9.09.2011

Make An Exception

True confessions Thursday:  I am a rule-follower!  I like it when I know the rules and I like it even better when I’m following the rules.  Now, that’s not to say I’ve never broken a rule – it’s just a ‘suggested’ speed limit, right? – but I really do like to play by the rules and let the rules guide my choices.

Here’s when that’s problematic for me.  Sometimes we have to make an exception.  Accommodating for someone’s learning to level the playing field, for example, doesn't always allow us to adhere to the letter of the law. We often need to test the flexibility of the rule.  We might even have to – GASP! – break the rule.

Yesterday was just such a time.  But it was I who was on the receiving end of the flex.  Without anticipating any delays, I’d timed my early-release exit from the building to the minute. I’d leave right after guidance, at 2:35, and arrive at the school where I’d be doing a Morning-Meeting training by 3:05, leaving me just enough time to set up, drink and tink, and breathe before the 3:30 start time. The monkey wrench that I didn’t foresee was the bus that was blocking me in. Oh, no!  I’ve been blocked in before. Those busses are under strict orders to park and NOT move. They’ve told me so. I’ve had to borrow a car before because they’re not allowed to move. It’s a rule. But since I can’t possibly borrow a car to go all the way to Clear Lake for an after-school training, this is an emergency, right?  Surely they’ll make an exception, don’t ya think?  I said a quick prayer before knocking on the bus driver’s window to explain that I was blocked in and I really, really, REALLY needed her to P.L.E.A.S.E. back up a little.

Well, we’re not supposed to do that, she said as she explained the rule. Soon there’ll be busses coming behind me and where am I supposed to back up to anyway? she added. I was pretty sure that was a definite NO! and I was already trying to figure out who would let me borrow their car, but then. it. happened.  Maybe it was the desperate look on my face or the pleading in my eyes, but she acquiesced and said, OK, I’ll try.  Three words that meant the world to me:  OK, I’ll try.  And when she didn’t quite back up far enough for my van to clear her bus and I went knocking again, she inched forward ever-so-slowly so I could eek my way out of that snug spot to freedom.  But I didn’t drive off until I thanked her profusely for seeing her way to making an exception.  Just this once. For my emergency. For me.  I hope that I'll always remember to not be such a rule follower that I can’t make an exception as need be. 

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