Friday Counseling Issues: People

People are interesting, aren’t they?

I swim laps at our local YMCA.  When it gets busy, you expect to share a lap lane with another swimmer.  There’s plenty of room for two people in a lane.

Not for one woman. She feels she’s entitled to her own lane, and anyone else can just wait. If you happen to be in “her” lane before she gets there, she makes things uncomfortable.  She has actually gotten into pushy/shovy arguments with others. This is a woman in her 60’s, and  you’d think she’d know better.


A counseling office is not set up like a medical office, where two or three people have the same time slot with the doctor, who goes running back and forth among them while they are undressing, or dressing, or just sitting there cooling their heels. In our counseling office, a counselor is scheduled with ONE client at the top of the hour. A counseling session is 45 minutes.  What’s the extra 15 minutes for?  Notes, bathroom breaks, time to stretch and get your head back on straight before the next client comes in.

The other day, this guy comes in with no appointment, demanding to see his counselor RIGHT NOW!  “Sorry,” says the secretary. “He’s on vacation and won’t be back until next week. I’d be glad to set up an appointment. . . .”

“I NEED TO SEE SOMEONE RIGHT NOW!!  Isn’t there anyone who’s free?  I’ll see anyone!”

“I’m sorry, Mr. Fuss and Feathers, but all our counselors are with clients and they all have people coming in.”

“Well, tell someone they’ll have to wait!  Don’t you understand?  I need to see someone NOW!”

Mr. Fuss and Feathers continued to rant until one of the male counselors dismissed his client and came out to see what the bother was.  He talked with Mr F&F  for about 15 minutes, giving up his bathroom break.  And of course the problem wasn’t really all that serious.  Mr. F&F must be a pure joy to live with.

Then there was the lady this morning who hesitantly tapped my shoulder as I surfaced to make my turn in the lap lane, asking me if she could share my lane. Of course, says I, no problem.  And we swam comfortably together for maybe 15 minutes until the lane next to her cleared out.  She thanked me and ducked under the lane divider.

See how easy it is to just be polite?

On Tuesday morning, first work day for me after the huge snowstorm, I pulled into the parking lot, which had been well-plowed, and parked my car with no trouble at all.  Someone else pulled in right beside me, on the driver’s side, parking too closely for me to get out.  I put my window down and made a “roll your window down” motion. He lowered his window, and I explained the problem. You just never know how someone is going to react.  There are no markings in our gravel parking lot, so you just have to be paying attention when you park.

To my immense relief, he apologized, backed out, and re-parked so that I had plenty of room.

See how easy it is just to be courteous?

Mr. Fuss and Feathers could take a few lessons from Miss Manners.  You don’t have to agree with everyone all the time, but you can always just be polite.

2 thoughts on “Friday Counseling Issues: People

  1. Pingback: People, People! – Just Writing!

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