So, there I am, riding up in the elevator this morning to the Seventh Floor of Piranha Hell, which is of course, sometimes known as my office.
Amongst others, there's a girl in there from the travel agency on the sixth floor. She's got one of those faces that tells you that she's unable to form a thought more complex than the configuration of her daily wardrobe. Don't look at me like that. I've heard her speak. The girl is about as smart as a box of hair. Actually, let me correct that. She may have marginally more brainpower than a box of hair, inasmuch as it requires a bit of creativity to curse like a drunken sailor before 9 in the morning. Anyway, she's yammering on to her friend about how she had to move the car last night because of some such reason that really wasn't all that extraordinary except for the fact that she had to haul her butt off the couch, thus disrupting her viewing of Blind Date, which by the way is her favourite shoe ev-ah because it's so fuuunnneeeeee and like, so, thought-provoking and real, you know? Anyway, somebody made her move her car, which was just so, like, ignorant, I mean, can't they see she's watching TV?
And that was the point. That was the whole point of the whole story. Someone asked her to move her car, because obviously they could not divine through the door that she was involved in a very scintillating episode of Kill-Me-Because-I'm-So-Blindly-Stupid-Date.
And then I started thinking about it. See, I have this nasty habit of really loving positive attention. (American Idol isn't so much an amusing pastime for me, as it is a wet dream. But I digress.) If I'm in a tedious line-up with a friend, and I've got an amusing anecdote that's perfectly appropriate for mixed company, I don't mind speaking clearly enough so that the poor guy next to me who's having a bad day can hear it too. Then, maybe he leaves the line-up or the elevator or whatever, and he's got a smile on his face, and that's a really good thing to have made happen. I love doing that kind of stuff. I love talking to my sister in the check-out line, and making the cashier laugh, so that the 8 hours she's on her feet isn't so bad after all. Y'know?
This girl though... she kinda made me panic a bit. I thought, "God. I want to hit her now. I really do. I want to hit her because she purposely let a whole elevator full of people know that she's got only enough brains and class to put her right shoe on her right foot. What if I'm like that? What if my amusing not-so-quiet-crowd-pleasers aren't all that crowd pleasing after all, but are really just me talking too loud and ticking people off?"
Then I looked at one of the other guys in the elevator. He was standing to the left of me, and directly behind her, with on a look on his face as if he was smelling something unpleasant. And then I remembered that I'd made him smile once, with a silly remark to a colleague about the weather and not knowing what to put on in the morning.
And I breathed a sigh of relief, because then I realised that a lot of getting through life without hurting or offending or generally ticking off anyone is just about knowing the difference. And that's a really good lesson to learn, isn't it?
Funny what can happen on your way to work sometimes.
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