Monday, December 23, 2013

How an Grumpy Old Man gave me perspective on life

Old Yeller

Unfortunately I'm not talking about the dog. I'm going to have to remember to get my camera out when I see this stuff in the future. Allow me to set the stage. I'm in a Pilot Gas station, in line to pay for my gas.

(Rabbit Trail: I always like to go inside because then I can guarantee the amount that will show pending on my account where-as the pump likes to pend for $1 and then post for the correct amount later.) (Also this video posted here isn't of the event I witnessed because I didn't have my camera there, but I thought it was funny so I thought I'd share it in good humor, lol) Anyhow...

I'm watching and listening to this old man yell at this cashier about what kind of rewards points they give on their Pilot myRewards Card. He's so irate that the other cashier starts to talk with him and explain things. The manager comes out and trying to explain things. He just keeps repeating himself over and over as if these people getting paid $6.25 an hour had anything to do with the person who told him the wrong info two years earlier or the Rewards Program itself and had the ability to instantly change it to be the way he thought he heard some person half explain it once 2 years ago. His primary complaint is that he's been using this card and stopping primarily at Pilot for 2 years and didn't get the points he thought he was getting.

It get's better...

Just when you start to think there's nothing more to say he says (and I paraphrase): "Don't you get it, you lied to your customer, you lied when you sold me this Rewards Card, you lied, you can't lie to your customer, you can't lie... You're just like Obama... You lie and lie and think you can get away with it..." and then I think he nearly started to cry or maybe he was gearing up for another round of verbal abuse, I'm not sure I paid by that point and had to go. The clerk helping me (who had been yelled at by this guy minutes before) and I were both feet away from Old Yeller and when I heard him start to bring up Obama I started to laugh out loud and the clerk saw me laugh and he almost laughed... It was a moment...

The Lessons

I've thought about this guy for nearly two months now. I wish I could say that I had the presence of mind to prayerfully address him head on and calm the situation and bring peace to the situation and show this man that he wasn't really mad about Rewards... But all I did was laugh to myself, partially out loud, and leave and ponder the lessons we could learn from him.You see I think there are some things we could learn from him.

Personal Growth:
If I were Him, I could learn:

  1. He was taking his frustration about a rewards card out on people that couldn't do anything to fix it. 
    1. Am I guilty of abusing someone, even behind their back, for something that was really a situation created by people above them?
  2. He was allowing himself to be upset about "buying" a "free rewards" card. It's FREE. 
    1. Who cares how they sold it, you didn't pay for it. 
    2. Find out how it does work and move on.
    3. You are losing your peace over this? Really? This could be a sign that fear and money are your god now... watch it!
  3. Just like Obama... NOW we see the real issue. 
    1. You are powerless over the direction of this country. A worldly leader has caused you direct and/or indirect harm (imagine that, politicians making bad decisions, who ever heard of such a thing) and you can't do anything about it. You feel like a victim and you want to lash out. You can't fix or control idiots in Washington, but you can try to make this man behind the counter feel small and beneath you. Oh... the abused just because the abuser.
    2. Watch out for reaction responses. All Words coming from your mouth and heart should be spoken in Love and seasoned with Grace. Are you being reactive instead of proactive. 
Professional Growth:
If I were a company, I could learn
  1. I understand that He didn't pay for the card, but he did pay for the card through his dedication to shopping only at my store when he could have spent that money elsewhere and maybe that type of loyalty made me money. And maybe that type of loyalty doesn't come easy and I've now lost a customer, and his circle of influence, if I don't find a way to engage him through:
    1. Selective Agreement: Can I agree with him on some things? 
    2. Empathy Statement: Get on HIS side of the situation and feel with him about it, see it from his point of view. 
    3. Creative Solution: Find a way that you can say yes to something, even if you can't say yes to his request. It may be impossible for you as a cashier to do anything, but get your manager. It may be impossible as a manager to go back 2 years and credit points he thought he should have earned, or change a program you didn't design so that he'll get what he thought he was getting. But maybe you can comp his visit today and give him a free coupon for something next trip... or some peace offering. 
    4. This sound like this: 
      1. "WOW! I'm so sorry you were told XYZ, 
      2. I can see how that would be frustrating when you feel like you should have gotten something and didn't. 
      3. I don't have the power to do anything about how the Rewards Program works or any points you thought you should have gotten, but I can offer this as way to apologize for the wrong information you received. I can offer you __(fill in the blank)-to pay for your gas today, and give you this coupon for a free yadayada next time you come in.____; how does that sound?"

Summary

I was tempted to be upset or put off or angry at this man at first, for yelling at people about something so stupid. Then I started laughing about it, it really wasn't much more ridiculous than the video above. But really we all have these inner children just waiting to get out. It's up to us to choose Spiritual Growth. Be watching for other examples of people demonstrating how to behave, or not behave, in public. You can use the good ones as examples to follow, and learn just as much from the bad ones.

Have any examples of your own? Comment below.

The world is but stage and they actors in it are there for you to learn from, and sometimes you enter those stories and impact them with your own. How can you be an influence for Good Success today?

__________________________


Published © Darrell G. Wolfe 



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