We are all so quick to snap at another person whether they were in the wrong or we were. When we drive we’re having a go at that slow driver, that guy who cut you off, the girl who rode your tail when you had no way of moving out of their way or people in the shops who are taking up the whole isle for a family reunion and won’t move so you can get your Dorito’s. Whether it’s in our head, out loud in our car or even, face to face…we’ve all done it.
So with that in mind, I just felt like sharing something that happened today. I had gone to the next town over to fill my car up with petrol because I’d stopped there the previous week when collecting my car from the garage and the price was a go 3-6p less than gas stations near me. There’s also a grocery store across from it and I needed some groceries so two birds with one stone, right?
Anyway, so with it’s low price it’s obviously very busy so we’re all queued up to wait our turn at a pump and the car in front of me stops behind a car at the pump next to the last lane. So I assume, as she’d stopped, that her tank is on the left hand side and is waiting to get into that station so I slowly start to go around her to go to the last line of pumps. As I do this, she then starts to go heading towards the last line as well. I was a bit further up than her so I went on ahead after we’d both stopped and looked at each other to see who’s going to go. She, I’ll call her ‘Jane’, pulls in at the pump behind me and I’m just waiting to get an earfull for going around her, etc. Knowing I did not need that sort of negativity as I was having a good morning so far, when ‘Jane’ got out of her car I walked to the end of mine, staying in ‘my space’ so she wouldn’t feel threatened or whatever. I said to her with a bit of a chuckle “I am sorry, as you had stopped behind that car, I thought you were queuing up for that line so I started to go around you.” She smiles and said not to worry and asked if I was okay…I’m not sure why she asked that as we’d not touched cars or anything but it was nice of her. Neither of us had done anything ‘wrong’ but I felt it was nice to appologise and explain why I’d gone around her despite being behind her in the queue.
With that pleasentry out of the way, ‘Jane’ noticed my cat sitting sticker on my back window and asked if I was indeed a cat sitter, if I was local, etc.. It turns out, she’s got two cats and sometimes has trouble pinning someone down to tend to them when they are away. She asked me briefly about administering medicine to cats, and we had a quick chat as she took a photo of my sticker for the website URL. While in the shop paying we chatted a bit more, properly introduced ourselves and she said she’ll check out my site and be in touch. ‘Jane’ joked it must’ve been fate that I’d gone around her. Why not? I’d gone outside of my town, sat in a bit of roadworks traffic, for that particular gas station due to it’s price…you know the rest.
So not only did I politely diffuse any negativity she may have felt about my ‘jumping the queue’ by apologising…I may have a new cat client out of it! They always say “it doesn’t cost anything to be nice” and in this case, it may even make me some money. I also found a 10p coin as we walked out of the shop, so…Be nice. Smile to a stranger and say Good Morning to them. It helps you both feel good.
Which reminds me that last weekend when I was dropping my car off at the garage, I’d gotten there early so when we all went in, they weren’t quite ready for us. I went over to their waiting area and helped myself to a free hot chocolate. When I was finishing up, an elderly couple came over to sit down and wait and I offered to get them both a drink as I was up…they were too really, but still…The gentleman wasn’t sure how to use the machine as it was one of those automatic machines ‘press your selection’, etc. So I asked what they’d both like, I did their drinks while we chatted and took them to their table for them. They were thankful and again, it cost me nothing to do this for them and it brightened all of our mornings.
So I’m going to give you a little challenge…this week, do a ‘random act of kindness’ for a stranger. It doesn’t have to cost you a penny or really not any time. “Good morning!”, “I like your coat.”, “Please, you go first.” You may be surprised what happens. 🙂