Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Throwing a shoe
I enjoy reading biographies and have read a couple on Bill and Lois Wilson. One of the stories that I find amusing is when Lois W. threw her shoe at Bill W. In various books about the Wilson's including Lois Remembers, the shoe toss occurred because she was being hurried along by Bill W. so that he wouldn't be late for an Oxford group meeting. Her response was to take the shoe that she was about to put on and toss it at him saying, " Damn your old meetings!"
This show of temper is said to be the first time that she realized how profoundly she had been affected by her husband's alcoholism. And she realized that the moral superiority that she had felt might not be totally justified. The biography Bill W. describes Lois as wanting to be someone who had the power to change people. She thought that she could do this by the goodness of her personality.
I think that is classic for many of us in the program. We think that if we are just reasonable, everything and everybody else will also be reasonable. But let's face it, we know that isn't always the case. And then there are moments when we want to throw a shoe.
I had a moment like that today when dealing with a fellow at the car dealership. I had my car serviced and one of the technicians decided to remove the upholstery strip that goes around the passenger-side window. It had started to come loose and I had inquired about whether it could be glued. Anyway, someone decided just to cut it off and throw it away. And the service rep. tried to give me a line about how they "routinely" do that for safety reasons. Huh???
So after suggesting that the service techs might want to check with the owner before they deface a car, I asked for the general manager's number. He listened to what I had to say about the situation, apologized, and offered to order a new strip and install it free of charge. Okay!!
I've always heard that you get more flies with honey and probably you also get a more reasonable response if you keep your shoes on your feet and your temper in check. I'm glad that I was forthright yet reasonable. I'm also glad that I was wearing flip flops.