Friday, June 30, 2006

A Cussing Out

Ever been cussed out? Better yet, have you ever been cussed out by someone you work with?

Yesterday afternoon I was cussed out by someone I work with. Well known as a (not so nice person) for lack of a better term, this person is avoided by much of the office for good reason it seems.
I am not saying I am any better than anyone else in the office, but I do see and talk to this person on a regular basis because of the nature of my job. Basically, in order to do my job correctly, I have to communicate with this person.
On a regular day, this person (notice I am not using any names to protect the innocent/guilty) is fairly calm and normal to work with. In my relating to them, this person only gets upset on a rare basis. And although they are very "needy" in the terms my job would use, they seem to fairly understanding on a regular basis.
Needless to say, this has been the first "cussing" experience I have had with this person...I have had other "cussing" experiences with others in the office, but not this person.
I will not go deeply into the situation, only to say that from my standpoint, the cussing at was not merited. This person did not have a reason to let loose verbally on me, but they did anyway. And let me insert that there was someone in this persons office that they had a mind to impress also.
So it seems like I was the cutting board for a bit of frustration with the persons own mistakes and the persons need to impress their visitor.
What do I do now? Now that I have been the victim of a cussing out, where do I go with my communication with this person? I have a thought to be a jerk back, or give only silence back.
But it seems somewhere in my mind, maybe in the portion that leads me to better things, I think I should be nice. I should go above and beyond, not to admit a mistake on my part, but to fix a problem that wasn't mine in the first place. And not for some sort of reward or accolation, but for sanities sake alone.
By reacting in a loving/nice manner, maybe I will mirror what I have been taught by Christ and forgive.

Monday, June 26, 2006

You Meet The Nicest People On A Harley

You never know who may live right beside you. For me, it has always been that guy that owns two Harley Davidson motorcycles. For me, a staunch Harley...let's just say "disliker", that was all I needed to know;
For a year and a half now Kari and I have lived in our first house, surrounded by a hundred folks in the same type houses with little yards, all less than 10 feet from each other. It's weird how all of us never talk to each other except for a head nod or a wave when passing by on the sidewalk or watering your lawn.
Even our dogs seem to communicate more.
Kari and I have houses on either side of us. In one house there is an old couple. They have moved down from New York to be here in our quaint little town. Or should I say that their children have moved them down. Their children, who are probably in their 50's moved George and Virginia down here to be close. The "kids" come over and mow the lawn and spend time at the house. But that is all we see of them. Just glimpses and waves. I spoke to George one time at length about dryer vents. He had a hard time hearing me. That has been the extent of our relationship.

The house on the other side was much of the same until lately. When we first moved in, a middle aged woman moved in around the same time. Again, the only communication was a quiet hello and a nod of the head. Our realitor told us she was a "Harley" person. Soon after she moved in we noticed a man of her age had moved in also. We weren't sure if he was her husband or boyfriend, but in a neighborhood like this, all you really do is speculate.
A year and a half has passed with only a slight hello and a small "great day today" comment about the weather. Once a day he would start his loud Harley Davidson and would let it idle. Glub, glub, glub. If you live anywhere in suburbia, you've probably heard one. Every few days, except for the coldest winter months, he would jump on for a quick ride down the street and back. Most Sundays he and the lady would take a ride and not come home until later in the afternoon. We had a connection with this family because of our love of bikes, but that was as far as it went.
Then one day, while I was working on my Yamaha motorcycle in my garage, the man came over and startled me with a loud comment. A question really, but phrased in a manly loud voice.
"Mind if I mow yer yard?"
My answer, being the "manly" guy I am....(heh), was; "na, don't worry about it, I was going to get to it this afternoon."
I thought he was telling me my grass was getting too tall. He then described to me how he had this riding lawn mower that he used for another house he was trying to sell and that he used it for this little plot he had with this house (which really didn't have much grass growing in it anyway, seeing as how this was a fairly new house). He told me he felt bad using this huge riding lawn mower to mow his little lawn and that it would only take a few minutes to mow our backyard.
"Well,..I guess you can go ahead, but you really don't have to.", giving him a way out, just so I don't have to feel like I owe him something. After a small conversation about motorcycles and our motorcycle history, I went back to working on my bike, and he went back to preparing his mower for the task ahead. I was quite surprised! Surprised enough to call Kari and leave a message on her cell phone about what had happened. Then a few moment past and he came back over.
"I'll go ahead and take out yer front yard while I'm at it and that way all you'll have to do is trim. It'll only take a few minutes." He said.
"If you would like, but I can do lawn mower is going to stop working if it sits here too long." I explained to him.
He told me that it was no problem, that he was more than happy to help out another cyclist.
"The less time we take doin' this stuff, the more time we can git to ridin'." he told me.
I deffinitley agreed with this.
And off he went, mowing both lawns.
I thanked him verbally, but felt like I owed him something, but he kept reassuring me that it was not a big deal. He didn't mind at all. "Anything you need at all, you just holler!"

A month later, Kari and I had to go to a wedding out of town. We were gone for 5 days, and I won't lie, my grass was not short. But my time was and I knew I would have a day when I got back to mow. But, when we returned, my grass was short. I could not thank him enough the next time I saw him outside of our garages (he stands outside every few nights and smokes a cigarette, I guess to let some steam off.)
"Not a problem man, anything you need at all, you just holler!" he always said.

After that, there was more communication. More hellos and how ya doin's. More conversations about riding motorcycles and the best roads around.

Just a couple of days ago, I had a motorcycle problem. I couldn't get air in my tires at the gas station. The nozzle was not creating a seal with the tire. This was causing the pressure in the tire to go down. I visited three gas stations and could not get the tire pumped up. So I quit before I made it so bad I couldn't get home, and rode slowly back to the house. I was fairly upset, because I couldn't understand why my tires wouldn't take air.
Then I heard this noise...glub, glub, glub. He was starting up his Harley for his regular evening run.
I jumped up and ran outside to say hello and ask if he had any suggestions.
"We'll, I'm not sure, never heard of that before" he said.
He handed me a foot pump made to pump up bicycle tires. "You can maybe try this, but I doubt yewl git far with it."
I thanked him and brought it over to my garage to start pumping away and see if I could get anywhere. Sure enough, the pressure in the tire began going up.
Then after only a few cycles of pumping, he walks into the garage with a canister full of pressurized air. Try this, it may get you somewhere.
I placed the nozzle on my tire, and sure enough, the tires pumped right up to where they were supposed to be.
"Thanks!" I said, "you saved my tires! Where did you get this can at, I would like to buy myself one?"
"Well, you can git one at the farm supply store down the street. But I tell you what, you can keep that one over here and if I ever need it, I'll come askin fer it. I've never used it in the years I've had it anyway. And if you ever git yerself one, you can bring that'en back" He said.
Isn't it funny how you can see Christ in the most unusual places. That seems to be the way God has worked in mine and Kari's life.

Friday, June 23, 2006