Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Hashing Out the Night

As I drove home this evening, I was hashing over a bit of a situation from hours earlier.
I was neck-deep in a nest of people tonight at work
when I got blindsided by a very young mom
who appeared to be angry.

 I haven't been in the neighborhood for five decades without
developing a bit of radar for this sort of thing.
The flushing of her cheeks and the
throbbing vein in her forehead: definite clues.
I'm thinking: whoa, she's mad.
Since it is my job to parade a welcoming flag of peace and harmony amongst the
wandering folks at my place of employment
I approached her with my usual smile and hello
and nice comments to the kids with her.
In retrospect
I think this probably just made her madder.
There seems to be nothing that makes someone with a serious mad on,
angrier than someone who sneezes glitter and farts rainbows.
I am that annoying unicorn.

Guilty as charged.

Duly annoyed, she planted her feet
in stance to express herself with a full complement of language, spirited verbal suggestions and threats. Her face became visibly red.
Another bad sign.
But I'm up to the challenge. I've been in customer service work for a long
long while. Bring it, cowgirl, I think. I'm all ears and I'm a great listener.
Especially with mad people.
I know sometimes....most of the time.....
mad people just need to get it out.
And pretty soon it's over.
Gosh. And it was all going so good, too. So good.
She was expressing and feeling pretty darn wonderful about it.
Threatening to make herself known to people who mattered.
(Pointedly, not me.) and to people who cared about her concerns.
(Again, apparently not me.)
She went on long enough she downright boiled herself into a sweet, syrupy sarcasm
that dripped from each of her carefully chosen words.
I hate sarcasm. But it was her big thing and I just kept on smiling.
I actually thought the whole smiling strategy was a good one
but......hmmmm. I guess it wasn't.
I guess it kind of annoyed her.
Quite unexpectedly, this enraged bit of an imp reached over and grabbed my arm.
Grabbed. My. Arm.
Yep. Grabbed it.

 This is the part where the world stops spinning and everyone else
in the room stops breathing.
I turned my head to look down at her hand
where she was grabbing my arm. And then I looked back up at her.
 She must know a thing or two about body language.
Pacifist I may be, she was about to lose her right arm.

Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick.

And then she let go.
She backed off.
I invited her into my office.
We chatted and reached a state of détente.
And then someone brought me a tiny cup of ice cream
and said they thought I needed chocolate hug.

Nice people always win.
Nicer people always bring them ice cream. 
How I do love a story with a happy ending.

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