What to do with a crappy situation (literally)
I will start with a humiliating story of mine.
It was a Monday afternoon; I was in a hurry; and I’m telling you it wasn’t a pretty sight. As soon as I felt my naked ass hit the cold floor I thought… OMG a billion trillion dirty feet have walked across this floor, and I’m laying sunnyside up on the bathroom floor in Nordstrom’s. I had the horrible thought that if I cried for help someone would find me like this—with no pants, and on the floor.
I didn’t even have my cellphone with.
I must tell you, I was in a Nordstrom’s restroom, not some crappy public toilet. We’re talking NORDSTROMS. It’s a “fancy” bathroom, a place where women “powder their noses,” and gossip. It has a lounge, a waiting area …. and also a broken toilet seat that fell off the moment I sat on it. There wasn’t slippery water on the floor or anything; it was a very nice floor--- the toilet just happened to have a broken seat.
So here I am, lying on the floor, and I heard a nervous voice from the stall next door say, “Are you okay?” I realized that my legs had invaded her stall, and I quickly pulled my legs back. I answered, “Yes, I’m okay. Only my pride is damaged.” But the truth was, I didn’t know if I was okay. I was in shock and my adrenaline was pumping. The scared woman scurried out so fast I don’t think she even stopped to wash her hands.
With both hands on the floor, I crawled to the toilet seat that was still moving, and my pants were still around my knees.
After brushing myself off, and pulling myself together, I left the restroom. I wanted to run to my car in the parking lot, or crawl into a hole, I was so embarrassed, but I also wanted to make sure no one else sat on the broken seat or got hurt. So I mustered up the courage and scouted out an employee.
I quietly said, “I need to talk to your manager.” She said smiling, and eagerly, “Oh, what’s the matter? How can I help you?”
I said, “You don’t want to know what happened to me; you’re going to want a manager.”
Of course she persisted, “I’m sure I can help you.” So, I started to tell her about my incident, and I didn’t even get past telling her that my butt hit the floor, and she immediately stopped me and said, “I’ll get you a manager.”
When the manager appeared, I started to tell her the incident, and she quickly turned to her walky talky and screamed, “WE NEED LOSS PREVENTION UP HERE ASAP!!” Meanwhile, I have no idea what that is. Two security guards surrounded me and began asking me what happened, as I’m having to retell this embarrassing story over and over in this interrogation.
I was beginning to feel like I had done something wrong and I was going to be escorted out of the building for raising a scene.
I just wanted to let them know that they had a broken toilet seat, and to ensure it doesn’t happen to anyone else so nobody gets hurt. So by this time, I’ve told the clerk, the manager, and the loss prevention team my story. In my frustration, I finally looked at the male security guard in the eye, he couldn’t have been older than 25 and I said, “Think of it this way, would you want to have to come, pick me up off the floor of the bathroom with my white naked ass sticking up in the air? I don’t think so!” The look of terror on his face told me I had gotten the point across.
So after the third or fourth time of telling them the incident, they finally got their statement, I had assured them I was okay, I’m not suing anyone, I just don’t want it to happen to anyone else. So off I went with the rest of my Monday.
I share this story with you because sometimes we do find ourselves in crappy situations (sometimes literally).
But, what do you do with the crappy situation? Well, of course you have to pick yourself up, but you also have to find the humor in it. But also, don’t just let it go. Take it to the next level for yourself. Sometimes the universe has an interesting way of trying to tell us things. Maybe it’s helping to make sure it doesn’t happen to someone else. Or maybe it’s figuring out how you could avoid that type of situation next time. Maybe it’s trying to figure out why it happened to you. I think I realized for myself that I shouldn’t have ignored my intuition in thinking that the toilet seat looked a little funny before I sat on it. I have to learn to trust my first instincts better.
Whatever it is, take it to the next level for yourself. Ask yourself the deeper questions.
If we can learn to take a bad situation and prevent someone else from having maybe a worse outcome, that’s a gift. What if it had been an elderly woman, a child, or someone with a physical disability who sat on that seat? They would have had a much bigger problem. Yes, I smacked my elbow, got a couple of bruises, but I’m okay. Maybe I was able to prevent someone from getting seriously injured.
So, what about you?
Are you willing to pick yourself back up?
Can you find the gift in your crappy situations?
I can tell you that when we pause long enough, we will discover the gifts in our crazy and sometimes painful moments. We all have them; the difference is what we do with them.
P.S. I’ve been making tons of music playlists lately. Here’s a song from the Greatest Showman that has helped me pick myself back up ;) click here
P.P.S. Whatever you’re working on these days…please don’t forget to celebrate your tiny victories. You’re doing a great job, and the universe sees your effort.