Ten­sion — even lit­tle things can stir it up

The Boyertown Area Times - - OPINION - Jeff Hall Jeff Hall, of Honey Brook, con­trib­utes col­umns to Berks Mont News­pa­pers. Ques­tions/ com­ments may be di­rected to jef­frey­hall77@com­cast.net

Some­times, the sim­plest things in life cre­ate ten­sion in you. A few days af­ter Christ­mas I took our car to be ser­viced at a deal­er­ship. On the way, I passed close to the store that sells my fa­vorite donuts. I know I should not have been think­ing of this be­tween Christ­mas and New Year’s when most of us have overeaten or an­tic­i­pate do­ing so, but I thought if I could “get away” with a bill of less than $100 for the car, I would stop at the store on the way home for some of their de­li­cious donuts.

Barb gave me her old Kin­dle Fire to read my first book on­line. I feel like the Kin­dle has train­ing wheels on it be­cause I like to have the real book in my hands and I’m a page turner not a page slider. It helps to have Barb close by to ask her about var­i­ous prob­lems I en­counter. How­ever, I am proud to re­late that I did not have to use my flip phone of many years to con­tact her while I waited for the car. It was quite peace­ful as I waited in the deal­er­ship’s lounge sip­ping my peach iced tea and read­ing on the Kin­dle. As time passed and I got closer to an hour of wait time, the re­al­ity struck me that I might not en­joy those donuts af­ter all. I mean to tell you, ten­sion was build­ing. I thought too much about the car and had to shut­down the Kin­dle. I felt very silly when in my mind I com­pared my­self to my olden days in school wait­ing for my grade on a test for which I knew I hadn’t spent enough time study­ing the sub­ject mat­ter. Next, I thought about my ex­pe­ri­ences at my den­tist. At my age, I ex­pe­ri­ence more costly den­tal prob­lems than yes­ter­year. At this, my six month checkup, will the den­tist find much wrong? Another source of ten­sion!

I am happy to re­port that the car bill was un­der $100. Donuts, here I come! I se­lected the donuts and asked if I could pay for them in the bak­ery depart­ment since the donuts were the only things I would be buy­ing. No prob­lem there. I paid for the donuts and the per­son wait­ing on me told me to wait for a mo­ment while he got a “PAID STICKER” to put on the donut con­tainer. As he turned his back on me to go to the counter be­hind him to get the sticker, he left the cash reg­is­ter drawer, that was within arm’s reach of me, open. Work­ing in Risk Man­age­ment for much of my ca­reer, the cash in the drawer was just call­ing to me: “Take Me”.

Ob­vi­ously, since I am writ­ing about this ex­pe­ri­ence, I did not help my­self. I said noth­ing to the em­ployee.

The next cause of ten­sion was get­ting to my car in the park­ing lot as quickly as pos­si­ble since my taste buds were start­ing to kick in (dumb me – now Barb knows I bought one more donut than I brought home in the pack­age). Oh no! The slow shop­pers were block­ing my way and I couldn’t get around them to get to my car to sat­isfy my yearn­ings. Once out­side the store, I length­ened and sped up my stride. In­side the car, I turned on the heater, put my seat belt on, and sat in the park­ing lot and de­voured my glazed crois­sant, sip­ping my iced tea. Paradise!

Upon en­ter­ing our house, Barb and I im­me­di­ately took our places at the kitchen table and en­joyed a donut. But what about that open cash drawer? I felt bad not men­tion­ing it to the store em­ployee. Fin­ish­ing our snack, I de­cided to re­tire my fi­nal ten­sion by call­ing the store and speak­ing with the store man­ager about the open cash drawer. He was very pleas­ant, said the store had trained its em­ploy­ees not to leave unat­tended cash draw­ers open and it was time for some re­train­ing.

Yes, there were some ten­sions in my trip but I made it through each one: small car bill, tasty donuts and pos­si­bly saved the store some money in the fu­ture.

I thought too much about the car and had to shut- down the Kin­dle. I felt very silly when in my mind I com­pared my­self to my olden days in school wait­ing for my grade on a test for which I knew I hadn’t spent enough time study­ing the sub­ject mat­ter.

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