Run-ins ruin the day. I was at the passport office in North York. The first security staff I encountered on the way into the office directed me to an area for pre-screening. I didn’t know about this step. Before I had a chance to ask him about the procedure, he rushed me on. Although I became a little peeved I went along.
With a number in hand, I proceeded to the waiting area. Another security staff approached me and told me to sit at a certain spot. I asked him if I could sit elsewhere. “Why don’t you just sit down?” he commanded. “Don’t I get to choose where I wanted to sit,” I retorted. He ignored me. As I was waiting for my turn, I felt my anger rising. The duty of these staff, I thought, was to serve applicants, but they seemed to be throwing their weight around. By the time I took the case to the manager of the office I had suffered from a sour mood for hours.
On a sunny day, I was cruising along when a white car came out of a side street without making a stop. I was forced to put on the brake. I shouted my objection with the car windows closed. I was sure the driver didn’t hear me. She crawled along at a slow speed in a 60km an hour zone. I was forced to crawl behind her, fuming. By the time I calmed down, the traffic on the left was too congested to give me a chance to pass the white car. I found myself stuck.
The office of the specialist was half full when I arrived for my appointment. I sat down and took out my smartphone to give myself something to do. I played a word game. I checked the news and I read a novel. The other patients had gone in and left. I figured I would be the next in line. The door opened and a family walked in. They appeared to know the receptionist well. Soon after they sat down they were called into the doctor’s room. I was in the office long before they showed up. Someone must have made a mistake. I thought about marching over to the reception desk to stage a loud protest. “No, calm down and deal with the situation rationally. Try to keep the emotion out of it.” Fortunately, I listened to the words of wisdom. I asked the receptionist if a mistake has been made. She went into the doctor’s room and within a couple of minutes the doctor came out to apologize for the appointment mix-up. The matter was resolved with no one getting upset.
Since then, I have been training myself to listen for the words of wisdom as sung in Beatles’ “Let It Be” every time I feel a run-in is imminent.