Thanksgiving-Palooza: Part Three

Our third Thanksgiving-Palooza post involves a recap of the past two RACs I’ve done yesterday and today.  Aunt Bethany here, and I will still be serving as your host for this post, and for the upcoming fourth and final entry to our Thanksgiving-Palooza series.

pledge

My Wednesday RAC was by no means anything spectacular.  It actually piggy-backed off of my Tuesday RAC, so, in many ways, it shouldn’t have counted.  Still, it’s an action I wouldn’t normally have done, so, it counts! RACs are kind of like horse shoes and hand grenades:  even if you’re close, it counts!

As I was picking up a Little Caesar’s Hot-N-Ready pizza on Wednesday, I was met by a rather pleasant and amiable cashier, who looked liked he had just faced a rather difficult rush of lunch orders.  Still, he approached the counter refreshed and with a smile on his face.  In fact, he even took the time mid-transaction to ask me how I was, a question which usually is placed at the front of conversation and without much thought.  “How are you today?” has become as normal as just saying “Hello” to someone…you do it without thinking, but just how much do you really wish to know how someone is?

So, hearing this question mid-conversation kind of threw me, in a good way.  I think I was so surprised to hear that come out of his mouth that I almost didn’t know how to respond.  I was able, however, to come up with something, because my hands eventually found their way to my wallet and handed $6.95 to the cashier.  “How are you?” goes” at the BEGINNING of the conversation, goddamnit!  Cannot compute, cannot compute, cannot compute…

I was just about to pick up my steaming box of goodness when I glanced down on the counter to spy a mostly empty tip jar staring back at me…

tips

How can you say “no” to eyes like that?

Normally, these tip jars don’t phase me.  Usually, if I see a tip jar sitting in an establishment which isn’t a restaurant, I ignore it.  Do the magicians at McDonald’s deserve a tip every time they assemble a Filet-O-Fish?  Does the creation of a Blizzard at Dairy Queen merit an extra reward?  I don’t even think I’ve ever been tempted to tip a fast food employee…I’m not exactly sure what they would have to do to earn the change from my pockets…maybe tell me my horoscope WITHOUT knowing my astrological sign, who knows?  The point is…I usually look over these tips jars with the smallest sign of remorse…until Wednesday.

I waited patiently for the cashier to hand me my change, a whole smattering of one dollar bills.  I thought about his pleasant demeanor and willingness to ask how I was, and I knew without thinking that I just had to give him a tip.  So, into the jar went one of my dollar bills, which kept company with a medley of pennies, nickels, and a few rare dimes…dollar bills did NOT go in this jar, which was apparent to me when the cashier saw what I put in.  He seemed genuinely surprised…it seems that the employees of Little Caesar’s rarely ever get anything above a quarter for a tip.  It made me want to put more money in, considering the fact that a mere one dollar tip could really bring a smile to someone’s face.  And maybe I will do that the next time I frequent that Little Caesar’s (‘cause Lord knows I go there almost every week).

I am beginning to realize that even the smallest acts of kindness can go a long way.  My $1 tip was not headline news…the act itself wouldn’t and shouldn’t even merit a phone call to The Mom, who probably would nominate me for Time’s Woman-of-the-Year if I sneezed 3 times in a row.  But, it did mean something to someone that day, even if it was a small gesture.

Small gestures…grand gestures…it doesn’t matter…the gesture is all that counts, a thought that I hoped would encourage me with the completion of my RAC for today.

My Thanksgiving RAC was, by far, the most difficult task I have set out to accomplish.  There is a lot of backstory surrounding this event, and I could easily fill another blog post filling you in on all of the details.  The details, however, are not important.  Here are the basic facts:

  • I recently worked through a misunderstanding with a leader of a group I’m a part of
  • There are details of the “misunderstanding” that I’m confused about; I still feel frustrated and upset about the whole affair
  • There were many assumptions made about my attitude and who I am as a person; I hate it when people get a wrong impression of me, and I try my hardest to reconcile any doubts or misgivings about my character
  • I want to work through conflict as quickly and painlessly as possible; it’s in my nature to not feel at ease until misunderstandings are resolved

I tell you truly:  I was greatly upset by this entire incident.  It took me nearly a week to finally get over it, but I know, deep down, it’s still affecting me.

To attempt to smooth things over with the person who this misunderstanding began with, I decided, against all logic and misgivings on my behalf, to bake for this person and the group I’m a part of.

I fought with this decision for a few days.  Why…why would I wish to bake for someone who I believe has treated me unfairly?  Why would I purposely spend time on something for a person whom I’ve lost some respect for?

Because that’s what you do. You do anything in your power to make a bad situation better, even if that means humbling yourself when you know you could make a full case to turn the tables.  In the grand scheme of things, does it matter who was wrong and who was right?

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t stand up for yourself when you feel you have a valid case; I did thus during this incident, and I am grateful that I had friends behind me to support my beliefs.  By all means, stand up for who you are and what you believe to be true.  But, if it’s in your power, avoid holding a grudge if a situation can be improved.

There are so many circumstances where I would offer counter advice to what I am offering now.  If you’re dealing with someone who won’t listen to reason and stands staunchly on a negative or blatantly wrong soap box, then it may be time to cut ties with that person.  But the important thing to remember, in any situation, is that it never hurts to try.

So, today, I tried. I tried…with the simple act of baking.  I don’t know if it made a difference, I don’t know if it had any effect at all…but the important thing is:  I tried.  I have to keep reminding myself that even if this situation goes awry any further, I can always rest assured that I attempted to smooth things over.  And even if my act goes unnoticed…even if my $1 bill doesn’t cause waves at the Little Caesar’s…even if my attempts at reconciliation made no difference….I at least tried.

This concludes our third entry in our series of Thanksgiving-Palooza posts.  Tune in tomorrow for our fourth and final contribution to the party….Aunt Bethany’s List of Gratitude for 2010.  Peace, all!  Happy holidays!

RAC #26:  Tipped a cashier at Little Caesar’s

Result:  disbelief from the employee, steaming hot pizza for lunch

RAC #27Baked cookies for someone I had a misunderstanding with

Result:  TBD (but I feel better about the situation)

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