh, and by the way, y’all are welcome to give me a good virtual Gibbs-slap.

Thank You (Now Get Out) – 8/3/10

Sunset across the way.

So.  This week, instead of focussing on the individuals that bother me, I want to focus on some pet peevish traits that are consistent in all these individuals.  I find that having only one trait doesn’t qualify somebody for this weekly rant, but the combination of several certainly do.  Lets see if any of you agree with these.  They say six in the number of the Devil, so in reverse order:  the six most frustrating traits of people in a work-relationship today.

6. Grumpiness
This bothers me the least, because it’s often easily justified and sometimes, you can even help to remedy it.  Nonetheless, it’s difficult to work with someone you sense is on the edge of anger and disgruntlement.  One wrong word, and KAPOW! – you may be at the center of the storm of the century.  I know it’s hard to wear a smile when your dog just died, or you’re being sued, or your supervisor just called you up and told you that you have to work next Saturday.  However, it’s really important not to project the anger you hold for a specific individual at those around you.

5. Dishonesty
This goes hand-in-hand with saying “That doesn’t make sense” when you really mean “I don’t like what you just told me”.  Some people think that making up stories and lying will get them what they want.  Saying things like “I just talked to someone on the phone an hour ago and they said the price was 2-cents/copy”.  People tend to lie and exaggerate when they are outraged by something.  I think it’s because they believe that by making such claims, we’ll have to match it.  We need to start taking responsibility for our thoughts and be clear with each other.  We result to little white lies at times of accusation and similar distress; it’s no wonder our community is having difficulty communicating.

4. Rudeness
I genuinely believe that there are people out there that think that the meaner they are, the more likely they are to get their way.  I don’t know about the rest of y’all, but if someone is rude to me, my initial reaction is to be rude back.  If nothing else, I’ll stop trying to be friendly and be monotone, because I want to keep my job and if I’m rude to them, it’ll come back at me three-fold.  If they keep trying and pressing, yeah, they may make me feel like a waste of space and make me cry myself to sleep (okay, that was a little overdramatic), but they won’t necessarily get their way.  Being rude accomplishes nothing.

3. Impatience
Some things in life don’t go faster.  With the advance of technology we have photographs, movies, music, humans at the mere touch of our highly-advance cell phones.  From fast food to eBay, we’re used to instant gratification.  A lot of people have problems with the phrase “you’ll have to wait”.  Waiting is a word zoning out of our vocabulary.  We don’t have to wait for anything else.  Having to wait (impatience) often leads to rudeness and dishonesty and grumpiness.  “I have somewhere I needed to be ten minutes ago!”  My thoughts are – you walked into the store 3 minutes ago… you could have just skipped this stop if you’re so far behind.  Now, on the flip side, they may really have needed to be somewhere 10 minutes ago.  We as humans have a difficult time saying “no” (think Yes Man, but backwards) and we overfill our schedules.  If we’re not running around, stressed, and irritable.. something must be wrong, right?

2. Persistence
The phrases “you have to do me a favour” and “what do you mean, ‘you can’t'” fall into this category.  While in certain countries, haggling is the thing to do, in the United States, it’s generally frowned upon.  If you say “I want a turkey dinner with cranberry sauce, homemade mashed potatoes, gravy, and stuffing in five minutes” and I say “I’m sorry, I can’t do that” there’s really no way you can negotiate your way into getting it.  “Can’t” is one of those final words.  Taking no for an answer is one of those things we were supposed to be taught as a child.

1. Selfishness
I think it all boils down to this:  selfishness.  People who think that they are entitled to certain things.  Yes, we all have unalienable rights.  These rights do not include “getting something for free because we don’t want to pay” or “cutting everybody in line because we don’t want to wait.”  Confusion between the words “need” and “want” contributes to this problem.  If you can cite the section in the Bill of Rights that gives these allowance, you may sway my opinion.  Being unselfish also includes taking responsibility.  If Sally is running late because she didn’t plan her afternoon well, she needs to not blame every single person she meets for inconveniencing her.  If Joe wants a cheese burger and he forgets to say “no lettuce” he needs to not blame the restaurant (what are we, clairvoyant?).  And if Courtney decides to quit her job on the first day in because she finds the training videos boring, she probably shouldn’t yell at the manager, saying she didn’t need this job and the company isn’t doing her any favours by giving it to her.  Um, hun, why did you apply then?

Well, those are my six greatest pet peeves in humans today.  Do you have anything to add to the list?  Certain behaviours that you wish people would just realise are obnoxious?  Little things that make you want to scream at people, even though you know you shouldn’t?  Let me know!

Thank You (Now Get Out) – 7/27/10

Salve! My name is Gabriella Parker.  If you are rich, you may call me Riella.  If you are rich, between the ages of eighteen and twenty-four, and a single male, you may call me Ri.  If you call me Gabby, I will kick you in whatever place I think will hurt you most.  Understood?  Good.   Amber decided that she had a headache, so I get to do the update tonight.  We Parkers believe that it is a sign of weakness to leave records of our thoughts and experiences- it shows a need for the material in order to survive.  But who am I to judge my creator?

Right, of course, Amber reminds me that I am not here to ramble to you. You should see her, curled up on the couch, drinking iced tea like she was the Queen of the World.  It’s almost shameful that she had reduced me to her blogging assistant.  Especially without compensating me!

I suppose I should just get this over with.  I’ll just copy out her notes.  I swear, she owes me a manicure after all this:  all this typing is doing horrendous things to my poor, perfect fingernails.

She says that I should say something witty about the good, bad, and the ugly people of the week. I’m going to skip that part.

I think this says Blueberries and Cream. Yes? She says yes. Her note after “Blueberries and Cream” is: I was having a bad day.  She gave me a hug and left me blueberries. I’m not fond of all the little seeds in blueberries, and I tend to avoid hugs, so that must be a bad one. Next-

Oh. Amber says I have to illustrate. Use my imagination. Also that Blueberries and Cream was an “angel”. She really used that word. What. A. Sap.

NEXT. Someone called “Captain Hook”. I don’t really understand that name, but okay.  Apparently Captain Hook tried to cut people in line and was yelling because she couldn’t stomach the idea of “I am working with someone, I will be with you in a minute.”  Hmm.  Anyways.  Moving on.

There is someone called Back From the Dead here, and I’m not really sure the purpose of the name, but Amber insists that I leave it be.  She says it has a special connotation to herself.  Apparently this zombie person spent a great deal of time complaining about things that are beyond our control such as the weather and how quickly a photocopier prints out a copy.  According to these notes, she expected to be monetarily compensated for the inconvenience of her own poor planning, as well as the levels of humidity and items she ruined herself.  The notes on this person are really rather difficult to read, they have been scribbled ferociously.  Apparently Amber was incredibly hurt by this zombie-woman’s behavior.  That’s nice.  Moving on.

Oh, lovely.  There is nothing more.

Well, then, since that is the case, I am going to dismiss myself and go take a nice long beauty nap.  One can never have enough beauty naps.  Mother dearest always said that napping is good for the skin, and goodness knows that my shining complexion needs constant maintenance or else I’ll just fall to pieces.

Arrivederci!
.

.

Author’s Note: Riella is a character I used once on a Potter-verse-sort-of roleplaying forum.  I thought I’d try to spice things up a little bit by doing this week’s Thank You (Now Get Out) in a different voice.  I hope nobody hates it!
Much love,
Amber

Taking Responsibility

Snow on the branches.

This entry begins in my car this morning.  You see, last night, I lent my car to my mother.  While in my car (besides using up my gas), she decides that she dislikes my music and wants to switch from CD to radio.  Instead of pressing the switch button, she instructs my brother to remove the CD.  Where he removed it to, evidently, was a pile of goo (God knows what it was; I certainly don’t).  I find my radio cover (on the floor of the driver’s seat) and my CD (thrown haphazardly in a nook by the dashboard.  CD is covered in gunk and is well scratched.  Mother blames brother.  Brother blames me and my mother.  All I know is that I donated something because I’m nice to have it disrespected and some of my property ruined.  I don’t care who did it (though I am of the opinion they are both at fault) but I do need someone to take responsibility and make up for the error.

And I think that’s a huge thing in the world right now.  I know that I am more inclined to point at someone else when I have done something wrong and let them take the fall for it.  It’s one of those things that I am trying to work on myself.  Taking responsibility is hard, but it’s one of those things that if we do, and we learn from our mistakes, we become better people for it.

One of my favourite cries is “oh, but he said….” and to try to pin the blame on someone else, thus twisting the situation.  Guess what, world (and myself as well)- that doesn’t change the facts.  Yes, he may have said that but you had no right to have said this.  Be the bigger person, foresee the possible issue, do everything you can in order to be sure that it’s out of your hands… if you had, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

My second favourite?  “It was an accident.”  Bollocks.  So you took Gramma’s expensive vase and put it on the counter where the cat knocked it over.  You may have not knocked it yourself, it was an accident, the cat did it, but guess what, peanut?  You were directly involved.  Take responsibility for your involvement.

I have a story about a time it was an accident, and someone took responsibility, and everyone was the better for it.  I lent Rent to a friend once, who lent it to someone else (whose name she didn’t know).  We tried and tried but we could not find the person she lent the movie to (this, by the way, is why I’m so anal about getting my movies back).  I was miffed, but I let it go.  What could I do, anyway?  A couple months later, the middle party – who had lost it accidentally and meant no harm – bought me a new copy because she said she felt responsible.  I was happy because I got my property back, and she felt better without carrying that burden on her shoulders.  She didn’t have to buy me a new copy.  I never asked for it.  But she did because she rightly understood that I had entrusted her with the film and she was responsible for its loss.

Granted, I suppose not everyone in the world has that guilt complex.  I know I do… but I’m also aware that my brother (jerk) doesn’t.  I spoke to him about the CD, and his response was “well, Mom didn’t like your crappy music and it’s not my fault that it got ruined.  I just took it out of the player and put it somewhere.  Get over it.”  Then he went back to munching his Pringles and turned up the tele a wee bit more.  I know this situation shouldn’t frustrate me so much… but it’s the principle of the thing.  It wasn’t a CD I purchased, but knowing that people care more about their own well being than for the sanctity of others’ property… well… the only person in my family I’m going to be lending my things to now is my father.

For those of you out there more interested in “not getting in trouble” than doing the right thing… … at the risk of sounding like a conservative mother… shame on you.

Thank You (Now Get Out) – 07/06/10

Nate in the Window

Due to the ungodly temperature of my bedroom and the burning sensation of my laptop on my lap, this week’s edition is going to be brief.  Although there were many I could nitpick at, I’m going to choose my two top, and my two most disappointing.  Ready?  Here goes:

Coach
I have talked to Coach twice this week and done work for him.  He has been very patient with me and listened to everything I said and been willing to compromise, especially on Independence Day when he came in with a large job for me to do.  I could definitely tell he saw me as a human, and not as a bumblebee, and I appreciated it.  He was also light-hearted and made our work together fun, instead of painful.

Your Fax Is Broken
You know, it’s really difficult to be on the phone and do anything.  So.  I’m not really sure you think you can send a fax while you’re talking on the phone line that it’s using.  I’m just saying, is all.  So for goodness sake, please don’t yell at me for the fax not going through- my machine is working just fine. Maybe you should hang up the phone?  Why are you on two phones at once, anyway?

Double Trouble
Saw him three times in the last two days and we can just banter back and forth.  It’s fun, and he comes into the store a lot, but I’ve never been able to just banter back and forth like that.  He expected a lot of me, but he expected it on my time, and not on his.  Again, I was recognised as a human being, which really earns top points in my book.  And I love how this guy knows my name, even though I rarely work with him.  Most people don’t take the time to get to know you.

Move Along
I’m sorry that the store is closing early today.  It’s a holiday, these things happen.  Me?  I’d like to be sitting by a pool or eating barbecue today.  I have warned you, nicely, that we are closing soon.  I’ve offered my own time and resources to help you get done what you need to get done.  Please don’t yell at me for being kind.  And please, don’t refuse to leave just to make me miserable for telling you the store is closing soon.  I didn’t make the rules.  As far as I’m concerned, you shouldn’t be making copies of your bank statements on a holiday anyway, you should be with your family.  Oh yeah.  And when I tell you we don’t stock something, I’m not lying, and I’m not hiding it from you.  You don’t have to ask everyone else you see.  It’s really not available.

Well.  That’s about it for me- I want to shut my laptop down and go have some Lucky Charms (dinner of champions, my friends).  Did you run into someone this week that made your day?  How about somebody who ruined it?  I’d love to hear all about it!

Thank You (Now Get Out) – 6/29/10

Sunset By Albany

Tonight, as soon as I get home from work, I took my shoes off and collapsed in the living room for a good ten minutes.  Just the idea of putting my feet up made all the difference.  Physically, standing for eight hours is tiring.  But that’s not why I’m tired.  I have spent the last four days being squelched.  Squelched- it’s that thing you do to mosquitoes sitting on your living room window.  You take a tissue and squish them until they’re two-demensional, then you squished them a little more, wrap them up in sixteen more tissues, and flush the package down the toilet.  These last few days, ladies and gentlemen, I was the mosquito.  People have been a very special level of rude and selfish lately, for reasons that I cannot pinpoint.  Let me give you a few examples of the worst of the worst:

I Can Yell If I Want To
I had a lady a few days ago who was unfamiliar with the copier, and she loudly stated this while I was on the phone with another customer and couldn’t get to her to help.  Out of the goodness of her own heart, another lady went to help her, and when things didn’t go exactly the way she wanted (or more importantly, the price she wanted) the irate novice unleashed her wrath on the good-hearted tutor.  I apologised fervently to the tutor (after being ripped apart by the novice myself) but the damage had already been done.

Cleansliness is Next to Godliness
Strawberry Sorbet (one of last week’s angel’s) had the misfortune of dealing with this lady.  She was making large sized copies for a customer, and because they are so big, occasionally one may tumble to the ground.  We do our best to prevent this from happening, but we are only human.  Sorbet tried to catch the copy, but to no avail.  Cleansliness was appalled and informed Sorbet that under no circumstances would she accept the tumbled one.  I understand apprehension, she doesn’t know how clean our floor is (very, we vacuum several times daily) but she did not politely ask for an unsoiled copy.  She made it clear that she thought the entire place was a cesspool and that Sorbet was incompetent.

Can’t Be Bothered With Children
This is another one of Sorbet’s customers.  She wanted three-dimensional lamination done, which Sorbet made clear wasn’t possible.  After struggled “negotiations” she hands Sorbet an item about an eight of an inch thick and will not take “this will only ruin your original” for an answer.  Meanwhile, as Sorbet does her best with the impossibility, one of Can’t Be Bothered’s children pulls on her sleeve and asks quietly for a trinket (as children will).  Can’t Be Bothered turns and screams at her child… and well, it just escalated from there.

F-The-World
F-The-World made an appearance a couple weeks ago, but he’s back this week.  This week, he had pencils to return.  He hated them, he wanted me to know that “he was going to be nice to me because I’ve been more respectful then many others in this dump, but the company should be ashamed to sell these.  The cashier who rung them out should be fired, the salesman who presented them should be fired, the manager should be fired, and the general manager, and the president of the company that manufactures the product”.  He went on to tell me all the flaws of his 99-cent pencils (most notable of which was that the lead breaks if you push down really hard, which in my eyes is human error, not product malfunction) for about fifteen minutes.  When he finally found the receipt for the item, he realised he had purchased them elsewhere.  Embarrassed, he switched his complaint to a different item.

1-800-Cell-Phone
This evening, I met a gentleman who wanted my time and attention, but didn’t want to give me his. Apparently, he wanted me to be psychic. He came to my counter, slammed a bunch of stuff down, pointed to my copier, then called someone on his cell phone, opening with the line “Hey, I’m not busy right now, what are you up to?” He proceeded to talk on the phone, pausing only twice to wish my manager and one of my male co-workers good evening. When I finished his job, he hung up, paid, and as he was leaving, called what I think was the same person, and said “sorry, I can’t remember my pin number when I’m on the phone.” He completely ignored me, expect to point at my machine, no matter what I said to him.

Strawberry Sorbet
She’s back this week as my one and only extraordinary angel.  She deals with all these insufferable people, and still smiles.  She doesn’t complain, and makes the most of it.  Honestly, I thought that Can’t Be Bothered With Children and Cleanliness is Next to Godliness were some of the most remarkably unfortunate human beings I have encountered in a long time, and she handled it all very professionally.  She has also been incredibly nice to me these last two week, and I’m a lot more relaxed around her because of it, because it makes all the difference in stressful environments.  I’m looking forward to going to an amusement park with her sometime this summer!

That, ladies and gents, was the worst of the worst this week.  I wish words could adequately show you how inappropriately the negative people acted, and encourage the world not to be that person.  As for me, I’m going to bed, and here’s hoping that next week turns around!

Got any remarkable stories about people since last Tuesday?  Someone you wanted to punch in the face, but didn’t?  Someone who brightened your day?  I’d love to hear about it!

mv77@kent.ac.uk

Thank You (Now Get Out): 6/15/10

The ddrawings of two children at the end of a very long night at work.

“Good manners are made up of petty sacrifices.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson.

I’ve decided that in honor of my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad shift-block on Mondays/Tuesdays (16 hours of work in 27 hours) I’m going to start a regular feature on my blog that will (theoretically) air Tuesday nights every week.  This will be about the people of the week- the best of the best and the worst of the worst.  A note on this:  the worst may not always be evil human beings.  Simply remarkable ones in a negative way.  But my father always told me I should write a book about remarkable people.  So… this is a start.

The stars of this week begin appearing on Sunday and make their way to today.  Let’s find out who they are!:

Bagel Lady.

I had a moment of extra time on Sunday before work so I decided to brave Dunkin’ Donuts.  I rarely go to Dunks in the morning, but you know, a Strawberry Coolata sounded amazing.  I walk in and the place is packed.  I’m not too, too worried.  I only work across the street and I’m running about twenty minutes before I need to be there.  I get in line and the woman in front of me is jib-jabbering away on her cell phone, like most people do these days.  That’s Negative Point Number 1.  It’s so rude to talk on a cell phone when you’re waiting for service, because you hold everyone up when you get to the front of the line.  Bagel Lady gets to the front and finally (after five minutes) gets off her phone.  She orders three dozen bagels, toasted, with three packets of cream cheese on the side for each.  She also orders six Watermelon Coolatas.  After all this is taken in, the cashier reads it back to her, exactly like she said it.  There are three people running the shop, and seeing the size of the order, they hustle and bustle to finish it to keep the line moving.  Coolatas come up.  Bagel lady throws a fit because she wanted Strawberry Coolatas (even though she very clearly stated Watermelon).  She throws this flailing, yelling fit, completely embarrassing herself in front of everyone.  After she finishes, her phone rings very loudly.  She answers it and starts all over again.  I was a little embarrassed for her sake, but more pissed off at her for treating those people so terribly.  They’re doing their best.  Even if the mistake had been the associates’ mistake, she could’ve treated them like human beings instead of pack mules.

F-The-World.

We have a regular customer at work who is very congenial at all time as long as we bow down to him and bend all the rules to suit his fashion.  We close at 6pm on Sundays, and he likes to come at 6:20pm and bang on the door and swear fervently at us as we walk to our cars, because we need to reopen the store for him.  He’s not a very good customer – maybe a dollar in copies and a ream of paper every other week.  This Sunday, he walked into the store about fifteen minutes after opening, walked over to a product, swore fervently at it for ten minutes, and walked out.  Um, sorry, did someone do something wrong?

Chinese Counterfeiter.

I feel like this one needs a cautionary note:  I’m not generalising this to say that all Chinese people are counterfeiters.  This one, however, was, and that is how I think of her.  Not everyone with the same ethnic origins- just her.  Monday evening this woman came in with a bunch of two dollar bills.  I spent about ten minutes explaining as politely as I could that I could not replicate them for her.  I told her “legally, I can’t copy money.  My hands are tied.  I’m sorry I can’t help you.”  I wanted to tell her:  “what you’re asking me to do is illegal.  Replicating money for any purpose at all constitutes a very long prison sentence, and I want nothing to do with you.”  How can you tell people, without telling them they;re stupid, that they’re breaking a very simple, logical, rational law?

Cassie and Her Sister.

At the end of Monday night, after a trying day, I had a woman come in for a couple of quick copies with her two girls.  They were probably four and eight.  The girls were excited and eager to help their mother, and their enthusiasm was noted, but not particularly helpful.  I gave both the girls a piece of blank paper and a highlighter and pen (I don’t have any crayons of anything) so they could draw a picture.  To my surprise and delight, they both gave the pictures to me.  It was totally the girls’ idea.  The four year old – I caught that her name was Cassie – drew a marker, and her older sister drew a heart.  Their lovely pictures are featured at the top of this entry.

Just Breathe.

When it gets really hectic and busy, I get to running around at work.  I’m so focused on processing the lines and getting people settled that I probably look like a race horse.  At any rate, I had a customer on Monday, and when I asked him “What can I do for you?” the first thing he said was “Take a deep breath.”  I totally appreciated that.  A lot of people get upset when I tell them to stop a minute and keep breathing- I think they feel judged or looked-down-upon.  When people say it to me, though, I know I need it, and I appreciate it.  So thanks, whoever you were.

My Photographs are Holier Than Thou.

I had a deceptively sweet-looking old man Tuesday morning that wanted a couple of photographs enlarged.  They were both pictures of his house.  He did not, no way, uh-uh trust me.  I don’t know why.  Every time I brought the photographs to my copier behind the counter, he’d let himself in and start fiddling.  I tried to tell him politely that I needed him to 1.) Stay out; and 2.) not touch the machine, but he wasn’t keen on listening.  This was particularly bad because we were having some carpeting redone this morning, and there was paste on the floor where the carpet squares were going in, very close to my machine.

Repent, the End is Near.

I am Christian and I am not about to belittle the ideals of this woman- simply her behavior.  While I was at lunch, my co-worker had a customer come in that needed several copies of over fifty different sized documents, and since of course there was a line, she insisted on waiting for them and holding up the line.  My co-worker was able to talk her into coming back in an hour (it was a substantial amount of work, all stuff that was fragile papers and strange sizes and needed to be done by hand).  Every ten minutes or something, this woman would come back and become “politely upset” about her work not being done, as we were trying to process people in line.  My co-worker was able to finish her work before the hour was up, because she worked tirelessly on it, leaving me to the mess on customers.  When the job was finished, the woman held up my co-worker for fifteen minutes when the center was clearly busy to tell her to repent, because the end is near.  My poor co-worker, who is incredibly active in her own church, was just trying to tell the woman that she was well familiar with the Scripture being  quoted at her.  Apparently the woman didn’t believe her.

Murphy’s Victim.

There’s a new tire place going in across the street.  I had the (mis)fortune of meeting the manager today (Tuesday) morning.  He was making some copies, and although cheery, was clearly flustered.  I asked him a couple of simple questions, and learned that everything has been going wrong for him moving into the new place.  He had to start paying the lease in early January, but the landlord broke his/her word, and they weren’t able to move in until late May; things are breaking and not getting fixed, et cetera.  I felt bad for him, I understood why he was frustrated.  Boy was his luck bad in this venture.  But what could I do?  I listened.

Carpet Man.

I wasn’t pleased that my carpet was being redone this morning, especially since I found out only a few minutes before it happened.  But the guy who came in to do it was helpful and charitable.  He worked quickly and never complained about me getting in his way, although I kept leaping over the space where he was working.  I was totally in his way, but he was congenial and understood that I needed to get work done, too.  Thank you for your patience, sir.  Really… thank you.

Captain Xerox!

We have a regular repairman we see all the time, because one of our machines is awful.  He is such a nice guy, always smiling, and he fixes things as quickly as he can.  It’s a relief to see him because it means that I’m getting my machine back, yes, but for some reason his professional demeanor and his complete calm is really reassuring.  We have a couple of other repairmen, but the one who came in Tuesday morning is more than just “that guy who fixes the machine”.  He acts like a human being, and he treats us like one, too.  You rock, Captain Xerox!

The Chivalrous Knight.

Chivalrous Knights come in all shapes and sizes.  Tuesday’s was a tiny, wrinkled little old man who held the door for me at Panera.  I smiled as big as I could and said thank you.  It’s always nice to see that chivalry isn’t dead.

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Well, that’s all folks!  Come back again next week for more stories of humans in the world- the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Feel free to contribute your own remarkables in the comments section!


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something to think about

"You know, I don't know if you'll understand this or not, but sometimes, even when I'm feeling very low, I'll see some little thing that will somehow renew my faith. Something like that leaf, for instance - clinging to its tree despite wind and storm. You know, that makes me think that courage and tenacity are about the greatest values a man can have. Suddenly my old confidence is back and I know things aren't half as bad as I make them out to be. Suddenly I know that with the strength of his convictions a man can move mountains, and I can proceed with full confidence in the basic goodness of my fellow man. I know that now. I know it." ~ End of Act I in the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

competing for the house cup

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