Are you kidding me? I’m sitting in the musty Smog Check waiting room, watching through the window as the 18-year old kid with the greasy hands tries to get my car done before closing time. I’m already annoyed about this “creative” way that the state of California takes my money. Then I see another customer, a woman in a ratty blue jean jacket and Giants cap, who won’t stop talking to the kid while he works on my car.
He continued to work, occasionally nodding his head to let her know she wasn’t being ignored. But I could hear her inane ramblings through the open door, “Hey I drove the car just like you said for 15 minutes and it only made that noise when I pushed the brakes and I don’t think it’s serious because the brakes stopped the car alright. Hey did you know I started Weight Watchers again? This time I already lost 7 pounds and I’m on my way to being my skinny self again. Hey is that a classic mustang in that calendar? I just love mustangs.”
I’m getting more and more agitated as I watch. Is she not getting the hint that he has work to do? And more importantly, is he going to get my car done with all that yakking in his ear? Geez, some people are so inconsiderate!
When the kid finished he came into the little side room to ring me up. I couldn’t help but say something, “Hey… she’s a real talker, huh?”
I fully expected him to join in with my sarcasm about Chatty Cathy outside, but he surprised me with a smile, “Yeah, she’s a regular customer. She helps out senior citizens in Tracy who have a hard time getting their smog check and registration done on their cars. I don’t mind her at all.”
As my face dropped from agitation into embarrassment, Chatty Cathy came in through the glass door. I felt really guilty for thinking bad thoughts about this angel who was working hard to help out her neighbors. She looked right at me with her bright blue eyes and said, “Well hello there! Are you happy?”
She caught me off guard. I replied, “You mean happy in my life in general, or happy that my car just passed the smog check?”
She smiled. “God wants us to be glad in all things, even smog checks.”
I signed my credit card slip, shook her hand and thanked her for brightening my day. I haven’t been SO wrong about someone in quite a while… I had judged that book without even picking it up off the shelf.
Let’s all slow down a bit.