Wednesday, April 08, 2009

In which I find out that I'm not as accepting and loving as I always thought I was...

So, there is this lady at work. Kind of cranky. But I like cranky people, mostly. I find them a challenge and enjoy when I win them over to my side, which is usually all rainbows and candy canes, with only the occasional bad mannered outburst.

But that's beside the point.

Here is the point.

I work in a place where all kinds of people come in. Mostly people come in looking for help of some sort, but others come in just to have a place to sit for awhile, or get out of the cold, or use the phone or whatever.

So there was a man standing against a wall and I really didn't think much of it. All of the sudden he just falls over. BAM!! Big fall.

I call out to the receptionist to call 9-1-1 because I think he's having a seizure.

Cranky lady intercedes and says to put the phone down. He's just drunk.

I feel bad right off, but I just kind of look at him. What do you do with a full grown man sprawled out on the floor? I wasn't real proactive.

Then cranky lady goes over and literally scoops him up and helps him stand up. Me, I'm trying to find a place on his coat to pinch and so I don't have to slip my hands under his pits to get him up off the floor, as well as stay behind him because I just KNOW that he's going to throw up all over me. (He doesn't). But I take a big swallow and follow Cranky's lead and help to get him in a chair. He does not smell good.

Then Cranky goes all soft and reaches out and touches the guys face. Asks if the bruise there was from before of if he got it during this fall. She gives him a gentle lecture about going easy on the drinking and gives him a pat when he apologizes for coming in that way.

It was so, so heart wrenching. Not so much for the man, but to see a different side of Cranky than I ever had before. She was such a blessing for this man, who probably had not been blessed for awhile.

And Cranky blessed me. She is not a woman who I would naturally look to for leadership or inspiration. She is not an easy woman to work with (although she frequently partakes of my rainbows and candy canes), but she was such a good example to me this day.

And I hope that the next time I'm faced with a big chunk of humanity, that I follow her lead and get it right. Do better. Be willing to touch a strangers face.


Shannon said...

Great post Amy. So true of myself too- that judgment filter seems to just snap into place sometimes. Good for Ms. Cranky. I learned a lot from you both. : )

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

What a great insight in your post--I love her response and it gives me pause because while I"m not "cranky" either, I also don't show tenderness that generously either.

blackbird said...

I'd like to think I'd touch a stranger's face. A bad smelling stranger - but as much as I'd aspire to it I think I might be afraid.

Perhaps I can start by trying to not be cranky.