‘On a Tight Schedule’
We were just finishing weekly grocery shopping. Kids were eager to go home. We were waiting for over half an hour in the car. I turned the key to start the engine and ups. It was click, click, and nothing. Car could not start. Nice! I tried few more times but it did not work.
Luckily I always carry boost cables with me. You never know! I will just ask someone to give me a boost and we will be on our way home. As I was thinking this, one person just parked next to me. This guy looked chill and cool. As he finishes the shopping I will ask him for a boost.
‘Excuse me, may I ask you something, could you please give me a boost, my car cannot run?’
He looked at me with such a disregard, it looked like he was thinking ‘How do you dare to stop and talk to me!’
‘No I cannot, no way I can do that!’
He looked upset as I messed up his day completely.
I have to admit, I was confused and surprised. Never in my life had I said no to anybody that asked me for a car boost. Especially I was never rude to anybody that asked me anything, for that matter.
I thought to myself, I will look for some younger people, they should be ok. Two younger men were exiting the store and going toward their cars.
‘Hi guys, can I ask you something? My car is not starting, could you please give me a boost?’
‘Sorry sir, we have a trailer attached to our car.’
They had a point. But they were right behind me, next parking spot, they could easily move forward, it would take no more than 5 minutes for a car boost. Anyway, I guess no luck today. Let me try one more time.
Two other young men were going to their cars.
‘Excuse me, may I ask you for a favour. My car is not starting, could you please give me a boost?’
They looked at each other and one of them said, ‘Excuse me sir but we are on a tight schedule.’
On a tight schedule Saturday afternoon!? That was it! I am not asking anybody else, period!
As I sat in the car, quite disappointed, I decided to call few friends of mine to see if they can come to help me. As this weekend was a holiday, most people left the city and no luck again.
The only thing left to do was to call road assistance services.
‘Hey I totally forgot, I have CAA membership, let me call them right away’ I said out loud.
‘Yes sir, your membership expired two months ago’ said the lady on the phone line.
‘Would you like to renew it and we can send you someone to fix the problem?’
Estimated time of assistance arrival was one hour.
‘Hi sir, have you called for assistance?’ asked a man coming out of the road service cars.
‘Yes we did, it seems that battery is dead, can you help us with this?’
As technician was cleaning up battery connectors he started taking.
‘I am so glad that I am back to work. We just got a baby son. I was not working for one month to help my wife with our child.’
‘Having a child is wonderful, one of the most precious things in life’ I said.
‘Yes, it indeed is. But just before my wife had to go into the hospital to give a birth, I lost my job. Literally an hour before we went to the hospital they called and told me that our company was sold that that we all lost our jobs’ said the technician.
‘That must have been hard’ I said.
‘Luckily the next day another company called me an offered me a job. They heard about my good service and they wanted me to work for them. So my job issue was rather quickly resolved.’
It is strange how life throws us these curve balls out of nowhere. It is incredible how life serves us these experiences from which we learn.
Three times I tried and did not get help. But then, a person comes who is just a nice human being willing to sincerely help.
The Next Day
The very next day we decided to go hiking as a family. We wanted to visit few waterfalls in the nearby conservation area. As we got to the hiking center I wanted to ask a lady that worked at the coffee shop how to get to the waterfalls. And I was a bit reserved after yesterday’s experience, would she be ‘on a tight schedule’ too.
To my pleasant surprise the lady was very nice and she explained us everything in details. She was yet another simple & nice human being.
And as we were hiking, at few places we were not sure where to turn to find our way to the waterfalls. And all people we asked for assistance were quite nice, pleasant and willing to help. There were more simple & nice human beings.
While hiking through the trials we met other people too. And every time we were passing each other there was a nice smile and friendly ‘hi’.
In two days there were two very different experiences, one in an urban area and one in Mother Nature.
And there were two very different kinds of human beings, one ‘on a tight schedule’ and one of sincere appreciation and respect.
The choice is ours!