A recent Church Primary project nessitated a visit to Staples on a wet Saturday morning. As I was walking into the store I noticed a man carry three large plastic boxes out towards the car park area. He was a little shorter than me but was able to carry the three plastic boxes easily and was avoiding obstacles in his way (such as me!) because he could see through the clear plastic boxes. I assumed that there must be a good deal on the boxes.
As I ented the store, I noted that they did indeed have a fairly good deal on the plastic boxes, but I didn't need any as I purchased a few from Ikea not too long ago. I spent around twenty minutes in Staples, mainly because I couldn't find what I need to start with and partly because I was looking longingly at boxes of 1000 biro's and multipacks of notebooks...
Anyway, after I had made my purchase and left the store I head back to my car and pass the man I had passed on my way in to Staples. The man is standing by his car looking visibly frustrated; Basically he looked like he was about to explode into tears or punch the nearest wall in a fit of anger.
I don't know why, because I didn't want to be the thing he punched, but I asked him if he was okay.
"No. I'm trying to put these three boxes into my car and they just won't fit!"
I looked at him for a moment, because I like you had immediately realised the solution to his problem. I suggested that he took the lids off the boxes and stacked the boxes inside of each other.
The man looked at me as if I was stupid.
I further commented that he might then be able to fit the lids in the boot of his car (along with the boxes) or if needs be he could put them into the footwell of the back seat.
The man again looked at me as if I was stupid, but I smiled back at him with my award winning smile* and he slowly started to do as I suggested, probably just so he could prove me wrong, but I like to think it was my smile that won him over.
As the man puts the stacked boxes into the boot of his car, I could see him start to relax from the wanting to cry or punch someone self enduced rage he had put himself into.
The man looked at me (now getting very curly hair in the drizzle, but still with that award winning smile) and laughed with a little shake of his head.
"I've been standing here for twenty minutes in the rain trying to work out how I was going to get these boxes home. I'm obviously an idiot!"
Now, I could have told him that he was an idiot (especially for looking at me as I was stupid!) but I told him that he wasn't an idiot, he was just too close to the problem to see the solution and that hopefully the rest of his day would be better.
The man got in his car, still chuckling over his own stupidity as I headed to mine.
I bet only one of us shared this little exchange to our Facebook and Blog friends however!