I often talk about the fast paced world we live in. The need to pause. To take a moment. We become so immersed in our lives that when we actually take a moment we are stumped. We don’t know how to deal with that. Part of this busyness also has the potential to manifest itself in how we treat others. What runs through your mind when someone cuts you off in traffic, when someone bumps your ankles with a shopping cart, when someone seems to have all day at the gas pumps, when someone refuses to dim their lights for you, or you find out they did but have these bright fog lamps on AND ITS NOT FOGGY. Whoops. I guess I began answering my own question.
Just this last weekend we were buying some groceries. We got to the checkout line and found it to be rather busy. So the natural human response is to do an assessment. Which line is shortest? Which cashier appears most competent? Which customer is the patient, let’s make sure of all prices, and which items do I have coupons for, and “wait a minute, I forgot the asparagus”. I can tell you that I always pick the wrong one. And within a nanosecond I am frustrated. Some might suggest I am that way before I get to the store. If so it is because traffic seems to be the same way. Do people not realize I have places to go and things to do?
Wait a minute. It’s the weekend. What is my rush? It just seems to be inherent for me to rush. Get where I am going. Hurry up and wait. Many blogs ago I suggested that you should take a minute to chat with the person bagging your groceries. (I did that the other day and found out I was talking to myself. I will leave that for another day.) Talk to the person filling your gas tank. You will be pleasantly surprised at the response you get. Although, I will warn you, there are times when the response you get just makes you want to give up because you end up listening to someone’s sob story which surely cannot be as bad as yours. But it may be and you may have just given someone the wherewithal to share their problems. It is all in perspective, right?
I did finally go for my physical for my class 1 license. I had decided not to till I heard one person say that as long as you can drive truck you will never starve. Obviously I seemed to be unsure of my future employment so did get the physical done. As I chatted with the doctor, told him all my ailments, he finally said that he would give me the full meal deal. That sounded ominous. I thought the rubber glove snapping into place would be the . . . . I will leave it at that.
I ended up in a room with a “nurse” who did not appear to be happy. As I sat waiting more people came in and the more people that came in the more agitated she became. I dreaded what I was about to experience. You really do not want someone in a foul mood to be putting electrodes on your body, particularly if you have any hair.
I survived. In fact, what was interesting is that when she applied the electrodes she appeared, shall we say, enthused with her job. By the time we were done she was quite apologetic as she removed the electrodes. Why? I made an effort to chat with her. For the most part a benign conversation. Nonetheless, I had her chuckling about things that I was muttering about going through a somewhat humiliating experience. We shared a story. We shared a laugh.
It helped me remove my thoughts from tests that would surely confirm that I was dying. It helped her get through a day that was busy. A day filled with countless electrodes on countless white flaccid bodies that look even worse than mine. For the moment we could share a chuckle, a chuckle that helped both of us make it through the day.
As I left the doctor’s office that day I heard the nurse, in the background, thank me and wish me a good day. She had not done that for other patients. It gave me a warm, comfortable feeling. In my nervous chatting with her I had helped her cope. In her response to me she helped me cope. Made for a better day for both of us. The only problem? I need to make a follow-up appointment to find out the results of all my tests. Find out how much time I have left. I will keep you posted. Make it a good one.