Approaching the counter, Dana began telling the surprised woman just what she thought of her and it wasn’t too awfully nice. She suggested she get new glasses and that she better know what she was talking about before accusing her of anything. Just who did she think she was? She was nothing but a low-life clerk that couldn’t get a better job if it was handed to her.
Another woman rushed over and tried to indicate she thought there must be a problem. Dana rudely and fiercely shook her finger at the target of her fury. “That woman. That woman dared to accuse me of stealing.”
“What?” The intercepting woman exclaimed? “You think she accused you of stealing? You misunderstood.”
“No, I didn’t,” the red-faced young woman continued to scream. “Don’t try to protect this stupid, irrelevant change collector.”
The mediator abruptly stepped back and eyed Dana with disgust. “That’s enough. It’s time you leave.”
Still lost in her fury, she exclaimed, “Me leave? I’m the customer. She better not be here when I come back.”
“I don’t think you understand. You are no longer welcome here. Do not come back.”
“What? You’re taking her side over mine? I’m the customer and she is nobody and this ignorant nobody accused me of stealing.” Dana continued screaming and pointing her finger at the focus of her anger. “And don’t try to defend her. She said I was the one that had the blouse.”
“The woman you are so rudely and wrongly insulting, happens to be the owner of this and many other stores. Secondly, if you had paid attention, you would have noticed that we have a promotion going on. The first person to try on a particular blouse was to be the winner of $500 merchandise and dinner out. You were that winner. She was indicating you were the one that won.” The impatient manager responded. “If you had paid attention to what was going on around you and listened to what was actually said, we would all be celebrating your win. Instead, you reacted inappropriately based upon a false perception. Worse, you refused to listen when I tried to clarify and instead went on reacting to what you wrongly thought happened at the hands of this lady you viciously attacked with your false accusations and wrongful insults.”
The incident above is a composite of things I have seen in life and meant merely as an example to make a point. People do tend to react to what they think they know… what they think they saw… what they think they heard… rather than what actually transpired. They just don’t always make it so obvious and they don’t always get called on it. Sometimes, it is a pack thing, with everyone responding to the same incorrect belief. It’s never right and it is never good.
I’ve often written about the Sara and Gary Harvey case. It’s an ongoing saga that has its ups and downs as to the intensity of wrong that is transpiring and it always leaves me feeling like the woman who rushed over and kept trying to explain there was a misunderstanding and that the reaction has been to a false perception, rather than to what was actually taking place. You see, like Dana, those who should be slowing down and taking a good look at what is going on — seem too busy reacting to a wrongful perception and closing all else out. Some simply will not listen. Some simply will not consider they made a mistake. Some simply seem to feel the woman behind the counter is a nobody that freely deserves all their anger and insults. Sometimes though, the nobodies aren’t the bad guys they are assumed to be. Sometimes they are, instead, actually somebodies who were merely trying to do something good for someone else and that good got misunderstood and blown out of portion and into a rage that never should have been. Sometimes those nobodies, that are actually somebodies, are people like Sara Harvey, who were wrongly labeled by someone like our story’s Dana. The difference is… in our story… someone was there to defend and clarify. In actual life, those wrongful labels sometimes never get shaken and too often all (or most) things to follow are reactions to those inaccurate perceptions that continue to define all that happens.
What ‘IF’: Perceptions & Weapons