Do you ever get so angry at someone that you start imagining things you can do to make them pay for your misery? Do you ever get so mad that you start having dreams about torturing that someone? Or taking out full page ads in your local paper to let everyone know how much you hate them, or how much pain they have caused you, or to let others know of their dishonesty?
Well this Saturday night as the grand old feasts of shabbos faded into view and the gastrointestinal havoc that usually hits the second havdalah is over was also out of the way I checked my phone messages for the few rare calls over shabbos that I sometimes get. I was expecting the auto shop where I had brought my car almost 2 weeks ago for a new transmission and clutch to have left that sweet message telling me my car was ready. I had brought it in and they had told me ever since the day it was supposed to be ready that “I promise it will be ready tomorrow” I had come to distrust this person handling my car immensely and deeply regretted bringing it there, though my Rabbi had recommended him. I drifted in and out of car withdrawal having to walk everywhere
since I refuse to lock up my $2500 bike anywhere. So I walked and walked and looked forward to the day that I would get a call about my car. Not only did I never receive a call. Even when they received the right transmission signaling a go ahead in work I did not get a call, even when it was finally ready today I did not receive a call. Am I asking too much I thought to myself as I was driving my lovely car today on the back roads of Schoharie County or was I just expecting a basic sense of customer service.
So why was I so mad that I actually had a dream that involved a twelve gauge loaded with 3 inch slugs? I am not an angry person by any means, actually I am quite happy and optimistic almost temperless and rarely get angry about anything. Not apathy just “every thing has a reason” attitude. Here goes, I knew full well that for some reason when he told me work would started on Friday when his part time worker came in, I couldn’t trust him. The call Saturday night was the first time in two weeks that this guy had actually picked up the receiver and dialed me. This is what he said: “ Hey Steve I’m really sorry we haven’t started on your car yet but we will get to it first thing Monday I promise, I am sorry for the wait, I’ll throw in a an oil change or something.”
Doesn’t sound too shabby eh? It actually wasn’t that fact it wasn’t ready, I knew I was going to be confined to another day of ten mile bike rides on the streets of Albany while people tried to run me down, kids called me fag for not having a car and wearing spandex, and walking a couple miles to the coffee shop to get my free wireless internet, no that was not the problem, the problem was this bastards audacity to say he would throw in a free oil change.
Let us dissect the chutzpah in this statement. You have had my car an extra 9 days from its due date, I have lost wages, you refused to give me a loaner car, you charged me extra because you broke a speed sensor while taking out my old transmission, Which I don’t even know is true, you ordered the wrong transmission because you didn’t read the VIN# correctly and now you apologize and to make up for this you throw in an oil change WHICH HE DIDN’T EVEN GIVE ME IN THE END.
Oh I was seeing red after that oil change line, I have not been so pissed in so long, I think the last time was when my bike was stolen in the shook in Israel that was 4 years ago. Even then I did not have dreams involving me the auto guy and shotguns. I couldn’t sleep I was fuming, usually some good old bluegrass would calm me down, but to no avail my misery raged on. How dare he say due to the pain you have caused me I will give you 5 bucks because that’s all an oil change which I can do myself anyway costs. So I raged and raged, and could not calm down, I read, rode my bike, applied for jobs and learned, but I was till riled up until last night.
My roomy was trying a new idea he had heard of because he cant figure out how to iron shirts and doesn’t want to pay 2 bucks to get them laundered. So he decided to stack them up in the dryer and see if that trick worked. Since he didn’t appreciate the traditional Japanese string music combined with techno that I had on, we switched to my a Shmuz.com cd I had found in my car.
Its funny to listen to someone who used to be your boss, yes I worked for several years in the warehouse of Labels Plus owned by Rabbi Shafier who gives all the shmuzim. So I put it on and continued to moan a full 24 hours later about the transmission bastard. So on comes this shmuz and I listened. For some reason the thing that happened always happens. The shmuz which I never listen to before talked about how anger and revenge will eat a person up and are terrible traits, it also talked about how moving on and forgiving is an amazing way to go about things etc… All of the sudden I stopped being angry and started praising the Lord for sending me some hashgacha prutus.
Its funny because the last time this happened it also had to do with car situations. I was rushing to Mincha in Woodridge, my favorite place to daven because of its beauty and old time appeal, and in the summer it is a place where all Jews gather to learn and pray and play Jewish Geography. So I was driving from my State Sponsored hotel in Rock Hill to Woodridge. I made a right at the red light and then a quick left on to the street with the shull. I was on time, but of for some reason as I was getting out of my car a police car pulled in front of mine and signaled for me to come to him. Hmm… was I caught going 75 mph down one of the county roads? Nope, “ why did you just run that red light?” I didn’t officer, I made a right and then a left right here, I said pointing to the intersection. He didn’t comprehend and started to argue with me, and I back at him. For anyone who knows Woodridge in order to get to the shull if coming from Rock Hill one cannot drive straight or else he would drive into the convenience store, but he needs to go diagonal hence the right and then left. I guess since the streets are the same name its not considered diagonal. Well to make a long story short I tried busting out my troopers card that I had been given by a co-worker at the State Legislature and this infuriated the officer who said that I should tell the judge I tried to bribe him etc… I have never argued with a cop before but once in a while they piss me off and this guy struck a nerve. Finally we finished bickering and he handed me my ticket. By this time the stairs were jam packed with onlookers, I was half expecting a riot to break out like the one that happened in Bro-Park a few weeks prior to this, but they just stayed there and watched the action. I walked into shull, pissed off as hell and sat down. I had missed Mincha and the z’man completely. I sat and waited for Maariv, the guy delivering the drasha was pounding a fist on the shtender and that got my attention. He started talking about confrontation and how walking away will sever the anger and restore your self back to normal. And how controlling ones tone of voice and stopping confrontation before it happens is best, it was tied into the sedra somehow but I forgot, but I sat there tears streaming from my face sincerely regretting the chillul H-shem which I just caused because of my ego and my failure to prevent that confrontation, it also gave me the chills from experience such a direct message so soon before my blood could stop pumping.
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