I'd had a bumpy morning. It started out pretty great (except I'd run out of coffee, bad omen), but other than that, all looked good. I had my first client call, then a meeting, then a team meeting. Somewhere amongst one of my meetings, I let my energetic state and mood be "corrupted". No one "put" me in that mood -- I created it.
It was cumulative; a little "ick" here, a little detail I didn't like "there", a remark that I made mean something that wasn't helpful here, and, um.. ya.. no coffee.
My energy was tight and constricted. My day followed suit.
The doorbell rang. It was the A/C man here to check out the unit. I said hello, let him in, and asked, "Where's the filter?"
"Oh, they were out of stock, I'll have to come back. You'll have to schedule another appointment."
And that was it...
The back story is somewhat relevant, but not really...This was the 3rd year in a row this had happened. Every time they "forgot" or were out of stock. Every time they had to come back. Every time needed another scheduling to install it. Every single time. Frustrating.
What made this visit particularly delightful and "self-justifying", was that I had done, in my mind, all I could to prevent a repeat. I'd specifically called the day before to confirm the tech would bring the filter. All good.
But alas, here he was. In my house. Smiling. Bright eyed, bushy tailed. No filter.
My "corrupted" energetic presence waiting for him.
I made an unhelpful snarky comment about customer service and loyalty.
And when I saw his face, and what seemed like all energy and joy leave his body, I felt like a complete jerk. (I was, by the way.)
"I know ma'am, I'm sorry. They said you made an extra call, so I went down to get the filter myself. I looked for an hour -- they didn't have it. So my day is behind by an hour, and here I am. I will do the maintenance and come back."
I was now the lady he'd go home and tell his wife about tonight when she asked how his day was. I was officially the lady who'd corrupt his energy and the rest of his day (if he let me).
I apologized for my tone, got him set up, then went back to work ashamed of my behavior.
He took great care of me. Was super nice. And then presented the receipt for me to sign.
I apologized again for my energy earlier. And what he said, I'll never forget:
"I was ready for you."
"Uhhh... Really? How so?"
"I get this every day. My office sends me out, a lot of times they're disorganized, the receptionist gets pissy because they get yelled at by the boss, then they pass that on to me, then we don't have the inventory so then the manager is mad, and his attitude is crap, and then I get that, and by the time I get to the actual client, the client, 90% of the time, is pissed. It's like a chain of events I can't win. Ya... I was ready for you."
Mr. Bright Eyed & Bushy Tailed was now deflated and anything but inspired to do good work.
I leaned in.
"You know, the truth is, when you showed up, I'd just gotten off an intense call, I was in a bad mood, and that filter set me off. I brought all that negative energy to you and you did not deserve that at all, I apologize. I know you made a special trip to get it for me. Thank you."
We ended up having a great heart-to-heart about contagious energy. I gave him a book (yes, I see the irony). The energy shifted. And he left.
I felt lucky that we were able to clean it up. But I was not proud. And it was a great reminder...
We're contagious. Our energy helps or hurts. How we show up matters. It creates expansiveness and connection or contraction and disconnection. It humanizes or de-humanizes. And it's all a choice.
I chose that morning to show up badly.
A quick breath, a reboot, a noticing of him as a human being standing on my porch doing his job, would have been a 30-second process that would have changed his day, my day, and the tone and experience of the whole engagement.
But alas, in my humanness, I made a human mess. Fixable, preventable, learnable.
This stuff happens fast. (It can get fixed fast too.) Showing up happens in the cracks, in the big moments and the little, and it makes things better or worse... But you have to choose. Your presence IS your impact, choose it well.
Invitation to play with this today; notice, breathe, choose, reboot, show up, and see what happens. Would love your shares below. Let's go...