Thursday, April 06, 2006

Reverse

The parking garage at my new job has a strange setup. The entire garage is double-parking, so that one person pulls in behind another person, and then leaves his keys with an attendant, who will move the car if the person on the inside needs to get out.

I don't mind so much leaving my keys with a stranger. I'm not worried that the man in the booth will steal my little Volkswagen with the busted headlight. I am, however, concerned about my clutch. The car is a 6-speed, and the gears aren't situated on the column the way most standards are.

When I dropped my keys off with the attendant this morning, I tried to explain to him that you have to actually push the stick down and in, and past first, in order to put the car into reverse. He laughed and shook his head, saying, "I been drivin' longer than you been alive." And you know, he's right, he probably has. The man's got to be at least 65. I shrugged it off, left the keys, and went on about my day.

When I went to pick the keys up from the booth, however, the man met me with an altogether different laugh. "You know, you was right," he said, grinning at me with stained teeth. "Couldn't get that thing to back up. Had ta move the other one."

Luckily, I'd parked down the center row, where the cars are three deep, with an aisle in front of the first and behind the last. Both the first and the last car leave their keys, and the man was able to move the car on the front end.

I wonder how often it is that we refuse direction from some one out of ego. "Surely this other person, this stranger, doesn't know better than I do how to do this thing I'm so very sure I know how to do!" We've all done it at one time or another. Not every one is able to admit to it after the fact, though. The man was humble, but not in a kicked-dog sort of way.

It reminded me to be conciously humble, as well... to not let my ego get in the way of learning in this new job of mine. Sure, there are things I'll be able to figure out if I hack and slash at them long enough, if I'm persistent enough and determined enough, but I bet if I take the role of student, instead of conquorer, that there are others who have been there longer who can show me ways to do things without getting my feet muddy in the pits.

I look forward to the experience.

1 comment:

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