Hello, Benjamin from Brother’s Campfire here!
Yesterday, I dropped the kids off to school and received a call; the Family Medical Leave of Absence paperwork was completed for me to return to work. FMLA is a way to take unpaid time from work for specific family and medical reasons.
Becoming sceptical of the ability of large institutions to get anything done, I went to the local grocery store and purchased a primary source of entry to a woman’s desire, a bag of dark chocolate.
I ensured it was a bag and not a box. Boxes have structure and different meaning unlike a a frumpy bag. I wrapped it in a Walmart bag and popped into the office. The chocolate cost about the same as 5 dozen eggs or 3 gallons of milk.
The receptionist had already apologized to me once the other day for being rude on the phone. She didn’t realize I was a person she would see in person. Life is tough like that.
I stood in line, waiting my turn.
When she was done with a call from another customer, she gave me one of those sweet smiles that I could not interpret and handed me my papers.
The processing of the smile is my fault, not hers.
The paperwork was one-third complete and the information filled out was wrong.
I pointed this out and handed it back, and she was gone for a few minutes.
This process repeated several times. It was like every time I sent it back, one correction was made, but the paperwork was not completed.
Her and the other receptionist started to get irritated with me, but it was they who called and said it was ready. I drove a half an hour one way to get this information and I need it to care for my Beloved and still keep my job.
The game-changer was presented.
“Oh, I forgot, my wife said to give this to you for being so awesome while she was here. “
I handed them the bag and the tension lifted. Chocolate was about to be consumed.
In several minutes, amidst the crinkling sound of plastic wrappers, a whole lot of paperwork was filled out, and I was on my way.
I found thier hidden passion.
I could give a life lesson of “you can get more flies with honey than with vinegar ” and you may be right. I will say, apple cider vinegar will attract the most fruit flies. I will also say that I pay a hefty monthly fee for health insurance that is almost equal to my house payment.
The chocolate was a pre planned bribe, a manipulation that I will use again.
The interaction was a transaction, much like getting one dollar bills for a tip jar. I was willing to pay to get a performance, and I got what I wanted.
There are many times I want to make the world a better place by making someone’s day. However….but the receptionist and whoever else were anticipated bottlenecks to the care of my Beloved.
I would love to give everyone chocolate and make them smile, but I already paid for a service.
I discussed this with a few people prior to writing and someone told me everything in life is a transaction. I disagree. I think there is genuine love that people can have for each other that transcends all that.
Well, off to drink my favorite soda. My wife bought me several when she was at the store with her mother yesterday.