“I cannot handle this anymore. Dad does not respect me. He questions my decisions, charges jet fuel and dinners with his friends to our credit card. I cannot stand this any longer.”
The negative reframe continued beyond my attentiveness, transitioning into whining; refusing to engage in dialogue that could rectify this family business dilemma. Content to let this volcanic bubble continue to grow I could envision an explosion that would destroy a terrific family business. After wrestling with this all morning, I diagnosed myself as emotionally numb during the ride back to the airport.
As I strode up to my gate enjoying the anticipation of returning home, relief passed as I noticed my flight was delayed. As I sat down my phone rang followed by 45 minutes listening to a client with severe depression telling me spending $150 an hour for therapist I had referred was absurd. When I could no longer tolerate his ridiculous tirade I told him that he had plenty of problems but with twenty million in his checking account, money was not one of them and if he was going to cheap out on the only person who made him feel good, he needed to reconsider his perspective and I needed to check on my flight.
As I approached the counter the monitor changed; my flight was delayed another two hours, and the flight at the next gate currently departing to my destination was full. I was fresh out of the compassion, empathy and tenacity characteristics of a business succession planner. So I acquisitioned a whipped cream latte and an oatmeal raisin cookie and sat down to figure out how I was going to endure a late night arrival with a workout and an important appointment the following morning.
With enough calories to fuel my reactor for a late night arrival satiating my belly, I heard the irritating finger tapping on the P A followed by; “We regret to announce that the flight crew has passed its maximum work time and we have to cancel the flight.”
“You have got to be kidding! Is Murphy following me around? No one can be this incompetent without a purpose! These people are on a mission to screw me! I have had all the crap I can take!” I got up and marched to the counter preparing to demand that they take care of my problem only to cut off by an incredibly overbearing, self absorbed, insensitive woman. Standing behind her as she berated the relatively innocent elderly gate agent I felt neglected of my revenge, totally hopeless and empty. There was nothing I could say that would have added to what the irate woman expressed so I with my chin on my chest I returned to my seat, put my elbows on my knees, my hands over my face and tried to gather sufficient energy to consider my next move. Then I thought of Lee and engaged in the following text exchange.
“Screwed by United! Was irritated, pompous and feeling sorry for myself. Then I remembered my dear friend had chemo today. Thank you Jesus! Enduring I hope.”
“I would love to trade my chemo for a United screwing. My chills were so intense, thought I was going to break a rib or tooth. Sorry you are having a tough time.”
“I am not having a tough time. I am merely inconvenienced. I am standing in the gap for you.”
Then I grabbed my bag and started working my way to the exit, thinking just how blessed I am and how some of those who have been complaining about their family business have lost perspective.
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