I took the boys with me to the VW dealership 70 miles away (the down side to living in the country) to have some warranty work done. After I waited 45 minutes WITH MY TWO BOYS IN A TINY WAITING ROOM for the rental car company to pick us up, I asked the man assisting us if Enter*prise indicated how long it would take he informed me they did not have any cars and they would give me a ride to the other place where they made my reservation. I wanted to scream, "Could someone have told me this 45 MINUTES AGO when you realized Enter*prise was not coming!" but calmly said, "thank you, that would be nice" I think the disappointed look on my face said enough. I kept thinking what I try to teach the boys, if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. I had multiple situations like this for the rest of the day.
- An extremely rude customer in front of me in line berating a sales clerk because SHE...the customer...wrote her check for the wrong amount. I wanted to say A LOT to this lady but instead thanked the sales clerk for being kind even when others are not. Encouragement for her was far more of a witness than slapping that MEAN lady up side the head, my first instinct...no, I really would not have done that but might have had a daydream moment like you see in the movies ;-)
- A sales clerk that could not process a multi purchase discount at Children's Place. You know how I am with a bargain. I kindly refused to pay full price and put the items back.
- Watched my son in disappointment put back scooter that the shelf tag indicated cost $29.99 but rang up $49.99. Since he only had $30 he could not get it and the Toys*R*Us staff refused to go double check the shelf tag.
- THE ICING ON THE CAKE! Watched a 40+ year old seemingly well to do woman at Chuck*E*Cheese put tokens in 4 ski-ball games and take all of the balls (there were only a couple in each game) out of 3 and put them in the game that she played over and over. After the first child put their token in a game with no balls RIGHT NEXT TO HER and showed his disappointment while she said nothing I told the rest of the children they couldn't play those games before they put their money in because SHE took the balls out of the games and they would need to wait for one of the other 2 working games. I could feel my blood boiling and I was on my way to tap her on the shoulder and confront her since she never acknowledged my statements to the children when I had a distinct sensation that I shouldn't do it. It was almost as though someone physically placed their hand on my shoulder and said, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." I turned around and said nothing.
I don't share these stories with you because I handled each situation so nobly. I share them because I know this was the Lord telling me loud and clear to work on my patience, temper, and to be more discerning about times that I should confront people and how I do it. My nature is to pounce on these situations. I usually handle them tactfully but never leave anyone doubting how I feel. I am learning that how I feel is not the most important thing. Feelings fade and if I let the emotion pass, there is usually a better way to handle the situation. More often than not, once the emotion passes, I realize that it doesn't really matter in the big scheme of things. So if you see me out in public and I am confronted with a rudeness, incompetence, etc. and I handle it well...or not so well, give me a wink to encourage me or remind me to strive to do better. I am so thankful for how the Lord is faithful in helping us mature in Him when we seek his hand. Oh, and the silver lining for the day...Target had a scooter for, you guessed it, $30 so my baby did get what he had been saving for.