I recently went to one of the local home improvement stores to buy some lighting items for my office. Since I am not an electrician, I was looking to have the “experts” at this store assist me in this endeavor. Upon arriving and having gone to the lighting department, I was confronted with a couple of challenges.

First, there was a pallet full of boxes parked right in front of the area that I was wanting to get to. In addition, one of their roll-around ladders was parked there as well. This ladder was occupied (he was sitting on it) by an employee having a telephone conversation. As I attempted to maneuver through and around these obstacles, I thought he might notice my attempt to find something, but evidently not as he just continued in his conversation. (Are you getting where this might be going?).

Shortly thereafter I was approached by another employee who, in word, asked me if I needed any assistance. His non-verbal message and attitude, however, was more like, “Why are you here? I don’t want to deal with you. You are not important. Get out of my way.” Needless to say, I was not impressed. “I’ll show them.” I thought to myself as I frustratedly left the store to drive to their “newer” store.

Upon arrival I again found my way to the lighting department. I also did not find all of what I was looking for, but I was directed to another area to find the missing pieces that would make my journey complete.

So I went to this other area, but could not find these other items. I was directed to the “Customer Service” desk to get the assistance I was looking for. When I approached the desk, the employee gave me a look (Yep, the same look as before at the other store) as he begrudgingly asked me what I needed. He then dragged himself up and off his chair to try to help. After his own search and a phone call it was determined that they did not have these other items.

“Fine”, I thought, “I’ll just get everything down the road at THE competition. They will for sure have everything I am looking for.” So I angrily left my full shopping cart of items right there in the middle of the store and headed off for store #3...“I guess I showed them, too!!”

“Store #3...yes a brand new start,” I thought to myself as I was trying to let go of the frustration that had been building. I immediately went to the lighting department and found all but one item that I was seeking. I asked the employee who was stocking the area about this other item and he directed me to the back of the store. So I went...I looked...I found not.

I was asked by another employee if I needed any help and I told her yes. She called someone and told me that he would be right there.

Five minutes.

Ten minutes.

She passed again and asked if he had shown up. When I told her no, she called again and assured me that I would be taken care of shortly.

Five more minutes.

Ten more minutes.

She passed yet once again and told me that she would get someone else to help me. There he was, as she pointed to him. He was on the phone and continued to stay on the phone for all of another five minutes.

I was done!! I walked back to the lighting area (Man, can I ever walk fast when I’m angry!!) and got all the items that they did have and concluded that I would figure out the rest later. After all, I am hiring an electrician to actually do the work, so he can figure it out!!

As I was driving home I noticed my mood...angry, negative, and pissy!! The conversation in my head was about the “lack of quality and customer service these days”. I went into “When I was in retail...”

I was in a funk. I had totally allowed myself to be influenced by these external forces...yikes; I had allowed myself to become a “victim”.

So after an hour or so of ranting and raving to whoever I could find to listen (who was mostly myself), I settled down and asked myself a couple of simple questions:

What do I want to do with this space that I’m in?

How can I reap something positive out of this experience?

You are reading the answer to the second question. When I am able to write something out, I feel better. Furthermore, when I am able to share it with others it is inevitable that people get something helpful out of the story to help their own lives. And that always makes the experience worthwhile for me.

The answer to the first question was simple, but difficult (Yes, the primary paradox of Life!): Let it go and turn this manure into some fertilizer. Are you feeling fertilized as you read this?

We have a huge responsibility to watch over our energy, mood, and attitude. Left unattended we can be easily influenced by outer forces that can leave us with some less-than-good energy.

I was reminded of my own BBC approach to Life:




I am responsible for all three of these dynamics in my life, as you are in yours. So I invite you to do a regular BBC check-in with yourself. And if you happen to work at a home improvement store, just think about the effect you could have on someone’s day...who knows, you could say just the right thing that would leave a positive impact for all of humankind.

Author's Bio: 

I provide mental health counseling, marriage counseling and relationship counseling to help professionals and their families eliminate stress, maximize success and create extraordinary relationships at home, at work and in the community. As a mental health counselor, marriage counselor and relationship counselor my number one goal is to help people live their lives and relationships fully and completely. I've been offering counseling, coaching, and educational programs since 1987. My programs are focused on empowering people to have more successful lives, businesses and relationships. You'll always find FREE Life and Relationship Success Special Reports at http://kendonaldson.com/. I'm also the author of Marry YourSelf First! Say "I DO" to a Life of Passion, Power, Purpose and Prosperity http://www.marryyourselffirstbook.com/