Friday, June 09, 2017

Five Minute Friday: EXPECT




Today I'm linking up with the Five Minute Friday community, writing for five minutes on a given prompt.

This week's word is EXPECT.

 


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I don't ride the train often, but earlier this week my daughter and I were coming back from a train trip out east. We boarded the train in Montreal to head back to Kingston. A friendly young woman in her twenties was the staff member for our car.

About an hour into our 2.5-hour trip, she was going up the aisle pushing the snack cart. A rather disheveled older man was sitting across the aisle from us. He had finished one can of beer and ordered another. While she was getting it for him, he said, "I just don't understand it."

"What's that, sir?" she said politely.

"Well," he said, his voice a bit slurred, "Here you are, working on a train. And there's all these fashion magazines out there..."

I could see her expression change; she started to frown and shake her head.

I wanted to say to him: "Stop! Stop saying words!" But he continued haplessly, "All these fashion magazines that should be beating down your door ... and you're working here."

She kept shaking her head and frowning as she gave him his beer and took his money, without making eye contact with him. "No, no," she said dismissively. "No, that's not for me."

As she moved on past us, she and I exchanged glances and rolled our eyes a bit. 

I admired her. She was professional. She didn't smile or thank him for the compliment. She deflected it in a way that showed she did not appreciate the inappropriate personal attention.

I wonder if she had headed to work that morning with the expectation that she would be able to do her job in a safe and respectful environment. 

She should have been able to expect that. 

Everyone should.

10 comments:

  1. Truth! He probably didn't even realize how hurtful his words were to her.

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    1. I know. I suppose he thought he was being flattering. But it was SO inappropriate, and in his inebriated state he perhaps couldn't read the situation properly. This is why it can be so hard for women simply to move in the world freely. It shouldn't be that way. Thanks for stopping by to read and comment, Tara.

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  2. What a great story!
    The powerful thing about knowing WHO GOD MADE YOU TO BE is that you are no longer shaken by random words spoken by people. In fact, I've actually found that the harder words to ignore are the ones spoken by well-meaning friends, not drunk passengers. That's why it's so important to 1. hear from HIM, and 2. walk in accountable relationships with people who can remind you of what He said.
    I pray that this lovely girl finds both of those things!

    Thanks for the good reminder, Jeannie! Have a great week!

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    1. Thanks, Shauna. I could tell that this young woman had a strong sense of self. She wasn't shaken off her course by a stranger's words; she wasn't thinking "OMG what do I do here?" She knew how to react. Yet I still felt for her. But of course, you're right about words by those who are closer to us having more impact, whether for good or bad. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  3. Ugh...what a difficult situation. I'm glad she was able to handle it, but I EXPECT more of people. Unfortunately, not everyone lives up to those expectations. Thanks for sharing and reminding us that our actions can make a difference to those around us. Visiting from FMF - and thanks for visiting my blog!

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    1. Hi Sue, thanks for coming by to read and comment. Nice to connect with you at FMF

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  4. The sad thing is a lot of women go to work instead expecting to have to put up with sexist, boorish behavior instead.

    Not at my workplace; not if I can help it.

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    1. That's so great to hear, Tim.

      I think a lot of women do expect this kind of thing. I was so frustrated observing it. As I said, I admired her, but I also felt sorry for her even having to deal with it.

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  5. Ye Gods. What a dreadful thing for that poor lady to have to deal with.

    Beers create boors. It's the way of things.

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    1. I think you're right, Andrew. It doesn't seem to make people more self-aware or considerate of others, that's for sure. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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