Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Lent: Above

The word for today is "Above," a nice focus for direction, or for perspective.

Keeping your eyes fixed on what is above means not being preoccupied with the things that bring us down. In the same way, looking at things from above helps us to keep perspective. Viewing the city from above shows us the way traffic drifts from one neighborhood into another. It lets us see commuters as they go to work, follow the households as they carry hard-earned cash to the business district, and track our streams and our wildlife as they move from one green area to another.

Viewed from above, there are no neighborhoods. There's just a city, with all its flaws, inequities, triumphs and selling points on display.

Above also can be a vantage point that gives you perspective, and frees to laugh at things that otherwise might annoy.

Tonight was Beloved Wife's birthday, so the girls and I took her out to eat at Chili's. Our server was distracted, so it took her a while to order our food, and even longer before it arrived. When it did arrive, someone accidentally spilled a piece of it on the floor.

Life happens. It was one piece of flatbread of four, and the woman who spilled it promised to bring my daughter a replacement right away.

My daughter set to eating, and it didn't come.

She finished her meal, and it hadn't come.

About a half-hour after the food had spilled, not only hadn't its replacement come, the old was still there, staring at us from below, lying on the floor where it had been dropped.

I took a picture and started to livetweet the flatbread, tagging Chili's in each post. Employees walked over it. It stayed on the floor. The manager walked past it twice. It stayed on the floor. Other customers at the restaurant walked over it and on it. It stayed on the floor, and I started livetweeting how many people had stepped on it.

About 35 minutes after the server had spilled the food, she came back to ask if we were ready for dessert. I pointed out the food on the floor, not for the first time, and mentioned that my daughter still was waiting for the replacement.

Later, when we were ready to go, we took one of those automated surveys intended to gauge customer satisfaction. "The restaurant was clean," was the prompt. My family, who had been following my livetweets of the flatbread saga, cracked up.

"See your Twitter feed," my daughter advised the restaurant. (To this date I haven't received an acknowledgment.)

Spilled food? No big deal. Not replaced in a timely manner? Disappointing.

Perspective gained by staying above the situation and laughing at it? Indispensible.

Copyright © 2017 by David Learn. Used with permission.

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