Monday, February 21, 2011

Reptilian Moment

 It was early in the morning and the masses at the hospital all needed their coffee. All of the healthcare professionals and hospital staff crowded our teeny store, whose size often leaves me on edge.

There are two stations; a place to order and a place to pick up. One lady passed the long line that I was ringing up, going straight to the pick up area, so she could make her order to Heidi, who was on the espresso bar, trying to keep up with all of the drink orders I was handing her.

I could tell through the corner of my eye, she had managed to get her order in, when she was told, “They ring you up over there.” She then tried to step up to the counter to pay, skipping the dozens of people already in line to pay. She was staring at me persistently, trying to get me to wave her in.

I had been trying to decode the order of the customer who hadn’t jumped in line into the computer’s somewhat tedious language, which requires all of the details and add-ons.  To say it was distracting would be an understatement.

With two co-workers on either side of me, handing out food and drip coffee orders, I felt penned in and snapped when Heidi joined the crowd trying to assist the lady, whose eyes I felt were boring into my soul.

This was all just too much. Since not only was I not allowed to snap at the customer, I just didn’t have the time. So I did the obvious thing, I snapped at my co-worker..

“Heidi, I can’t concentrate when you are staring at me like that.”

Well, let me just say that she showed a lot more class than I would have, had the situation been reversed. She quickly stepped in and quickly helped the customer who butt in.

Both the misdirected anger and the snapping are common reptilian experiences. What I should have done is slowed down, taken a deep breath. Then I should have recalculated my Emotional GPS, as SARK describes in her book, Glad No Matter What. Then I could have told the lady she had to wait at the end of the line, and moved on, without alienating my co-workers.

c. 2011

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