Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

We are in the throes of lazy summer. You feel it, I know you do.  It’s that odd blend of New York feels at this point – it’s August and we’re all hot as hell, but starting to feel that bite in the air telling us that fall is right around the corner.  We say things like, “There’s still almost a month until Labor Day!” and rush around to try to cram as much summer in as we can.  But on those days off, I feel like just being lazy in my air conditioned apartment instead of being ambitious and going to the beach.  And because it’s August, most days I literally do not know what day it is.  Given a moment of thought, I can usually come up with the day, but date?  Forget about it.

What I can tell you is I’ve had a few really awesome days that my brain lumps together as one moment in time experience, starting with my cookie drop on Thursday.  I finally, FINALLY made it to Advanced Radiological Imaging on Astoria Blvd and 30th Street.  I thought they closed at 5, but when I got there at 4:55, there was a waiting room full of people, one person at the window, me, then another woman walked in with her (assumed) son right after me to check in.  So I’m waiting there for the person n front of me to finish up and just as she does and I get to the window, something inside me compels me to say “Uh, you know what?  I”m going to let this woman behind me go first.  She’s clearly a patient and I’m going to take a moment, so…” and let this other woman and her son (let’s just assume it’s her son and go with that) step up to the window.

Have you ever been in a situation where as it’s happening, you are a little incredulous and think, how this would’ve been different if I didn’t just make that choice?  Sure, we’ve all been there.  Well, i watched this and thought, “Good thing I let her go first.  This poor guy’s gonna need a cookie after she gets done.” This woman proceeded to step up to the window and give this guy the biggest Attitude, and I mean attitude with a capital ‘A’.  First off, she assumed the little information she gave him was enough to find her.  He asked for the proper paperwork and she balked.  He finally found her in their system and she said, “See, you had it there, you just had to look for it.”  Strike one.  Really strike two because she approached him with an attitude.

So the kind gentleman at the window proceeds to type at his keyboard and try to get her and her son registered when he asks, “Do you speak Spanish?”  Now, to be fair to him, this woman had an discernible accent and could have been from a number of backgrounds.  It was also in a part of the neighborhood that I know has a high Hispanic population, and maybe based on her name?  I don’t know, but given that there is a high percentage of New Yorkers that speak Spanish as their first language, or are fluent in both Spanish and English, I thought it was a fair question.  And having been on the customer service on of things before, I would bet my life his question was asked in an attempt to make her experience easier and more pleasant.  She clearly did not think so.

Upon hearing those ‘oh-so-foul’ words, she recoiled and said, “What is it your business is I speak Spanish??  I don’t speak Spanish!!  It’s none of your business!  What does it matter!  I don’t speak Spanish!!  That’s none of your business!”  As my eyes darted around the room, I could tell I was not the only one there that thought, 1. This reaction was a bit much, and 2. Whoa.  Crazy Lady.

Strike Three.

She and her son step away to fill out whatever paperwork in needed and I step up to the window, cookies in hand, big smile on my face, and eyes wide from what I’ve just seen.  “Hi!” I said, “I think I’ve come at just the right time.  I’m here to deliver these cookies to you!”  And so I began making a connection.

Being that it is a medical office afterall, I didn’t want to take too much of anyone’s time, but didn’t want to drop and dash.  I found out the kind man’s name is Eddie and we had a novel’s length conversation with just our eyes about what just went down.  I gave him my spiel, the other ladies behind the window seemed pretty excited about the cookies, and I left feeling like some actual good had been done.

As I made my way to the N train, the full weight of what just happened hit me.  I had just witnessed karma in all her glory work right in front of my eyes, and instantaneously.  What had prompted me to let that nasty woman go ahead of me?  And I’m pretty sure I truly made Eddie’s day because I was there with a plate of cookies after he was berated, restoring his faith in the kindness of fellow human beings.  He had done the right thing, was kind to her, and did his job well, and was, in a way, rewarded with cookies.  And as quickly as I had that previous thought, I thought, “Holy shit.  Karma can just as easily go the other way.”  I think I experience a lot of goodness in my life because I do good.  Not to say that bad things don’t still happen, and believe me, they do.  But I truly believe good things happen to good people.

I have to tell you, the rest of my interactions with people in the customer service side of things that day were stellar.  I mean, above and beyond amazing.  I think people can read and feel my positive energy and react positively to it.  You may think I’m nuts, but try it for a day.  i dare you.  You will be rewarded in ways you never imagined.

Does anybody really know what time it is?  Does it really matter?  As long as you are doing the right thing, making the good choices, and living your life as best you can, I don’t think it does.  For now, I’m continuing to move forward, taking it one day at a time, and in my immediate future, that means finding out where Advanced Radiological Imaging will send me.  Stay tuned…

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