Recently, I wrote a blog about judgment. I didn’t post it, as I decided that I sounded like a hypocrite writing about a character flaw of which I am guilty. Judgment is bad. No way around this. People who judge are telling us much more about themselves than about who or what they are judging. Case in point:
Mr. Wonderful and I were at a store last week looking for his new grill. The man who was waiting on that department was on the phone or distracted doing something and did not acknowledge that we were standing there obviously waiting to make a purchase. He was somewhat frail looking and had a kind of far-away look on his face. I first made a physical judgment based on his appearance, his posture and his facial expression. Bad me. After several minutes, he asked what he could do to help us, and according to the rolling eyes on Mr. Wonderful, it appeared that this man didn’t have a clue about what we had already thoroughly researched. He took us to a computer at the back of the store to see if he could find what we were seeking. He didn’t appear to be up on this product, and so we both passed judgment again. Bad us. In the meantime, a man named Chuck had walked up, also an employee. He was smiling, had a confident posture and asked if he could help. He obviously knew our product, but he had not yet checked in, so he turned us back over to the first man.
We left the store with no purchase frustrated that we couldn’t have arrived a few minutes later so that Chuck could have helped us. We both agreed that the first guy was lame, and we would return and find our friend, Chuck.
A few days later, we returned, but Chuck was not there. Another man who knew our product well waited on us and sold us our grill. During the transaction, Mr. Wonderful and I noticed the first “lame” guy walking around the department. I sat down at a patio table to wait for Mr. W. to check out. As I was sitting there, Mr. Lame walked up to me (obviously forgetting that he had waited on us) and asked if he could help me. I said, “No,thank you,” and that I was waiting for my husband. Mr. Lame began a conversation with me that resulted in a total about-face for me. This man was not only intelligent, but he was apparently working here for fun. He was from the northeast and from considerable money, based on his story, and he told me all about his heritage and also the new home he had just purchased with his partner. During this conversation, my conscience is shouting. “Bad bad bad to judge!” He told me about some vendors who had sold him his plantation shutters for an incredibly low price as well as a contractor he had found who did some crown molding for him. I told him that we were looking for vendors for both, and he offered to share his findings with me. I gave him my card, and off I went.
In the car, I told Mr. Wonderful about this conversation and I admonished the two of us for passing judgment. We both agreed that we would try harder to refrain from this “lame” habit of judging people when we have no idea what they’re about.
Last night, I received an email from this man listing his contacts and their phone numbers. I immediately thanked him for his kindness and for taking the time to share his findings with us.
Thou shalt not pass judgment.