Monday, January 21, 2013

Three or More Gathered

Since initiating this website, I have seen the importance of getting out of my writing chair, out of my house, and purposing to be among people. 

There is a reality that is not portrayed in movies, one with flaws that don't resolve, or unsung successes that appear not unique enough to the masses.
photo courtesy of

I may think I can suppose how a person may react to a certain situation given my own life's experiences, books I've read, stories I've heard from others, and movies. But it isn't until I step into someone else's world and observe people in their momentary situation that I can understand a unique response.

I went to the county health department. I approached the window to ask a question. Three workers did not notice. Instead they were heavily engaged in a discussion.

One stood, holding files. Her eyebrows sharply angled down and her left arm moved about, animating her words and sorting files in an unorchestrated rhythm. Her words escalated marking a mounting frustration, "I'm just sayin..." as she faced the woman sitting at the window. 

The second woman, sitting in the seat by the customer window, held a calm demeanor. Not to say it reflected a person who held control, but more of the clueless one. She shook her head and shifted her shoulders in tiny movements. Barely responding to the agitated woman. She tipped her head indicating she didn't care about the issue. In this whole time she flicked her eyes once toward the window, confirming she knew we were there. She made no attempts to stop the conversation to do service those at the window. Instead, her hands remained casual, one resting in her lap the other on the counter.

A third woman walked into the scene. Her head moved from the agitated woman to the clueless one back and forth as if watching a ping pong game. Her right arm secured a stack of files. She softly said "Let's..." and in truth I could not hear the rest of her words.

The agitated woman rolled her eyes, huffed, and turned away.
The clueless one turned to the window and opened it. "May I help you." Her sweet voice rang.

The clueless woman sent me around the corner to the window offering the service needed. I walked there and found the agitated woman. She reached up, opened the window and smiled. "May I help you?"

Interesting. It struck me that in many office settings I had worked, the inner sanctum area for employees only often allow true colors to shine. But then, when the employees return to the place where customers/clients/patients are, they don a professional smile.

And now, that I have seen from the outside, what I knew from the inside, I have a better perspective  an understanding that will guide me when I write stories, and when I have opportunity to witness.

There is more that can be observed from these three women. What else do you see?


Janice said...

I see an opportunity to engage the agitated woman with a question such as "I could not help but overhear that you are really concerned about something. Is it something you would like me to offer a prayer over?"

Also, the third woman in the picture portrayed seems to be acting as the force to remind the ladies of the reason they are there, the reason they are being paid to be there, and that is to serve the customer. The third lady may be in a supervisory role or she may be a peacekeeper by nature or on assignment by God.

I also notice that the three appear as if on a teeter-totter with the one who does not care about the issue up in the air on her side without a clue as to how to get back down to ground and the agitated lady is stuck down to the ground by the weight of her burden. The third lady goes to the center and evens out the weight so both of the first two ladies can get off the teeter-totter and back on their feet.

You are a very thorough noticer, Mary. Thanks for sharing your view.


Mary Vee Writer said...

What a great analogy, the teeter-totter! Addresses all the personalities yet shows how they interact together.

The person acting as the center, as you noted, is the one helping the other two overcome their barriers.

Thanks for stopping by Janice. Always love chatting with you.