I had a really crazy encounter on Friday at a petrol station.
I tried and tried to fill my tank and no matter what I did, I could not get it to fill my tank.
As I went inside to pay the grand sum of twenty dollars, I said to the lady, ‘I think there is something wrong with the pump.’
She said ‘absolutely not.’
I was taken aback and felt so demeaned. She was not interested in hearing what I had to say, there was no one else inside the shop except for her colleague.
I tried again.
‘I promise I have never had trouble ever with this, I thought you might want to check the pump is okay.’
She sharply said ‘It’s your fault, you don’t know how to fill your tank.’
I was shocked.
She made me feel terribly stupid.
I quickly paid for my petrol baffled and as I walked out of the station the two ladies behind the counter started laughing loudly.
I turned back to them puzzled and said ‘This is not actually very funny.’ And I walked full of shame back to my car.
I felt mocked, I felt confused and I felt ashamed.
I wasn’t aggressive in my conversation, I was just quickly saying I think there is something wrong maybe you could check it?
Those ladies in a very short space of time made a strong and competent woman feel very ashamed in a short space of time.
Lack of empathy
Lack of listening
Laughing as I walked away confused.
I am sure in their own little circle of conversation, they never even thought about me for the rest of the day.
I however was impacted so much, aware how quickly simple little encounters can change people’s days.
In the past, I have been in jobs that have the responsibility of caring and interacting with hundreds of people.
I am sure that many times I have affected people negatively that was not my purpose.
I am strong willed, I am choleric, I am a natural leader, I often find myself in places where I am busy and purposed.
Lately though I have been so focused on the way I make every person, every encounter feel.
I want my neighbour to feel listened to by me.
I want my local shop girl, who often looks a little grumpy feel a little more cared for after I have been in her aisle.
I want my nieces and nephews to feel noticed when they are in my company.
How do people feel after an encounter with you?
How do people feel after encountering your online behavior?
How do people feel.
That’s my goal this week.