A few days ago, I was driving home after a work conference, and I was about a block from the house.
I was in a rush because I had a 6:30 Zoom call with students. Without any delays, I would be able to park my car, run into the house, and get to my home office just in time for the call.
However, as I drove down the street to my house, a neighbor was taking his time backing up his huge white F150. There were several cars in the driveway, which meant he needed to get the perfect alignment.
I waited for him to back up just enough so I could maneuver to the other side of the street and get by him. We live in a quiet area so there was no traffic on the other side.
I’m sure many of us have done this before, and other people have gone around me in the 30+ years I have been driving.
It does not offend me.
He Was Offended!
Knowing the Zoom call was just a few minutes away, I hurried down the street to my house.
After parking my car in the garage, I jumped out and went around the back of the automobile. As I was getting ready to close the garage door, I noticed the same white F150 parked directly in front of my driveway.
Not making the connection, I thought this vehicle is way too big to be making an Amazon delivery. Imagine the fuel it consumes!
I yelled, “Yes … How can I help you?”
He said, “Hey … Can I talk to you?”
I mentioned to him that I was running late, and I heard him say something about “swerving” by his vehicle when he was trying to park.
I had no time for this conversation because of my call, so I replied …
“I’m so sorry! I was running late to my meeting, so I needed to get home.”
I must have sounded genuine because he replied:
He drove away, and I made my meeting right on time.
After the call with the MBA students, I had the chance to reflect on this event.
What in the world was he doing following me to my house over something so little. This cannot be the first time someone has driven around his outrageously big F150!
Did I catch him on a bad day? Was there something else going on in his life that caused him to have a short fuse with me?
Now, looking at it from my side of the fence, I was proud I responded in a kind manner. I did not get upset, and I stuck with the issue.
I had a meeting to attend, and I quickly shared that with the angry driver. I did zero to escalate the matter.
This is a good message for me during the Christmas season. I need to be more patient with others and give them the benefit of the doubt. There’s a good chance that people are having a bad day, and perhaps they are sad about someone they have lost.
After this experience, I know God is with me all the time. It’s up to me to be aware of that.