Life throws all kinds of curveballs our way and nobody is exempt. I can’t say that I ever met a person that was thrilled when things didn’t turn out as planned. We duck and hope to dodge the unfortunate event, we might get upset and bend out of shape, raising our blood pressure while complaining to everybody that comes our way or is willing to listen, which by the way are often just innocent bystanders that may have accidentally walked into the path of our wrath without any fault of their own. I have never been one of those people and while I didn’t cared for these little unexpected interventions myself, I have to say that I always managed to remain fairly calm. I’m not sure why or how but I just found little sense in getting all upset over something that never changed no matter how badly I was jumping up and down. Perhaps it was a gift to remain calm in situations most others would lose their composure. Maybe it was just my laid back nature.The mailbox held a surprise in the worst case of figurative speaking. Not a surprise at all, it was a notification from my bank that my account was charged for 2K+, not including additional processing fees for a check deposit that didn’t cleared. Reason “Refer to maker” it said on the paper. For a moment my mind raced as I starred at the letter in disbelief, how could this be, the check was from a large reputable company and was a insurance claim check, a check I would have never expected to be returned unpaid. What was going on? What caused it? It had taken three month to finally receive the check and just like this “Poof” I was back to square one. What an inconvenience and for sure more hassle was heading my way. I decided to let it rest, what was there to do at 10:47PM after all.
After a phone call in the morning and the initial apologies, I was promised I would receive a call from the large company, the issuer who had denied my payment. And indeed, only ten minutes later the phone rang and a lady named Christy (actual name) started to profusely apologize for what had happened. She apologized numerous times about the whole incident happening the begin with and told me that she had already gotten in touch with accounts payable. She would personally follow up to remedy this situation as soon as possible which would be like “yesterday” according to what she said. During our conversation she received a message back from accounts payable which stated that they would issue another check. Great news and it would have been good enough for me, but it wasn’t for Christy and she emailed back to inquire about the ETA so she could let me know when to expect the check. We stayed on the phone as Christy was hoping to get an answer back immediately and we shared a little small talk about my plans for the rest of the day. I was going out for hike in my backyard near the Gold Lakes Highway which is an hour away from my home. It’s a little haven for me as you can find yourself surrounded by alpine lakes and the Majestic Sierra Buttes rising out of the landscape with their jagged peaks to tickle the sky. It’s a place I can breathe and relax, a place that restores, a place I am at peace. I didn’t get a chance to tell any of this to Christy, but she knew I was going for a hike with the intend of taking some pictures.
The answer about the ETA was delayed and didn’t come. Christy assured me that she would call to let me know when I can expect the check as soon as she would hear back from accounts payable. I thanked her for all of her help and her efforts in getting this straightened out and I told her that she didn’t have to do that. I knew she would follow up to ensure I was getting my money and that was perfect for me. I heard it in her sincerity, in her truly felt compassion as she was talking to me and I knew that if she could have made this whole thing disappear or to never make it happen the begin with, she would have. A moment of silence fell before Christy’s voice came back through the receiver and she said “You know what Mrs. ……., it is people like yourself that make my job just a little easier. Thank you very much. I thanked Christy and told her that it was a tall order having to call an upset customer to apologize for something like this. With certainty the person on the other end would be upset, maybe unable to keep their emotions and temper in check, only to let you have an ear full for sure. It would be up to you to make it right by apologizing for the mistake and oversight of somebody else, for something that you didn’t even do and I thanked her again for her help. Once again Christy responded and this time she said “Oh my god, you just made my day”. After a few more promises to follow up before the call ended, I felt elated that I could do something so minute to make her day.
Shortly afterwards I was on my way to my retreat, but Christy stayed on my mind long after. I wondered if she had to make similar calls like this in the past and it wasn’t hard to envision a different outcome. I have been there myself and knew all too well how it felt. Not getting a word, being yelled at, all while trying to apologize for something you were completely innocent of.
It was in those moments, thinking of Christy that the outline for this post was born and that I would somehow find a way to share with her that she had made my day as well. That I would take a picture for Christy to share my vision of my beautiful home, Mother Nature through my eyes, through my lens.
I guess what I am trying to say here is that the choice is ours of how we react to the things that happen around us and especially to the people around us. If we learn to become a little less selfish and show just a little more compassion for others while understanding that, well yes “shit happens” and it happens to everyone. Just imagine what could be! Realize that the power of one is strong and everybody can make a difference. It may has happened to you and you may have found yourself in the midst of somebody’s anger, but this is not one to pay forward and the choice is yours. I hope you choose to make a difference. Because you can. ❤️
These pictures were taken on that day and are dedicated to Christy. Thank you again for making a difference for me. You are amazing….