Sunday, March 24, 2013

When All Else Fails, Throw Your Boot!

While at a recent wine tasting, my new friend Jody plunked herself down and began to share the story of her frustrating day. She made an appointment with a new doctor over a month ago. She drove the 35 miles to her appointment only to find they would not accept her medical insurance⎯even though they had taken the insurance information at the time the appointment was made. Frustrated, she asked if she could just pay for the appointment as an out of network patient⎯again, no. She asked if she could simply pay for it herself⎯no, cash⎯no, no, no! At this point she left the doctor's office and happened to run into someone she knew. She relayed the story to her friend. He was running an errand at a retail cell service store so she tagged along. While he was completing his transaction, he was told they would not take cash! Both Jody and her friend just looked at each other. That was too much for Jody. She bent over, grabbed one of the boots she was wearing, pulled it off and proceeded to throw the boot at the huddle of store employees.

I’m sure you can understand Jody’s maddening day. She wasn’t even sure why she did it. It’s not like she goes around throwing footwear at people, but at that moment it seemed like the thing to do. She wasn’t aiming at anyone and fortunately did not hit anyone. After throwing her boot, she calmly walked over, picked it up and left the store.

Was it the right thing to do? It certainly made for good story telling, and undoubtedly punctuated the moment for Jody and anyone else in the store. But here’s the thing, she needed to do something then and there for her own sanity. I liken her story to throwing down the gauntlet, but instead of an armored glove of the days of yore, she issued a challenge by throwing down her boot. Nobody accepted the challenge, but it definitely destabilized her emotional mindset then and there.

It's fun just considering this expressive outburst, and I will undoubtedly think of Jody’s boot flying through the air when attempting to hold onto my sanity. Just thinking about it will certainly destabilize any moments of frustration I may have, but I’ll make sure I follow that thought up with a few deep breaths and a quick nod of thanks to Jody and wine tasting. Cheers!
Frustrated Shannon photo courtesy of Shannon Kringen