My regular work week includes a great deal of travel. Yesterday, while traveling by automobile, I found myself in traffic trapped behind slow moving vehicle followed by yet another slow moving vehicle. I thought to myself, “What is this? International Slow Moving Vehicle Day, or what?”
Other people who heard me tell this story, apologized for my inferred frustration but their conclusion was far from accurate. I’d rather go with the flow and enjoy the ride rather than frantically try to negotiate every delay along the way, like the driver who passed four cars and the SMV, only to find me behind him at the next stop light.
I gave up being in a hurry long ago
It’s like the day before when I was standing in line at the grocery store… the line was progressing as one would consider normal, then when the clerk rang up a 6 pack of soda pop for the older woman in front of me, the woman (watching the monitor as she scanned each item) politely mentioned, “No, that’s not the right price.”
The clerk insisted that the price was correct. The woman told her that the flyer she had received in the mail said it was available at a sale price and that was what she expected to pay. The clerk said, “No, that’s only if you buy four six-packs. I think it’s clearly marked on the display.”
The woman countered, “That’s not what the sales flyer says. There’s no indication that a minimum amount is required to get the discount price.” The clerk secures her register and says, “I will go check the display to see if the signage is displayed correctly,” as she takes off from behind the counter.
I applauded the senior on her frugalness and she and I engaged in a bit of conversation while the clerk was running her errand. She apologized for delaying me in line, because she gets frustrated, “when someone holds up the check-out line,” when she’s in a hurry. I assured her with, “Oh, I gave up being in a hurry long ago.”
Just then, the neighboring clerk had opened her register and she offered, “I can help you, here, sir,” noticing my line was going nowhere. I said, “No thank you, I’m enjoying my visit with Mary, and I want to see how this turns out.” The woman with the basket behind me quickly scurried over to the other register while I continued to visit with Mary.
Our clerk returned with three six-packs to say, “That’s what I thought the sign clearly states that four six-packs are required to receive the discounted price. Do you want me to ring these up for you?”
“No,” says Mary, “I only want six, thank you, and flyer doesn’t say I have to buy four to get the price.” The clerk referred to a reference copy of the sales flyer and sure enough, she admitted that there was no indication of a minimum on the advertisement and called the manager to perform a price override for Mary’s purchase.
With a smile, I congratulated Mary as she left, when the clerk said, “I’m so sorry for the delay and making you wait in line.”
“Oh, no,” I said, “I gave up being in a hurry long ago,” and encouraged the clerk for conscientiously representing the interests of her employer and doing the right thing to assure customer satisfaction.
I believe that life’s little delays are always for our benefit. The best outcome is most likely the result of slow and steady, rather than fast and furious.
For instance, there is a hiking trail that goes around and around the hill to get to the landing area at the top. Norman, my wilderness friend wielding a machete, says, “Let’s blaze a trail straight to the top!”
I say, “No thanks, I’ll stick to the trail.”
“Okay,” he replies, “I’ll wait for you to get there before we come back down,” as he started bushwhacking his way up the hill and I took the trail which was pleasantly landscaped, manicured and sprinkled with views from nice vantage points and petite wilderness creatures.
A sweaty Norman was proud to have made it to the top first, feeling quite manly from his adventure complete with battle scars and winded, but was a little disappointed when I appeared at the landing less than two minutes behind him, unscathed, calm and not out of breath.
We walked and visited on the way down as I showed him (who hadn’t seen a single woodland critter on his way up) all the things he missed on his path up the hill.