Monday, October 3, 2011

Memo Monday

To the Man, Standing Behind Me in Line for the Potato Chips,

Sir, at first I thought you were trying to laugh off the long wait for the freshly made potato chips, at the Relief Sale

As you continued to open your mouth I realized that no, you are just being obnoxious, and that patience is not one of your strengths; however, one of your strengths is obviously sharing with everyone how hungry you were and that nothing but potato chips would suffice ... didn't you say something about it being potato chips or nothing at all? 

Maybe you were suffering with Low Blood Sugar Grumpy Butt Syndrome.  OK, maybe I'll give that to you.  At the same time, Sir, you are the age of my parents, however your LBSGBS behavior was that of one of my adolescent children.  Whatever the issue, maturity is obviously, not one of your strengths.

Maybe you were not aware of your surroundings.  You were in town for one of the many celebrations happening; Parent's Weekend, Homecoming, the football game, whatever, and have never been to a Mennonite Relief Sale.  Possibly, you thought this was just a quaint country fair; where people run these booths as a business, not out of the goodness of their hearts to benefit a church-based mission organization.

I will confess, when I am in a line, waiting for something that I don't understand why it is taking so long, I tend to lose my patience.  My OCD kicks in and I begin to reorganize the whole process, trying to stream line it.  However, that still does not excuse a bad attitude.

Maybe, you are also not aware that around the world, and in our own country, there are tens of thousands of people who are actually hungry, malnourished, and one meal away from death.  There are people who stand in line, day after day, to receive their one ration of food for that day, or week, or month.  Not just for a bag of potato chips. 

That is what I wanted to say to you.  The mother in me wanted to turn around and tell you that there are people around the world actually starving to death, and that you were far from such a state.  At least, that is what I tell my children when they begin to whine about being hungry.  And yes, you sir, were whining. 

Later, another tactic, that I use on may children, came to mind; that would be asking what is the outcome you expect from your obnoxious behavior?  Are you thinking the people working the stand will prepare the chips a little faster?  Do you think they were purposely moving slowly?  Do you think the potatoes, themselves, will cook faster?  Were you hoping that the people in front of you would allow you to move ahead of them, just so they no longer had to hear your obnoxious comments? 

Yes, the chips were good.  Anything worth waiting for will be good, and yes those chips were worth waiting for.  A good attitude also makes the waiting a little easier to, well, um, wait. 

If you return, I hope you take the time to talk to those in line with you.  If you are new to this whole Relief Sale event, ask what it is about.  Ask the lady behind the counter how they make the potato chips, how long they have been doing this, and why they do this year after year.  Bottom line, have a conversation with people instead of making yourself an obnoxious presence.  Everyone around will will thank you, you may even thank yourself.

Fellow Relief Sale Attender

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