Life, Death, and Low Tire Pressure Warnings

I woke up at 3:20 this morning.  This is nothing new.  I get up at 3:20 every Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.  Doing this week after week for the last four years has not gotten me accustomed to doing it.  I still growl every morning when my alarm goes off.  I tell myself, I just have to get through {whichever day it is} and I will be ok.  If I survive through Tuesday, I have the next four days to sleep until whatever hour I like.  Today is Monday, so I have already gotten past the first two terrible mornings of my week, so after tomorrow, I should be fine.  The trouble is, I tend to be pretty grumpy on Monday.  It’s a combination of things, I think.  I hate getting up early on Sunday, but I have time to settle in to work on Sunday, as I have 2 hours to prepare before I start seeing customers.  On Monday, however, I only have an hour to prepare, and in addition, I am alone for the first 20 minutes of being open for business, which doesn’t sound all that bad, but can be frustrating, especially if I don’t hit the restroom before opening the doors to the public.  Now this morning, things just started out all wrong.  It was cold.  Granted, it is September so I should expect it to be cold, but that does not change the fact that I hate showering in the frigid early morning.  No, I don’t shower outdoors or anything like that, but no matter how hot I make the shower water, it is still cold in my bathroom when I have to exit the shower.  I shiver around my house until I have to scurry to my car in the dark and drive to work.  As soon as I started my car this morning, I got angry.  The “low tire pressure” light lit up on my dashboard.  This wouldn’t be such a bad thing, except for the fact that the first truly cold day of every year since I bought this car, the “low tire pressure” light goes on.  The first year, I called the dealer and they told me not to worry about it.  It only lit up because of the drop in temperature and once the weather warmed up, it would shut off.  Sure enough, a few months later, it finally did turn off and my car seemed fine.  Last year, however, the same thing happened and while driving on the highway, my front tire actually blew out and I nearly had an accident.  This also lead me to purchase a brand new tire for a car that barely had 5000 miles on it.  This angered me back then, so when I saw the light this morning, obviously I was concerned.  Now, even though it is such a trivial issue, I was grumpy.  This carried over to work, where I was short tempered with just about everyone.  Every little thing that went wrong annoyed me more than it should have and I felt like I was looking for a reason to bite someone’s head off.  I know we all have bad days, but when I have a bad day, I seem to try to make it as bad as possible.  I know I shouldn’t, but I tend to be self loathing and make every problem I have the most important and frustrating thing I concern myself with.  Today, I was looking at the world through angry eyes. Then something happened.

One of my employees found out, while working no less, that a good friend of his had passed away last night.  Suddenly, my low tire pressure warning didn’t seem so bad.  Without really thinking about it, my mood changed.  This guy I work with, who, to be fair, isn’t always one of our favorites, suddenly had a life outside of work.  He had family and friends.  Friends who could pass away suddenly on a random Sunday night.  The problems I had, the frustrations I was feeling, set themselves aside for a few minutes while I took time to see this employee as a person.  Just like me, he had things to deal with.  Just like me, all of the employees I work with had things going on in their lives.  Things that, to them, at any given moment, are the most important issues in the world.  Then people pass away and none of it matters.

I got my tire issue taken care of after I left work today.  It took about an hour and didn’t cost me anything.  One hour out of my day was spent waiting for my tires to be rotated.  A few hours before that, this was the most pressing issue in my life, sacrificing my time to fix a minor car issue.  I didn’t have to go home knowing a friend of mine was no longer alive.  I didn’t have to think about the family of this guy who had to put aside everything in their lives to mourn their loss.  I bet they weren’t worried about their tires on the way to the hospital to say good-bye.  I guess I should really stop being grumpy on Monday morning.

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~ by James on September 24, 2012.

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