But me, I’m rather fascinated by how strange the best and the worst of us are. And l love trying to formulate a kind of “behavior set” or logic matrix that might explain the wondrous [or goofy or inane] behaviors of others.
An aspect that I sometimes see in people that I find admirable I call “situation saving.” These are people who step in to save people when they make an unfortunate faux pau or otherwise say something ignorant or inappropriate or goofy. Now, I don’t mean any of this in a kind of meta-sense. Most of the transactions that I observe are small; they happen, are forgotten and life moves on.
AN EXAMPLE: This morning I stopped in a one-man clock-repair shop, just as it opened, to get a new battery for a watch. [Yes, I’m a dinosaur. I wear a watch. Leave me alone!] While waiting for my watch to get taken care of [Which should have taken just a scant minute!], other customers came in with minor problems that the repair guy tended to without charge: straightening a numeral on a lady‘s clock; removing a link from a fellow‘s watch; then, directing the lady, who’d returned, to a cell-phone store she was eager to find. When my battery-replacement thing was done, and the guy had told me the charges, a very reasonable five bucks, I said, “Boy, you’re very busy this morning, but not making much money. Hopefully some good-paying business will come in -- a guy with a busted cuckoo clock or something.” The repair guy was flummoxed on how to respond to the odd thing I said! I was sticking my jerky nose into his business! The repair guy FAILED to save the situation.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, kind reader: I was a jerk and the repair guy was basically kind-hearted. This is true; this is so very true, but it misses the point. The repair guy did not have the presence of mind to save my sorry ass when I said something stupid. He didn’t have “situation saving” moxie.
He could have said “Yeah, hopefully either an expensive cuckoo clock will come in for me to overhaul, or a grandfather clock that had fallen down a long flight of stairs.” And then my point wouldn’t have seemed so crass, and me and the repair guy could’ve smacked palms in a high-five and gone about our happy days
Now, again, here, I know what you’re thinking, kind reader: Maybe -- even probably -- the guy takes his job quite seriously, loved clocks, got into his business because he admired well-made, perfectly performing clocks and he would be in pain to see a busted cuckoo clock or a badly damaged grandfather clock. He’s sort of a clock physician: His mission in life is to restore timepieces to good health.
So, how about this: The repair guy could have changed the subject abruptly to save my embarrassment. He could have said, “Why, Tom, I’m having a great day, so far! Don’t you fret about me! And I must say, this Fossil Avenger you wear is quite nice. What a joy for me to handle it. It’s an heirloom!”
Oh Kay. Oh Kay. I know what it is you’re thinking. Reader. A Fossil Avenger is crap. If the watch guy delights in fine timepieces, he cannot, with any integrity, say anything nice about my beat-up old watch. The guy should have been flummoxed, you’re thinking. There simply is no way to save a jerk like me in the hairy situation I’d gotten myself into.
You know, reader: You are no damn help AT ALL. I go to all this trouble just to tell you a little bit about my day and I have this list of many, many aspects of people’s personalities I find interesting and want to share and HERE YOU’VE GONE AND SPOILED EVERYTHING!
You can just take your nitpicky little mind and point your beady eyes at SOMEBODY ELSE’S BLOG. I’VE HAD IT. I QUIT THIS POST. IT‘S OVER. Why couldn’t I have imagined you saying nice, soothing things, Reader? What's wrong with you!? GET OUTTA HERE!