Working on commercial properties makes it possible to watch people. Sometimes there are stories. If you read carefully there is a moral to each of these stories. When you know what that is let me know. Today for instance the stories are fun and upbeat because there was the positive side of being human found in them BUT I am not trying to define “that good”. That is boring, it is enough to know it can exist. Just read the story. (the one I suppose is not so upbeat…)
among the fresh blooms
litter and feathers
I don’t abhor birds
Yes people who litter drive me crazy but I don’t say anything to those who do it on properties I maintain…usually.
This first story is one of the few times I expressed myself. It ends well. A guy was walking by me as I was sweeping up cigarette butts and dropped one right at my feet. Usually people are aware enough to at least hide the action, there is this sense of shame. Sometimes they are just completely unaware that they are doing it. This guy’s act was the equivalent of spitting at my feet whether he was aware or not. Where my response came from I don’t know. Some quirky place that I do not even quite understand. The idea came to monkey walk with him to his destination and…I did. If anyone does not know what this is it is walking behind a person as close as possible matching every step they make. It can be fun as a kid but even then there is the innate sense of having one’s space invaded. This guy got frustrated quite quickly and in turning around asked me what I was doing. My response was “sorry sir, you just did not look like the type of guy to litter so I though I would follow you so I could pick up after you “.
To his credit he did not yell. There was a quizzical furrowing of his eyebrows and a funny sigh from his lips. I nodded and went on my way. He disappeared into a store. Some time had passed and I had moved on, both in thought and location. It was a bit of a surprise to me to look up and see him shortly thereafter. He put out his hand to shake mine, apologized and gave me a $10.00 tip. I thanked him and apologized again. Frankly he is a hero to me as there were so many other ways for him to respond and this was the most noble. Nice guy. The next story involves me being in a bit of a mood. It happens.
Much like above a guy, this time from a parked car, tossed a cigarette at my feet. I confess that I made a bit of a face. Like the guy above he had many options as to how to deal with me. This fella chose the wrong one. His words were much like this..”quit complaining buddy it’s your job. Pick it up!”. You can on your own infer his tone and my feeling inside. Well, like him, I was faced with choices. Here I remind you that I was in a bad mood. I bent down to the car and addressed his wife/ girlfriend. ” I am sorry ma’am. If he is this ignorant in public it must be rough on you “. No one said anything but she did quietly acknowledged with a face that what I said was true. Yes btw, I did feel bad. He may be lonely right now, who knows? I never saw him again either way.
The next story happened today and thankfully incidents like this happen regularly. There is a young man who has taken to waiting for his ride to work on a mall I maintain. No not the old guy in the tee shirt or the woman going through the drive thru, the young guy. Like the old guy and the woman though he left his mark by the three cigarettes he smokes while waiting. When I got out to clean I never made a face or said a word, I just did my job. I passed in front of him and moved past. Silent. When I got about 20 feet past him I see out of the corner of my eye him getting up and throwing out his butts. Well of course I thanked him profusely. He is a real catch ladies, someone taught him well. He observed, learned and was kind and conscientious. We had a really nice talk after this and that is always a bonus with people like this. Thank you.