Life Is About Managing Your Expectations

Sometimes I hate to go shopping because I know parking is going to be difficult, the store will be crowded and they’ll have 987 registers but only two of them will be open.

The adventure won’t be made any more enjoyable by the people in the parking lot who will ask me to sign a petition by the girl scouts selling cookies by the entrance/exits.

Heck, those girls garbed in green will be accompanied by at least one parent who will kvetch at my refusal to buy a box.

Don’t they know that I am getting hit up by neighbors, coworkers and Facebook friends who constantly publish status updates about how they can help us get our fix of Thin mints.

Why Can’t You Be Nice?

Most of the time I mumble something that sounds like no, thank you and go about my business. It usually works and people let me go about my business but every now and then I get lucky.

I am not talking about the kind of luck where you find $300 in a parking lot like I did this past summer.

No, I am talking about the kind of luck that comes when you encounter that man/woman who insists on pushing you to buy just one box because the girls need/deserve it.

Some of you can relate, some of you are like me and you know that when you pull a card from the deck it is almost always going to be the Joker and this one is wild.

“Thank you sir, I am good for now.”

But that is not good enough for him, no he has to step in front of you and say it is only a few dollars. Your polite refusal isn’t good enough but your nice taught you to be nice so you say, “sometimes things don’t work out the way we want. It is a great time to teach these girls about managing expectations. Use it a teaching moment.”

The smile on your face confuses him but not enough to stop him from taking one step too many towards you and you just know that in a moment it is going to get…ugly.

“Why can’t you be nice and just buy a few boxes.”

It is not a question and you are not the kind of guy who likes to be questioned about your willingness or lack thereof to do anything.

But you remember mom telling you to be nice so you try to walk around him and discover he is unwilling to let you go.

That train full of ugly is about to pull into the station.

Toddler Me Knew Better

Forty some years ago I went through a phase where I would introduce myself to other kids and then hit them.

When my parents asked me why I said something like I wanted to hit them before they hit me. I don’t have to tell you whether my parents found this acceptable and or embarrassing because the answer is obvious.

What might be less obvious is how smart a kid I was because my behavior mirrored the sort of reason and logic some of our elected officials use today.

It might be unfair to say, but if my folks hadn’t taught me that was wrong I might not have had to ride the ugly train and deal with the cookie pusher, but they did.

Fortunately I have a very good memory so when the cookie pusher put his forehead a quarter inch from mine and said I better buy a box I knew exactly what to do.

I headbutted him and then kicked him in the balls…twice.

Come to think of it, if there is a sign that I am aging that has to be it, in the old days all I would have needed was one headbutt and maybe a kick.

This aging thing kind of sucks.

Toddler me knew better.

You might wonder if the story above is truth or fiction but I am not really sure I want to give you an answer because if you think that two men could fight over Girl scout cookies in a parking lot you might need to stop reading the news.

Then again I probably should rephrase that to say something about your needing to stop watching the news because no one reads anymore, isn’t that why newspapers are dying.

Still for the sake of clarity I will say I have never had a physical altercation about Girl Scout cookies. But I am not lying about a guy yelling at me to be generous and spend a couple of bucks on a box, that did happen.

Nor am I lying about being irritated by seeing 985 empty registers on a crowded Sunday afternoon. What is the point of having all those registers if you are not going to fill/use them.

It is a great time to teach these girls about managing expectations. Use it a teaching moment.Click To Tweet

It is high time for me to do more than begin living the life I imagine. It is time for me to manage my expectations and remember that when I install a new theme at about 11 PM it is definitely going to take more than a few minutes to install.

Technically I know better because I have done this enough to know there is always something that slows it down but I always expect to be faster at it because I have done it before.

The good news is several days later I have worked out a bunch of the kinks in the new look, but not all. I need to set aside some time to do some trouble shooting and digging around.

Now if only I had some Girl Scout cookies to snack on while I work…

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  1. Danny Brown October 13, 2015 at 9:48 am

    I remember giving to the Salvation Army for the longest time. Until I saw a damning TV expose on exactly where that money was going (no wonder their uniforms and instruments were always shiny and clean).

    I’ve always wondered about the girl scout cookies – it’s a very North American thing that I’ve only just gotten to know about in the last 10 years. Why are there no Boys Brigade cookies?

    I’d want to know that, next time a stranger asks a dumb question or makes a dumb statement.

    • Joshua Wilner October 13, 2015 at 9:43 pm

      The challenge with many charities for me is trying to figure out if I believe that enough of my donation is going to the people who need it. If I believe they are doing a solid job I am usually cool with management making a couple of bucks.

      Don’t know why it is only the girls selling cookies, just know that is how it is.

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