A strange thing happens when you’re in a hurry. You end up making compromises. For example, I drive my kids to daycare and school each morning before I go into work. When I get to the school, there are signs along the driveway carefully ensuring you navigate to your destination without causing undue traffic. One sign is a “No Left Turn” even though you see that you can turn left to drop kids off at the secondary school. The reason for this is the school would rather you drive forward another 50 feet to the roundabout, come back and turn RIGHT into the secondary school entrance.
Makes sense, right? Well…it does unless you are running late, then that left turn looks SO tempting.
I know this….because almost every day as I am leaving the school grounds, I get stopped at that same exact spot when a secondary parent has turned left before the lane was clear, thus blocking my exit. 🙁
Now, I get it. I’ve been late more times than I would like to count. I have made the same type of decisions that ultimately impact others while not actually gaining any real benefit. I THINK there will be a benefit. However, when it is all said and done, I have not gained anything, but I have negatively impacted others. As I was negatively impacted in the above scenario.
Ironically, I have multiple situations during this same drive that create the same cause/effect scenario. When I drop my son off, he likes me walking him into school. So, instead of pulling up to the curb and dropping him off, I go to the side parking lot, park, walk him in, then walk back, get in my car and go on my way.
Funny thing. By the time I leave, there is a line of parents waiting to drop their kids off at the curb. Important note: the line to the curb is a LEFT turn….in order for me to exit, it’s a RIGHT turn. Now, take your DOL handbooks out…who has right a way? Yep…the right hand turner, me. 🙂 Who ends up waiting for someone who is turning left to let me through, me. 🙂
Again, it’s not costing them anything to let me pass, they won’t lose their place in line. They won’t even be delayed, because they can move up the line after I pass and still have 30-40 feet to go before they can actually drop their kid off. But they PERCEIVE that they will benefit from turning and not letting me in, when instead they are only delaying my departure.
What’s the point? Am I just ranting? Well….maybe. HA! Just kidding. Honestly, I don’t even mind. It’s not a huge drain on my time frame. I’m either already running late and a few more minutes won’t cause me harm, or I’m on-time and still have the freeway to delay me. Either way, I’m going to be late!
The point is that perception will beat reality. I’m sure that while reading this, you’ve probably recalled these scenarios….both being the delayer or the delayed. But, let’s be honest, how many times have you been the delayer and actually realized that there was nothing gained by delaying others? Probably none. I know I hadn’t realized it…until I did, and decided to write this post about it.
It’s all perspective, right? And what better time to try and gain it than when you are sitting in traffic or waiting in line. Try to put yourself in the other side, the other mindset, and that might might make things easier to digest. Yes, running late is not a great feeling, but is it worth making others run late as well? Maybe by working on NOT being the delayer, you will end up not being the delayed.