Some days when everything works against me it makes me smile. It sounds crazy I know. It’s a recent alteration to the way I see the world.
One Friday afternoon, a few years ago, I arrived back at the warehouse a bit later than usual. On the final leg of my journey I got stuck behind a chain of slow moving traffic. I cursed the farm tractor or whatever was causing the tailback but it didn’t improve things. I just had to ride it out like everybody else.
When eventually, I did get back to the warehouse my co-workers were long gone. On Fridays we usually knock off at 3pm, give or take a few minutes. It was now 3:30.
I had to unlock the gates and open the large roller door, switch the lights on etc. More wasted time!
I reversed the truck inside the building, parked up, switched off the lighting, closed the roller door and made my way across the yard to my car. Mine was the only car left in the yard. The other workers were probably tucking into their dinners by now.
Just as I reached the car, a question occurred to me. Did I switch on the electric fork truck battery charger? It was my job to ensure the thing was charged up and ready for work on Monday morning.
So I went back. Opened the large roller door, lights on, checked on the fork truck and realised Yes I had put it on the charger after all. I can be forgetful at times but this was something I did only five minutes previous. Anyhow, Que Sera Sera. I lowered the roller door and made my way back to my car.
Like the previous time, just as I was about to get in the car, a little inner voice goes “Lights? Did you turn off the lights?” So I go back, open the roller door, only to discover I had left the lights on. Good thing I listened.
On my third attempt to get into my car, and go home, I heard another little noise. This noise was getting louder and louder, coming towards me. I turned around to see a forty foot Scania pulling into the yard. My fate was sealed. I knew what this meant. I would be very late home today. The driver climbed down and approached me.
“Alright Mate,” in his English accent. “I have twenty-six pallets for you guys. I know I am late and I’m sorry. Would you be willing to fork them off for me?”
“Sure I will.” I answered. Because I’m a Yes man and that’s what Yes men do.
So, again, I opened the roller door, switched the lights on, unplugged the fork truck and set to work unloading his truck.
When I was done it was close to 4:30. I started to sign the paperwork for the delivery. I was feeling a little bit sorry for myself until the driver made an odd statement.
“Thanks a lot mate. I’ll be able to catch the last ferry back to England this evening. If you hadn’t been here I would have had to park up until Monday.”
“Yep, it’s your lucky day!” I remarked as I signed my name on umpteen papers.
“The truth is, silly as this sounds, I prayed to God when I realised I would be late. I asked that he would work a small miracle for me. And believe me mate, I never pray. I owe him one for this.” He said.
On my drive home I realised something. That for every lucky break a person gets, the chances are that somebody else has to accept being second best. In a strange way, I felt special. My frustrating afternoon helped a miracle to happen for somebody.
One man’s miracle is another man’s cold dinner.
Thank you for reading,