Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sometimes In Life, It's Better To Be Nice Than Right.

I was working on an article in a realitively quiet Starbucks a few days ago. My end of summer work schedule has been a bit crazy
(hence the lack of posts as of late,) and I was doing my best to get a handle on the body, content and scope of what I was writing.
Midway through my 5th paragraph edit, I became aware of a woman two tables away, talking loudly and at record speed about her “no good ex and unrelenting year long custody battle", and ongoing real-estate issues. 
And when I say “loudly,” I mean, REALLY LOUDLY. Like so darn loud that me, and everyone else around me became privy to all the private details of her divorce, custody hearings, etc.   
It was uncomfortable and disrupting and I did my best to block out what she was saying and kept writing. 
What I wanted to do was go up to her, politely and quietly interrupt the conversation and let the woman know that EVERYONE in Starbucks could hear her very private and extremely loud conversation. 
But I didn’t. And yes, maybe I should have, but I didn't. Instead, I put on my headphones, dialed up the iTunes to "11" and kept writing. 
40 minutes went by, I got a lot accomplished and I decided to test my blood sugar. 
Quick as lightening, I grabbed my meter and test strips from my makeup bag, tested and I was 140.  
Sidebar: YAY ME.
Then I put away my meter and strips and I felt really good.  My draft was done and if I Ieft now, I could stop at a farm stand and get some fresh fruits and veggies for dinner. 
I shut down my computer, packed my bag, and just as I was about to get up and go, 
Loud Lady from two tables over came up to my table and said: Excuse me, but one of your used test strips fell on the floor.

OK, between you, me, and the DOC - I thought I’d packed up all my supplies, diabetes and otherwise, but I guess an old test-strip fell through the cracks - no shocker there because they always do. But, I digress.  
Me: I am so sorry, I thought I’d packed it up with the rest of my stuff. 
Loud Lady: Well, obviously you didn’t. 
Me: I’ll be more careful next time. Thanks again for pointing it out to me - I never want to leave a test strip trail. - unless it’s on my own property, then anything goes! Anyway, have a good night and a better day tomorrow. 
And I smiled and walked away,  
Could I have gotten in here face and verbally carved her a new one ?
Yep, I certainly could have. But here's the thing: When I looked at her , like really looked at her, 
I realized she didn’t look good at all. She looked frazzled and discombobulated and she looked REALLY sad. And I felt so sorry for her. 

 I was reminded that sometimes in this world it’s better to be nice than right, to be kind and rewind, and that everyone has a bad day. 
This woman was having a really horrible year and she needed as much kindness as she could get.  So I gave her some.


Mike Hoskins said...

You're so right, Kelly. Had a similar conversation recently at a Panera -- two ladies together at a table behind me, one talking loudly. Later learned from their not-so-quiet chat that they were connecting through a local support network regarding abusive relationship. But at start, it wasn't clear and couldn't been a DOC or other chronic condition meetup with how they were talking. She was LOUD, but it wasn't worth pointing out because I thought of how important that meetup was for them, and it just wasn't worth tossing a towel onto it. So, those around that area put up with it for more than an hour, and went about our biz. Thanks for the message.

Laddie said...

Yes, sometimes it is better to be nice. Life is too short to waste time becoming engaged in situations that just aren't going to have a good outcome. So smile and move on.

Kim said...

I wanted to give you the biggest hug! Yes, so much this.