Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Baby Steps

Yesterday, the Matron got very grumpy.

She was carrying her laptop, book bag, and purse while holding two heavy textbooks and water bottle and struggling to open a VERY heavy door at her college.

Heave, haul.

Thank goodness! Coming up immediately behind her was an able-bodied young man, clearly a student, who had nothing in his hands. Nothing! He was smart enough to put it all on his back.

And he stood directly behind the Matron waiting for her to get through the door, struggle and all, without extending his arm six inches to help (poor arm! so tired!). The thing that got her was that it clearly never occurred to him to help. He was texting while keeping an eye on the progress of the person blocking his door. Which would have been yours truly. Nearly drawing blood in her effort to open a door.

She finally stumbled through, dragging all of her stuff and nearly falling, cursing the kid who blithely walked in her wake.

Then she remembered.

Just that morning, as she was doing the same juggle--with all that same stuff on her way in instead of out-- an older woman (which is getting harder to come by these days) made a point of stopping to open not one, but two doors for her.

Thank you!

When she asked her secretary if there was mail, the secretary said: "Sure. But don't you worry about it. I'll bring it up to you."

The woman who orders textbooks for the bookstore gave her a call: "Mary? Did you know you ordered a hard copy of In Defense of Food for your students? The paperback is out and cheaper. I can switch that for you. We don't want your students paying more money than they need to, right?"

Thank you!

She was busy at her computer in her office when a colleague tapped at the door.

"Mary? Homemade brownies! Want one? I just made a pot of coffee, too. There are cups on the counter."

Earlier that morning when the alarm went off at 5:45?

John: "Mary -- you sleep in a little. I'll walk the dogs and get the kids started for school. Let's reset the alarm for 7:00."

Merrick gave her a bear hug before heading out the door to school with his father and yelled: "Thanks for the mac-n-cheese in my lunch, Mom. It's my favowite!"

Her boss thanked her for her positive attitude and organizational zeal.

In one of her classes, a student asked if the class (on Gender and Women Studies) could be ramped up from 3 to 15 credits.

He said: "I could be here all day. Wow. Thanks for knowing this s@#$ and explaining in a real kinda way. Sort of amazing." This from a young man who is now learning feminist and GLBT theory because this class was the only one open during his schedule. Convert!

When she dropped her quarters while getting a Diet Coke (ssshh, yes, evil chemicals), not one but two students scrambled to retrieve the coins.

The big one? When at the gas station and the pump malfunctioned -- spewing gas all over in a non-stop steady stream spouting from the pump and gas tank instead of clicking off when the tank was full -- the man behind her nearly shoved her aside and said: "That's dangerous! Let me take care of it."

Guess who was soaked in gas at the end of the incident? Not her. Guess who incorrectly inserted the nozzle into the tank? Hmmmmm. . . . .

So to the young man texting instead of opening the door? Thank you. Made her realize all the great good things people do in small ways (and big ways, as being a potential human torch seems not insignificant), all the time, every day.


Karen said...

Yay humanity, after all!

Anonymous said...

Amen. I needed this lesson today. Thank you.

Cindy in Walla Walla

Violet said...

High five for seeing that particular, texting glass as half-full.

MJ said...

Thanks for the reminder!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that the positives outweighed that one inconsiderate person!

Cheri @ Blog This Mom!® said...

You got this. :-)

Anonymous said...

How cool that someone's bad behavior made you appreciate all the other goodness in your world!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mary, I think I needed that lesson today too. And just to dangle the carrot...the weekend is almost here! Bramble

Susan said...

Yes! The positives do usually outnumber the dweebs.

Daisy said...

There are a lot of good people in this world. My message to the self-absorbed one? Get a life. Get out and see how others behave.

Hazel Spupspe said...

I don't comment on blogs much and I just happened to click a link to your blog (since I'm also in Minnesota and also a matron), and this post is EXACTLY what I needed to read. Goodness is all around us - we just have to notice it. Thanks so much for putting it so well and giving me a new outlook! And a great blog to read!