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.


  1. Depending on the flip flop, they could hurt too:)

  2. I do Cat Scans at work.People are scared,sick & not always wanting this test.The more time I have to take calming them down,the more behind I get in my work. I learned that kindness & really listening and giving them 5 minutes in the beginning saved me 20-30 minutes in the long run.
    Now if I could just do that off work.Your blog helps:)

  3. I don't think I have ever literally thrown a shoe... but it doesn't matter. I have thrown lots of ugly words around.

  4. If I had been married to Bill W. I think I would have thrown more than my shoe

  5. I have no problem with shoe throwing, especially at teenagers to get their attention.

    Now smacking someone with a shoe should be reserved for politicians.

  6. Please meet me at my mechanics this Saturday...they won't listen to me!!
    I have thrown a shoe at a teenager, I missed. So I took off the other shoe and threw it also.

  7. Yes I tend to lose my temper too much at stuff especially with the ex missus, I am trying to be calm but its hard sometimes.
    A mac, you know Ive never even had a go at one in my life, sort of posh peoples computer arnt they.
    Yes times are hard here in the UK our PM seems to have lost his mind

  8. I do the same thing many times when dealing with businesses. I don't even deal with the sales people or a waitress I go directly to the big honcho. It's amazing how people's attitudes change when you just simply go above them.

  9. btw: Great photo.

    Answer to your fireworks question: adjust your camera's speed to 1600. Unfortunately mono-pods or tripods work best with a zoom lens. A mono-pod is best, it allows you to pivot faster.

  10. Dealing with car repair shops could make anyone throw a shoe! Congrats on holding your temper!


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