Don’t fu@k with people who handle your food…
Day 270 — This is a gross out scene from a 2005 movie called “Waiting.” I fear this probably happened to me today. (Watch now, try not to barf, and come back to witness my shituation.)
Every Sunday our family meets my father in law for brunch. We go to the same cafe. Unless we want to get crazy and try a different spot. But we always return. It is convenient and the company, our family, is why we are there.
It was empty as we sat down at “our” table in the corner. After several minutes, they turned on the music which blared from the speaker above us. I asked the waitress to please turn it off, “It’s just us and easier to hear each other without it.” I watched as she went to the manager, who has seen us many times, and told her my request. The manager yelled out, “What does she want to do? Manage the restaurant? TELL HER NO!”
The waitress saw my reaction as I watched the nasty exchange in horror and discretely turned the volume down. I immediately got up (I could hear my husband and son begin to utter some protest — possibly fearing a killing spree) and continued to walk over to the manager.
This next part should be titled, “Wasting My Breath.”
I knew there was a risk of that being true, but figured I would “humanize” the shituation. She ignored me as I tried to engage her with “Hello.” I reached my hand out to introduce myself, “Hi there, I’m Sheila.” She ignored me and my outstretched hand. I persevered. “I am not sure if you realize but our family comes here often.” “Every Sunday you’re here,” she curtly replied without looking up from her note taking. I tried to continue but she cut me off saying “Look, I’m busy.” I asked if I could have just a moment of her time and she said I’d have to wait for her to finish doing what she was doing. And I stood there. Waiting (ironic).
After she couldn’t pretend to be busy any longer (probably 3 or 4 minutes), I interjected, “I know how upset you were that I’d asked to turn off the music, and wanted you to know I meant no harm. It’s just that we’re the only ones here and it’s easier to hear my father in law who speaks softly, and that we sit in the corner — admittedly under a speaker — away from the light because it’s easier on his eyes. I meant no disrespect.”
Unswayed, she let into me, “The Home Owners Association pays us for the TVs and music to be on. Do you want to talk to the head of it? His name is Paul and if he comes by and the music isn’t on we will have a problem. He’s just that kind of a guy.” I told her, “I understand if he is a jerk,” as she inelegantly implied. “But I just want to apologize if I caused an issue, and I appreciate the volume was lowered.” She glared at me. Silent for too long. Then turned on her heal and walked away. Leaving me. Standing there.
In the past I would have invested too much emotional capital into this moment. I would have been seething with anger for the rest of the day, if not longer. There are many who might have never even gotten up to address her or the issue. And, as proven, rightly so.
I simply didn’t want her to hate us because of a misunderstanding.
Studying with Bill Cortright has shown me how to better manage stressful negative encounters and my response to them. I immediately used the Stress Response Pause-Plan Response. If you are aware of the feeling you can consciously flip the switch. Go from negative Red Zone to positive Green Zone by focusing on the opposing energy for a couple of minutes. Like magic you take control. Here are some examples:
The Let Go Technique he gave me is a life saver as well. And today I needed them both! You ask yourself 5 questions when confronted with negative situations:
What am I feeling? The feeling will be located in the heart region or gut.
Can I welcome or allow this feeling? Yes, the answer invokes Courage
Could I let go? Yes, the answer invokes Neutrality
Would I let go? Yes, the answer invokes Willingness
When? Now, the answer invokes Acceptance
It all worked like a charm to help me today! I still probably shouldn’t have eaten my salad.
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