There I sat on the guardrail taking in the peacefulness of the river basin that stretched out before me. Songbirds chased each other through the trees that grew out of the embankment of the marsh. I leaned back and felt the warmth of the sun. Oh yeah, I was supposed to be at work 40 minutes ago!
But first let me digress. My department is very small and contains several job groups. When one person calls off for their shift; it would be the equivalent of losing ten employees in a larger department.
So imagine the groan I let out when I received the second text message in regards to a call out and this person was perhaps one of the best employees on my team. Thankfully the first one came the day before…Just as I was leaving work. So I had already committed to waking up early and getting a good start on the day.
As I turned the ignition key, I instantly noticed the gas gauge…low. Way to low to make an hour journey to work. But I was not worried because I was leaving early and the city traffic would be light.
As I approached the big intersection, I noticed the local gas station was entangled by a web of yellow caution tape. I surveyed every inch. Every pump but two were operational and a line of cars were fighting and jostling to get pole position to be the next at the pump. No thanks!!
So I drove onward, still in the direction of the highway I needed to get onto.
At the next mega-super gas station, it was bristling with action from pumps 1 to 60. I pulled in and entered the doors. When I got inside, I was shocked to see such a chaotic scene. Three long lines of customers, mainly landscape teams, stretching almost to the door. They were segmented by their neon colored vests and they were chattering among each other in foreign dialects. Some waving their breakfast sandwiches in the direction of the frantic cashiers.
The employees of the mega-station were a mess as well. Managers staring and pointing at screens and rubbing their foreheads. Running outside and calling on the radios to the employees who were pushing at buttons and turning a key.
I am sorry for this issue folks but pumps 1 through 60 have been rendered inoperable. No gas is available at this moment.
A collective groan came from the store. Now I must drive way out of my way to the next gas station and my valuable extra time I have given myself is becoming just the usual amount of time.
After fueling and driving, I get on the highway to slow traffic. Then later as I am approaching a long two way stretch in the middle of a river and a forest; I see all the cars far, far ahead swerving and turning and red brake lights slamming on. The entire operation goes from 75 m.p.h. to 0. Soon emergency vehicles slide by in the grass and after that came the helicopters.
So I noticed how beautiful the river was and instead of sitting in my car being upset like the rest of the miles long line; I left my car and sat in the warm sunshine and watched it all.
Guess what? At work my employees came in and figured out what was going on and started their day like they do everyday. When I came in, things were rolling along.
So I could have stressed out and decided that my day was ruined. But I didn’t. Later as I came into a room, I peered out the window and saw the ocean. And a cruise ship. And the dunes. This is where I work every day.
Was this a bad day for me or a blessed day?