Friday, August 27, 2010

Wow, Good People In Miami

I'm blow away by an event that has transpired over the past 2 days.  I arrived home from work yesterday and got my mail and found I had a letter from the Traffic Citations department of Miami.  At first I thought it might have been those new video cameras in Coral Gables that had busted me doin' a "California Roll thru a stop sign or something but when I opened it up I found a parking ticket inside.  ""WTF?", was the only thought that entered my mind.  Not that I'm immune to parking tickets by any means.  I get them occasionally when I don't have change or something.  This one was different though.  I knew I didn't have my car that day.

I went online and found out where the ticket was issued.  It was a place I'd only been to once.  I had turned in my car that morning at Bimmer Shop, a BMW repair shop located caddy corner from Braman BMW.  I had wires on both tail lights short out and needed to replace the whole damn panel.  Bimmer Shop repaired it and did a great job.  In fact, I was impressed with how nice everyone that worked there was and that they completed the work within hours.  However, I guess at some point they had to move my car to a parking spot (their place isn't enormous) and while it was there it was ticketed.  I'm assuming they took the ticket and intended to pay it but forgot or something because I never saw it.  I knew nothing about it until I got the late notice yesterday in the mail.

I left a voicemail and sent and email to their office because it was after hours.  I also called the next morning. The girl who answered the phone was really nice and had just listened to my message.  She asked for my tag number and said they would take care of it.  Most of the time in Miami this means you have to call the person every day to remind them to do it.  Not this company.  She called me back within 10 minutes and let me know the ticket had been paid.  I couldn't believe it.

Bimmer Shop will definitely be recommended to any and everyone I know.  They can do body work on any auto and mechanical work on any BMW and they do a really good job in a short amount of time.  The people in both the office and shop are friendly and they showed me that they will make amends to any mistakes they make.  Good stuff all around.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"For a minute there...I lost myself."

Those lyrics from Radiohead's "Karma Police" couldn't better describe the events that transpired around 4:45pm at my workplace today.  After years of snide comments, insults, misrepresentations, mountains of disrespect, and casting it all aside, I couldn't accept it anymore.  I lost it.

I can't remember ever being that angry ever in the thirty-two years of mornings I've been blessed enough to wake up for.  Sure, there have been times where I've been angry but never teetering on the edge of physically assaulting someone without following through with it.  At least when I'd get into a fight there would be anger leading up to it but knowing that a scrap would end things right then and there made it easier to not be so angry if that makes sense. Even if I wasn't the victor (and believe me, I've taken my fair share of shots) at least my feelings were communicated in a way that was easy to understand.  As time aged on I sought out the path of more reason, telling myself that there was nothing worth getting so worked up about.  I let things go and it worked.

But there I was at 4:45pm, hands shaking as rage coursed through my veins causing them to pop out of my forehead and neck, turning my face tomato red.  I removed myself from the situation three times because I felt as if I couldn't trust myself to stay cool and, no matter how good it would've felt to communicate my feelings physically, that the repercussions in the end would not have justified the means.  Unfortunately, that just fanned the flames.  This was my job, my means of living life, and that was being used as leverage against me.  I felt trapped.  I felt owned.

My buttons had been pressed for years but this time the "out of order" light didn't illuminate.  Action was getting reacquainted with reaction.  I took all my frustration and anger and I let it go in a verbal way, refusing to give in and turn the other cheek.  I didn't curse (I'm still in shock I was able to do that) but instead chose to finally let all my feelings fly with the understanding that my little share session could result in my termination.  I didn't care.  I was not going to take one more ounce of disrespect and I was there to make sure everyone knew that.

In the end I was a little disappointed that I blew my stack because in a way I felt as if I'd lost the mild mannered person I'd worked so hard to become.  Overall, however, I was proud.  I was proud of myself for taking a stand, even if it was potentially my final stand.  I'd rather starve than feel owned like that.  After all, at the end of the day I report to myself, not a boss, not friends, not family, not God.  Me.