It was a nice day so I decided to stop at the car wash on my way home from an appointment to get rid of the salt and grime from my 2005 Volvo. It’s a car wash I have been to many times. One of those self service places. You’ve seen them. You put the credit card in and the timer starts. I spray it myself, use the foaming brush, rinse it off and then I’m good to go.
As I arrived, the bays (there must be six of them) were all full. So I stopped my car in a “staging area” where I’d be able to pull into the next available bay (kind of like that line at the bank).
As a guy was finishing up, a black car came out of nowhere, pulled directly up to that bay to grab the spot, totally ignoring the fact that I had been waiting 5-10 minutes.
I drove my car over to the bay, rolled my window down and (very politely I believe) said to the guy “Hey man. I’ve been waiting here for ten minutes for the next bay to open up.” His response was “I didn’t see you.”
I (again, politely) said “Well that’s not cool, I have been waiting.”
His response? “I don’t give a shit!”
Now there were three ways I could have handled this and of course I had to think fast.
I could have started screaming at him and the situation could have easily escalated to something bad. This was not even a choice in my mind.
The second possibility was to just ignore him and wait for the next bay.
Or the third possibility was to just be kind because we really never know what’s going on with someone.
I chose number three. I responded with “Peace brother, have a great day.” Don’t ask me why, those were just the first words that came to my mind.
Within thirty seconds, the guy got back into his car and just drove away. Kindness prevailed. One minute later I was washing my car.