I often forget that the world does not revolve around me. I am really good at creating elaborate stories in my head when I do not have all of the facts regarding a situation. The protagonist, the only one with feelings or any importance in these stories is, you guessed it, me. I often slip into my favorite plots of, I am being disrespected or I am not being valued as I should be. Sometimes this is absolutely true. Sometimes it is not and I have simply slipped into the comfortable feeling of being irritated or frustrated.
This morning I was scheduled to meet with a new employer. It was not a very convenient time for me and it was the only morning I could have slept in amidst a packed work week of covering for co-workers who are away for the holiday weekend. I got there a few minutes before the designated meeting time. The receptionist informed me the man I was to meet was not yet in. I sat and waited. And waited. And waited. My inner dialog started up, “How rude. This is inconsiderate. I could have had another cup of coffee. I could have strolled to the subway instead of speed walking. ” It was all about me. It was all about my mounting irritation at having my time wasted.
Finally, after almost twenty minutes of waiting, another receptionist came over to tell me that the man I was meeting would be very late. He had called earlier saying there was a family emergency and the message had not been relayed to me in a timely fashion. Suddenly I felt like a supreme jerk. This man was not being rude or intentionally disrespecting me, he had a family emergency that was preventing him from getting to work on time. Life happens. I am not the center of the universe, much as I would like to think I am.