I’m generally the most mild-mannered person you’ll ever meet. I’m far from perfect. But, I tend to respond to problems and conflict in an even-tempered way – usually. Until this happens.
Let me set the scene. The folks at work love to eat. A lot. If there were an all day buffet, most of them would be up in there. I’m not exaggerating. I addressed this a tiny bit in a prior article I wrote titled, Be A Blessing to Be Blessed: Part Seven – Making A Difference. That article was specifically about their love for candy. But they enjoy indulging on many things. On any given day, there’s always some type of snack in the common area. People bring in cookies, cake, doughnuts and other shareable snacks and place them in the common area for the enjoyment of anybody who wants to indulge. Sometimes you might also find chips there too. From time to time, a wretched person will take the last cookie or doughnut and leave the empty package sitting on the table rather than throw it in the trash. That’s the thing that gets under my skin. How much effort does it take to pick up the empty package and toss it? None, I tell you, and I’m quick to say something to them.
On one occasion when I saw a man take the last cookie and leave the empty container, I said, in a smart-alecky way, “The maid doesn’t work today.” He responded, “Huh? What maid?” I stared at him in silence and he finally got what I was saying. He promptly grabbed the package and threw it away. He stormed off saying, “All you had to do is tell me to throw it away rather than be a **** about it.” I won’t repeat the word he called me. I’ve said before, people are quick to get mad at you when you confront them for being wrong. Why in the heck should I need to tell a grown ass man to throw away an empty container when he knows he took the last cookie? He clearly figured it out without me having to say that to him. My effort to respond to people and things in a more emotionally intelligent manner becomes more challenging. I need to work on that some more.
On another occasion a woman’s food boiled over and dirtied the microwave. She grabbed her food and walked away but when she saw me looking at her, she went back to clean it up. That’s quite trifling. I’m convinced she would have left it if I hadn’t been sitting there. After that day, I always presumed she was the perp whenever I saw a mess. I won’t even mention the people who leave crumbs and other food droppings on the tables/counters. These kinds of inconsiderate actions quickly get me all riled up.
You see where I’m going here? This thoughtlessness sets me off. If you want to leave your house messy, that’s your prerogative. But in the workplace doing so is disrespectful to everybody else, and I find it hard to bite my tongue when I observe it. It takes just a little bit of effort to clean up after yourself. There’s no excuse for leaving your mess for others. It’s just like those people who use up all the paper in the copy machine or leave a paper jam for someone else. It’s all so selfish. When you share space with other people, have a little consideration for one another.