Friday, November 23, 2012

Tracks in the Snow

I was somewhat taken aback at a complaint that I noticed on my flyer route last week. The complaint was "Carrier is walking on the lawn". I know for a fact that I never walk on the lawns (except on the few occasions where I saw that the resident had actually shovelled a path in the snow), then I realized that it was the day that I had someone deliver the papers for me.

I investigated the complaint (quite certain that both parties that got the job done for me in my absence knew the rules of 'Do not walk on the lawn') and upon discussion we figured out that the paper must have been delivered before the walks were shovelled (our city had received 10 - 15 cm of snow that weekend). Because my substitutes did not regularly deliver papers, they didn't know where the sidewalks were located. So we guess that what probably happened is that they walked straight towards the city sidewalk, guessing that would be where the sidewalk was located.

Mystery solved, we just went about our lives and forgot about the trivial little complaint.

The next time I delivered flyers, I specifically took note of the snow at the address the complaint came from. One would assume that if this person took the time to complain about someone walking through their snow on a day when a person couldn't tell the difference between the sidewalk and the grass, they must have a pristine yard where no one walks in the snow. Wrong.

This snow in this particular yard was completely full of footprints. Comparable to the days when my daycare was full to capacity and I had kids playing and walking through the front yard on a regular basis. Why would a person who sees such high traffic in their yard take the time to complain about something so trivial???

Yes - newspaper and flyer carriers have a small manual that reminds their employees of these small courtesies that are expected. We knew the rules. I follow the rules. To the letter. I can see the person complaining if this was a habitual matter. But it was an isolated incident. On a very snowy day ... where one simply couldn't see the sidewalk. There was an explanation.

It just makes me wonder about the stress that this person must accumulate in a day when they take the time to complain about such a trivial matter. Stress levels are far too high these days. Why sweat the small stuff??

I have given this petty complaint more energy than it deserves. It doesn't matter. It's small stuff. I am simply sad for the person that made this into 'big stuff' in their world.

I strive to live a life where the tracks in the snow are inconsequential. They mean that someone brought something and delivered it my home. Or came for a visit. Or took time to play in my yard. There would be nothing more lonely to me than to have a home where no one came to call and left 'footprints' of their presence in my life.

"Don't sweat the small stuff...and it's all small stuff.” ~ Richard Carlson

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