A few years ago, the business at which I am employed had somewhat of an "encounter" with one of our delivery personnel.
On this particular day, said individual arrived smelling a little less fragrant than roses. And not the good kind, but more like the Outkast song. If you know what I mean.
Not only did he decide to stay and chat with us far longer than on any normal day -- I think we were talking about fish, appropriately enough -- but also requested a visit to the little boy's room. Being people of copious liquid consumption whose bladders are also top priority on long car rides we conceded amicably. After he left we could do nothing but wonder at the presence of this person and his odd odor. So strong was it that when he left I had to light a candle to clear the room.
And then I had to pee.
Boys and girls let me tell you, such horror I have not experienced in all my life. Being a person unreasonably afraid of bodily functions I could not contain myself and immediately fled to tell my coworkers. Let's just say there was more than pee on the seat. And the floor. And the wall.
The mess did get cleaned up, in the appropriate new-age way with essential oils and Ecover cleaners and all the like. And I did face my fear to participate. We did gossip and say mean things. We did judge and act catty. We did feel totally grossed out.
Flash forward a week or so, to my coworker deciding to exercise her powers of Authority in calling the offending party's employer to file an official complaint. As it turns out, this man's wife was the one she spoke to and responded in the most agreeable of ways, with assurance that it would never happen again and much apologizing.
Flash forward a few more weeks. The incident is all but forgotten, and the complaining party (my coworkers and I) still reminiscent upon the wrong that was done to us and our great strength in confronting it. All is well.
Until the day we receive a call from the company in question informing us that our previous driver had recently died of a bowel obstruction and would not be delivering to us any longer. He had also been dealing with severe joint issues and copious other health problems, but needed to work to keep the company moving. And so he did, until the very end.
Now I'm not saying it's possible to ignore when you feel wronged. Nor do I think you should. But I do think that with every coin there is two sides, as with any interaction involving more than one person. To forget yourself and your beliefs does not work. But to displace blame doesn't either. The only way to move forward is to move outside of yourself sometimes, to work with one another by really hearing one another. To seek to listen as much as to talk. Because no one is an island.