Our power went out at 4:30 am this morning. Ever have that happen in a large apartment building? If you have, you've probably noticed that the emergency exit signs give off a high pitched, consistent noise that needs to be manually shut off. When your onsite manager is out of the country and has someone temporarily taking her place, that doesn't happen right away, which means you've probably been awake since 4:30. Or at least, I have.
In addition to that, I had to get bloodwork done this morning at 9 am, which meant no eating or drinking anything - not that I could have, because the power was still out - but it meant my crankiness was in overload.
When I got to the office, there was only one open parking spot, and I saw it long after I passed it. I quickly turned around, but by the time I got back to it and put my directional on, another woman had pulled up. She took one look at me, one look at the spot, and took it.
I immediately became crazy annoyed, shooting dirty looks in her direction, until I realized a spot had opened up three cars away. Had I taken a deep breath and recognized that she knew this before I did, and therefore knew I'd have a parking spot, all would have been well. But I didn't. I fumed and fumed, and then passing her in the walkway, made a not-so-nice remark, which I immediately regretted but was too embarassed to face. I went to my appointment and spent the entire time feeling so utterly guilty and awful for behaving such a way. Was she a total stranger and did her opinion matter? Yes and no. But when you're trying to put good energy into the world and you're a work in progress, sometimes you slip.
On my way back to my car, I realized she hadn't left yet, so I quickly grabbed a piece of paper, wrote a very quick "I'm sorry, bad day, you were right, hope this covers your parking, have a great day", stuck a few bills inside the folded up paper, and popped it on her windshield. First step? Admitting I'm wrong. Second step? Trying to rectify... well, sort of.
On my way home, assuming our power wasn't back on (which it wasn't), I got in the crazy long Starbucks drive thru line, desperate for a latte. When I approached the window to pay, I asked the barista if I could add value to my Starbucks card and then pay for my drink, and he said he'd be happy to add the value, but my drink was already paid for.
Turns out, today Starbucks started their Pay it Forward program, and the woman in front of me bought me my latte. The barista asked if I'd like to keep it going, and I said absolutely! (I used to do this religiously while driving to camp every weekend by paying the toll fare for the car behind me, before EZ Pass was invented.) He mentioned I was the 6th car in a row to do this, and he was interested to see how long that chain could last. The other barista working with him was totally jazzed to hear another customer had participated, and it was so wonderfully refreshing to see people championing such kind acts, especially in an industry that can sometimes be more demeaning than rewarding.
When I got home, I realized I spent the entire drive beaming, not because of my free latte, but because I bought a total strange breakfast. When facing a bad day or things that can be annoying, its hard to remember that elation that comes from random acts of kindness. So today's #BMO? Paying it forward, and remembering to do it often.