Every so often, I play a Deepak Chopra recording in my class that in short says, give to others what you want to receive. If you want love, give love. If you want happiness give happiness. You get the point. The thing that Dr. Chopra leaves out, is that if you’re an ass people will be an ass to you!
A recent trip to the Department of motor vehicles solidified this theory for me. The DMV had made an error in registering an off highway vehicle of mine and after two visits to them they finally told me I would need to trailer the vehicle in so that they could verify it. Admittedly, I had already written a story in my head how this was not going to work out and the end to this DMV nightmare would never come.
As I pulled into the verification slot, the lady in the vehicle ahead of me was pacing and told me she had been waiting for one of these “idiots” for 30 mins and no one had helped her. I decided I should wait on line inside and see if I could talk to someone to make sure I don’t need additional paperwork that I didn’t know about. There wasn’t a smile in the building, but I tried my hardest to single handedly bring the mood out of the “hum drum” with being as nice as possible to everyone I came into contact with. I heard arguments, heavy sighs and there was even one woman that was on the edge of tears. It really looked more like a psych ward then the dmv. Every single person I saw was pissed off, and brought that to the counter with them when it was their turn. That anger was met mostly with negativity and a lack of wanting to accomplish anything by the clerks. A total, “I don’t give a buck” attitude.
If we took a moment and thought about how when people treat their new puppies poorly it always equals a really bad dog. And if for a minute we use that same rationale with DMV clerks we might be able to figure out why they are the way they are. Anger in, anger out. We are all products of our environment. That’s why Deepak’s theory works. The DMV environment is filled with lots of angry pissed off people and one could argue the chicken or the egg question but, it is what it is and maybe we’re a little bit responsible for it.
After my morning long wait, an employee came out and barked at me saying, he couldn’t help me today because the vehicle needed to be on the ground and not in the back of my truck for him to read the serial numbers that where now at eye level. I would have to come back another day with ramps to remove the vehicle so that he could verify it. I tried my hardest to look into his eyes and say, “thank you I’ll come back”, but he refused to make eye contact with me. He reminded me of a beaten angry dog. I’m going to bring him back a chew toy tomorrow and a whole bunch of new tennis balls.