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Friday, March 6, 2009

When the going gets tough, what happens?

the answer separates the elite from the bumpkins, the classy from the trashy....



There's no denying things are not perfect. In fact, they are downright lousy. The economy is tanking, people are suffering and the government is reacting in ways that may or may not save us all. Some days feel like a crap shoot at best. But, here's the thing--these are the moments that test us. These are the times that separate the men from the boys...so to speak. Or, like I said....the elite from the bumpkins, the classy from the trashy. These are the days when we show what we are made of. Who we are. What we have in us. And, where our hearts are. No, I'm not talking about big things. I'm talking about the little things. The little things that really are big things.....when times are tough.

Alright, alright...I'll stop talking in circles here. Here's some back stories to what I'm talking about...

Situation #1--
The other morning I needed a Starbuck's Chai Latte with an energy shot badly. By the time I realized this, I was not headed towards my usual on-the-way-to work Starbuck's. But, I was near another Starbuck's...the one that I typically visit on weekends. It's in an upscale shopping area--The Galleria. Since my need was so intense, I had no choice but to go to that particular one. It was in the opposite direction of where I needed to go. So, essentially, I was back tracking. But, you know how I am with those Chai Lattes with energy shots....when I need one, I need one. Period, that's it.
When I arrived, I pulled into the smallish lot--in between a big SUV and a little Mercedes. Although, at the time, I didn't know what type of cars they were. As I was fidgetting with my purse, the large SUV to the one side of me pulled out. So, I waited until it got out of the space before I got out of my car. That's when I noticed my back seat was strewn with trash. So, I decided to gather the trash into a bag that I had in the trunk. As I was opening the back to retrieve the bag, I heard a voice of a woman behind me but I wasn't quite sure what she was saying. So, I turned around to find a woman--slightly older than I--in a designer "jogging suit", complete make up, a huge expensive purse, lots of jewelry and not a hair out of place. A bit overdone if you ask me. "I'm sorry, were you asking me something?" I asked her. "This just figures! It's the way my life has been going! With all the God damn room you had, why in the hell did you park so close to me?" she screeched. I looked over and noticed that I really wasn't all those close to her car. "I'm sorry, what did you say?" I asked again. "Why in the hell did you park so close to my car? Can't you see what kind of car it is?" she screeched again. I looked over at it. It was black. It was shiny. Other than that, that's all I could tell. "I'm sorry, I didn't notice. I pulled in here....in between an SUV that just pulled out and your car," I explained to her. "Well, evidently you don't care! I can't even get into my car!" she wailed. I looked over at the space...again I really didn't see the problem. I looked back at her and since she wasn't a big woman, I could not imagine why she would have a problem getting into her car. "Oh, you're so little, you should not have a problem," I told her--thinking it was a nice compliment. Even though I thought she was an ugly bitch. "It's a MERCEDES for CRYING OUT LOUD!" she once again screeched. I just stood there in shock. You talking to me..bitchface? "I can pull out so you can get in," I offered. She scowled at me...."No thank you!" she fumed. And, with that, she headed towards her car ranting "I can't believe this! Why in the hell would she park next to me like that?" So, I stood there....watching her. She easily slid into her car. Easily! I waited for her to pull away in her black Mercedes. BITCH! I hissed as she drove out of the lot and into suburbia....hating me for parking next to her Mercedes! And with that....she managed to put a huge dent in my day.

Situation #2--
We have had our ups and downs at the office. Some days it's more downs than ups. And, with that, some good folks get caught in the crossfire. Other folks manage to use those difficult times to practice bad behavior and make it even worse. While others feel hopeless and possibly helpless. As you can imagine, amid all the negativity and darkness, it becomes tough to see the light let alone a way out of the chaos. So, it's pretty easy to get swept up in the downhill spiral and emotional upheaval that becomes our days. Feelings get hurt, morale gets squelched and comraderie takes a nose dive. Not pretty. Sadly, at the center of one of the recent firestorms happened to be one of the brightest, most talented and invaluable staff members I've ever worked with. It was an unfortunate situation that turned difficult and unsettling for her. Shameful. But, what did she do about it? She went home, took a bath and found a way to understand it, make it better and improve things along the way. When she came in to tell me about it, she was positive and energized and encouraging. Not at all like a girl who had just had one of the most unnerving weeks of her professional life!

Yes, I know, those stories seemingly have nothing in common. However, both of them have stayed with me well beyond their moments. Mercedes bitch woman turned an otherwise normal morning commute into a tough one for me. And, my coworker turned what could have been another day of lamenting over the trials of the week into a hopeful and relieved one! Although I have no clue what misery Mercedes bitch woman was dealing with, I hardly imagine that it warranted ruining a stranger's day. Who does she think she is anyway? And, since I do know what misery my coworker had to deal with, if she would have came into my office and banged my door and screamed, I would have understood it. But she didn't.

We're all given the chance each and every day...each and every minute of every day....to impact someone else's life. How we choose to use that time...especially during tough times....tells a lot about who we are....a class act or a trash act.
Sure, Mercedes bitch might have been wearing her Prada sneakers while she tore down my day and made me feel insignificant and disrespected. And, my coworker may have been wearing a darling pair of boots from Target when she helped me see the light. But, in this case--the price of shoes have no bearing on the worth of the souls wearing them. And, you can take that to the bank. (it's probably the only thing you'll be taking there!)

TGIF....

Oh, by the way....I'll be out there looking for Mercedes Bitch Woman all weekend.....

5 comments:

Jody V said...

I hope you find her Judi!! That would have set me off to almost hit her!! I have a horrible temper and would have ripped the shit out of her. You are a better person than I. Good for your co worker! The professional world can really suck and it sounds like we need to take a lesson from her.

Have a great weekend!
Jody

Debbie said...

Did you get her plate #?
You know, I have some connections, we'll find her, tear her apart, and spit out the pieces...
WAIT A MINUTE...
then we are no better than her. What am I thinking, of course you are better than her and I'd like to think that I am also. Thank God for people like your co-worker. It's always wonderful to have the goodness in people reaffirmed right before your very own blue eyes. Keep your chin up old(but younger than me) friend, I think there are way more people like your co-worker, than there are like "the mercedes bitch."

Gerry said...

..that co-worker you referred to brightens my work day all the time and makes me glad she's on our team.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Cathy said...

I think that in these tough times, we're all going to have to step back and think a little more about the things we say and do. You never know what someone else is going through. Let them see God in your eyes.

Kathy said...

Sounds like Mercedes Bitch Woman needed a hug. Yeah right!!! She sounds like one of those people who think she is worthy of nothing but the finest and everyone else falls short. I think your coworker balanced out your day so that you could see the difference of how people handle situations. Have a great weekend Judi.