Wednesday, October 9, 2013

kindness.

It was not just your average ordinary shift. I was 3.5 hours into an 8 hour shift but already on my 5th cup of coffee. I needed three hands, 2 brains and was regretting the nap I'd skipped in favor of instagram stalking 6 hours earlier. 
It was stressful chaos churning into complete mayhem, so all hands on deck. You do your job, I do mine and everything gets done. Things were crazy, but our heads were still bobbing above water. And suddenly our well-oiled machine snagged and the train came off the tracks. 
We all have to deal with Won't-Work-Wendy on occasion. 9 times out of 10, you can pick up the slack and compensate. The 10th time, it's a top spinning wildly on the crux of that one person doing their job and when they won't- your top goes crashing.

Battle
Calm down. Calm down. Calm down. 
I was biting my lip, trying to remind myself that there was a bigger picture. 
"Everyone has a story.  Don't judge a book by it's cover. People are fighting battles we can't see."

Another cup of coffee, some long, deep breaths. 
I tried to cool my jets. 
"maybe her husband died."
"maybe her son won't speak to her."
"maybe she's going through a bad break-up."
"maybe her car broke down."
"maybe she just found she has cancer."

I was trying. Valiantly trying to replace my anger and frustration for empathy and compassion for whatever tragedy she must be facing in life in order to be so irresponsible.

But something in me shook my head. I slogged through my overflowing mental corridors until finally, my thoughts spilled forth in tangible form. Of course everyone has their own story. 
Story of the day; she didn't want to do her job. 
Nobody could do their job properly because she wouldn't be bothered to do her job at all.

Sometimes the people we encounter aren't 'hurting', 'wounded', 'stressed', 'trying to cope'. 
Sometimes they are

Rude. 
Sloppy.
Racist.
Mean.
 Lazy. 

 Those people need love too. 

#word

Because when it comes down to it- those people are fighting a battle-- a battle with themselves. And when you fight yourself, that's the toughest battle known to man. Because the hardest battle to fight is against the ugliness within us. We're all lazy, selfish, insolent, begrudging, proud. When we look at a person operating in their ugliness, and allow it to change us; we all loose. They lost the battle, and in our response, we lose it too.
But their story, their words, their actions; they don't ever give us license to let our character slide. 

Love a little, love a lot and never underestimate what your response to someone else's behavior says about YOU. 

(Disclaimer; I have awesome coworkers. The individual mentioned in this post is someone completely unaffiliated with my employers, an outside agency that provides a specific service for us on occasion.)

8 comments:

  1. i love this post! it is so true and we all need to bite our tongues a little bit before we speak because we have no idea what has happened to other people that day or that moment. great writing as well!

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  2. This is such a wonderful post! I always try to keep this in perspective as well :) One of my favorite quotes is "Be kinder than necessary for everyone you know is fighting a bigger battle" so I always try to be kinder than necessary to others. However, I always struggle with being kind to myself! Oh the irony of it all.

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  3. Wow. I love your attitude about this. Such a good reminder for us all!

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  4. Well said. Thank you.

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  5. Ugh you are a better person than I. I get SO frustrated when people don't want to work. I am totally understanding of outside life, but we are there to work and if you need to leave you should leave. I NEVER lash out at people, and keep things to myself, but I am a big believer that work is a place to work and not to stall people up. ESPECIALLY with your job, it's so important for other people that things need to be smooth!! Do not feel bad for getting frustrated, but I admire you for having such kindness!

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  6. well said, as always. I don't think there's a person out there that hasn't come in contact with someone like that at work. But you're right, people are fighting battles we can't see. Love love love your writing!!!

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  7. beautifully said.
    and so true.

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  8. Wow!!! So true and so powerful. I had seen the first picture before, but never the second one. I love it!

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