I hate when I get blind sided by negativity at work. I try my best to avoid it but sometimes it just invades my bubble. Today I had several people invade my bubble and all by noon! I signed up for a safety meeting that was held in another building so decided I would take the 16 flights down and get some fresh air before going to the meeting. BIG mistake, 60ish people shoved in a room that barely had any AC running and me, sweaty overheated and annoyed, I mean really annoyed! How dare these people invade my feel better about myself venture I am currently on.. It was supposed to be about how important sleep is… I almost fell asleep!
I decided when I left to go home I was going to go down the stairs again, it felt good. I was feeling all sorts of positive until I hit the freeway….
When I pulled into my parking lot at home I saw someone was moving in and that usually means the elevator is being held and of course my mind instantly went annoyed again. As I marched up the stairs to the lobby I had already let the negative from earlier form my attitude and when I saw I could barely get to my mailbox let alone the elevator I was miffed, I literally felt my face shift into an angry scowl. A little old man was standing by the elevator leaning on his cane, I ASSumed he too was waiting to go up. The man who was loading the elevator smiled and apologized for the stuff in front of the mailboxes I didn’t respond just squeezed in to get my mail, then saw the elevator was jam pack full. He apologized again and again I just said nothing but my face must have showed my annoyance. I kind of think maybe I mumbled something but honestly cannot recall. He said when you moved in did you have to use the elevator, in my head I heard him snarkely say didn’t YOU have to use the elevator. I retorted yes, but I let others use it as well. But my back was to him so he did not hear, I said never mind and he asked again so I again said it even snarkier.
He is hot and sweaty and the first thing I do is act like an angry fool. He insists on unloading some stuff so I can get in and go up at that point I realize the sweet older man is his father. He has by himself moved his aging parents to this new place and the face they see is an angry bitter frustrated and rude woman. I insisted I could wait but he insisted even more. So his dad and I squeezed in and rode up to my floor. He stuck his hand out and said hi I am Jim my wife and I are moving on to the 3rd floor. You could tell he was so tired and looked so fragile and he looked like my dad…. he had the same shirts my dad wore and the bi-mart blue jeans and my heart just hurt because I thought, what if someone had been that way to my sweet dad…. I miss that man so much… I introduced myself to him and apologized and said again I hoped he did not think that was who I really was and got off the elevator..
I fought back tears as I walked down the hall to my apartment I was so ashamed that they were greeted the first day they are moving in to an angry mean person. I dropped my bags off in the apartment and walked back down the stairs and waited for them to come back down for another load. They stepped off and rather than greet me coldly the son smiled big and said there she is again HELLO!
I told them that I was so ashamed of my behavior and that I wanted to apologize. I explained that even though it was not an excuse that I had, had a cruddy day and I was so sorry, I hoped they would not think that is the type of person I usually am. I tried so hard not to cry but just could not hold it in, I was so ashamed and I told them to make matters worse that Jim reminded me of my dad and I thought how I would hate it if someone did that to my dad. The son looked at me and said thank you for coming back down, you do not need to apologize but thank you for doing so, your actions show you are not that person. Then he asked if he could do something for me. I reluctantly said yes, he said I am stinky and sweaty but can I give you a hug and can I say a prayer for you…. I said yes and he put his hand on my shoulder and asked God to bless me and guide me through whatever my struggles were, he ended it by thanking God for letting us cross paths. I am sobbing at this point and Jim has tears in his eyes. The son is just smiling big and thanking ME for letting him say a prayer.
I asked if I could help them take the rest of their stuff up and they both said no they were at the tail end and then thanked me. As I got on the elevator Jim said he was so happy to have met me and he looked forward to seeing me again. He told me what apartment he and his wife are in and ask me for mine again. His son said jovially daaaad leave her alone let her go and then laughed.
I still feel bad but their kindness and forgiveness made all the difference in the world. I will try my very best to remember this the next time I snap to judgement. I think I may have just met a new friend and cannot wait to meet his wife.
Be kind my friends… be kind