Friday, January 20, 2012

Press.. "Pause"

What a week I've had!  I was blindsided ... blown out of the water...

by two interactions with individuals.  Seriously.  I know I'm not the 

only one to have this happen to but when it does, my jaw drops 

open and I'm left dumbfounded.  It feels like in the movie, Private

Benjamin, where Goldie Hawn's platoon is reprimanded, having

to march in the pouring rain, in full gear, with all angry eyes on HER.

.. and words spoken with such disdain towards HER.

She's dumbfounded and whines, "That's SO untrue!!" to called out

allegations.  "I NEVER go to someones home empty handed.  People

LIKE me!""   That was exactly how I felt.  

Situation #1~ Last fifteen minutes, on the last day, of an estate sale.  

65 years of accumulation.  LOVE this!  And my question?  Would you

consider striking a deal on the sheet music that is still left?  Music was

this woman's passion as she had accumulated stacks of it.  There was

still a goodly amount left and a gentleman who worked there escorted

me to the room still holding these treasures... waiting for the right 

person to take them home.  

Gentleman:  "What do you want for it?" In a bit of a gruff manner.
Me:  "What are you asking?"  .. I needed to know where we were starting from.
Gentleman: "What do want to pay?" Ok.. starting to feel a bit badgered.
        {For your sake, I have not repeated this again two more times.}
Me:  "Hmmm.. I really would prefer you tell me."
Gentleman: "I need to know what you want to pay for it?" .. He's now tense.
Me: (hesitated).. "I'm not sure.  I need to go through the stacks."
Gentleman:  "$200!!!" He spat the words out as quickly as he wanted the 
                    money in his hand.
Me: shocked, amazed and felt I might have detected a bit of facetiousness.
                 "What about $20?""  If he can be facetious, so can I.
Gentleman:  Are you serious? We're done! I'm not talking to you!! 
                  Full blown anger.
Me: "Sir? Let's talk about this."  When someone explodes, I try to diffuse.
Gentleman: "We're done talking!!"
Me: "Sir, if you're not going to talk to me, I might as well leave."
Gentleman: "Good!  Leave!!"
Me: "But we're in the middle of a conversation."
Gentleman:  "No, we're not!  Leave!  Get out!  GET OUT!!!!!"

The woman in charge had heard the altercation and apologized saying he

had a rough day.  Hey, buddy, join the club!  I've never been thrown out

of any place.  Embarrassed, befuddled, angry, I drove back home.

Press Pause ~ When I stepped back from the situation, I could picture

how he had reached the point of having a short fuse.  I have witnessed 

people coming in at those last hours of a sale and try to get things for 

pennies.  Bargaining with an attitude.  Not a fun job.  Unfortunately, I

was on the receiving end of his frustration and was not given a 

chance to explain my response. There is no excuse for being rude or

mean-spirited but sometimes we need to step back and understand

where another person's frustrations stem from. 

Situation #2 ~  To reward you for reading thus far, I will make this

one brief!  I was in charge of keeping tally of a list of products being

introduced at a meeting.  Things were moving quickly and others at

the table were helping me with the count. But it got to the point where 

there were too many "cooks in the kitchen" and I received a verbal

lashing when I corrected someone.  It was pretty biting and again,

I tried to diffuse the situation.  It wasn't going to work.  I bit my 

tongue.  We hugged it out afterwards and that is where I realized I

needed to.....

Press Pause ~  What this person was personally shouldering at home

required strength that she had to give each and every day.  I don't know

if I could do it myself.  And sometimes, when an individual is doing so

much, it just takes one slight push and a fissure opens up to release the 


I don't like confrontations.. they make me horribly uncomfortable.  And 

I won't mislead you to think I am Mary Sunshine and don't dish it right

back at times.  It's awkward, and I don't enjoy it, but we all need to set

boundaries on what is an acceptable and unacceptable way to be treated.

At the same time, we need to dig deep and try to walk in the other 

person's shoes for just a moment.  We just might understand that it's 

not to be taken as a personal affront to our character. 

Two more days and this week is over!  I still might have another chance 

encounter as they say things happen in three's.  But I hope not.  My

poor little arthritic finger can't take much more!!!  All that pressing of that

gosh darn "pause" button!!!!

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