Recently, I seem to have forgotten all that I learned in ADR with my fine Creighton education. In three different situations in two days, I ignored all that I learned and reverted to my Brooklyn wise guy ways. In the first real world case study, I intended to fill my gas tank in anticipation of the impending blizzard at my local station in my hometown of Plymouth, Michigan. An SUV was left unattended for over 15 minutes at one of the pumps. I was directly behind the vehicle waiting for the driver to move the Jeep. Traffic was backing up into the street during the PM rush hour because of the dead stop at the pump. One driver offered to push the offending vehicle away from the pump. In a fit of picque, I entered the store and found the driver shooting the breeze with the retail clerks. I roared in my most authoritative tone, "Hey, are you the driver of the jeep parked at pump #4?" The driver, a tradesman, replied in the affirmative. He further explained that he was a taxpayer and was in no hurry and that he was not concerned about time, especially mine. Instead of following the principles of Getting to Yes, I stormed out of the store and yelled something about moving his "mfx%k3@" vehicle. I backed gingerly out of my excellent pump position amidst the chaos and pandemonium on the gas station driveway. I decided to award my business to the sister station 5 miles away.
BTW, to my delight the truck behind me pushed the SUV away from the pump once I vacated my place.
Once the snow arrived, I was awakened or more precisely stirred since I never completely fell asleep by the roar, sputtering, belching and backfiring of a massive snow blower outside of my bedroom window at 2:45AM. I was still processing my encounter with the petulant and intransient Jeep driver. Later in the morning, I spoke with my neighbor as we both cleared the 12 inches of snow outside our homes. I made reference to the "inconsiderate fool who was snow plowing at 3:00AM." "That was me," my neighbor replied. "Oh," said I as I quickly checked the settings on my snowblower and proceeded to clear his walkway.
My last scenario involved the snowplower for my subdivision. I became unglued when for the fourth time, the plow pushed the street snow back into my driveway after I cleared same. He waved and smiled each time that he passed my driveway and plowed back my work. I thought of the Myth of Sisyphus;however, I did not experience a sense of triumph over the gods as I slogged down my driveway to remove the snow yet again. I wanted to hurl the driver into Hades along with his truck to move forever burning coals into the River Styx from a self replenishing pile.
I could have made 2 new friends and strengthened a relationship if I had only practiced what I learned over the last two years. As one of my Creighton teachers once said, "Well, to your credit, you recognize the problem." I also detect a pattern.