It had been at least two months since the city street sweeper truck picked up the horrid pine needles that accumulated around our curbside, and it was driving me to distraction. The sweepers come once a month so it’s a relief for me as my front yard has two substantially large shedding pine trees in full needle dump mode at present. Last month a neighbor’s car stalled right in front of my home on the exact night before the sweeper was scheduled. This month I was determined to ‘clear the decks’ at any cost. Guarding my curbside like a mother hawk, I anxiously awaited the sound of the street sweeper the next morning.
Earlier than usual he drove down the other side of the street. On my way out for my morning walk, I saw the street sweeper’s tire tracks but no clean up! “I’ve been duped!” Furious I left the house in search of the lazy, #^%$# street sweeper. Mind you, I live in a hilly area but I was undeterred in my quest to nail this guy. Following the sound of his truck around my neighborhood I put myself in high gear breaking into a jog, then all-out run to catch this creep. Mind you, I haven’t run that far in years! Twenty minutes later I see him parked along a curb. I’m now close to a heavy pant and 5% oxygen level left as I stumble up to his driver’s side. I see his name tag. “Ramon, Ramon …” was all I could utter. “Are you okay?” Ramon replies. Then the utter bombshell comes. “Should I call 911?” Arggg!!!
As I find my composure I explain to Ramon that he ‘accidentally’ missed my house. “No, I haven’t been there yet?” As he described his circuitous route, he identifies my home and assures me he’ll be by shortly. When he does drive by, I flagged him and thanked him for his efforts. I also threw in some heirloom tomatoes supplied by my neighbor to sweeten the pot. And then it happened. Ramon did a second drive by! Might I add my curbside hasn’t looked so clean. Suddenly Ramon has become my favorite city worker!
Can you think of a time when you totally misjudged a situation? Do you remember your frustration or anger? Like me, did you later find out you did not have enough information or worse, you were misinformed. Did you spend more time stewing and exerting wasted energy on a misread of your problem? It’s so easy sometimes to jump the gun and respond with emotion than to take a deep breath and consider if what you assume is actually true. The latter is not only advisable but a lot less exerting!