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Gee Officer Blenkle I was really upset

Observations from the Edge
Robert T. Nanninga
Coast News
February 26, 2008


The world is full of reasons to be upset. War, politics, the politics of war, climate change, environmental destruction, pollution, population, too much traffic, not enough parking, the price of gas, the state of the economy, the state of the oceans and rapidly disappearing song birds.

Not one to sweat the small stuff, I try to keep everything in perspective while trying to save the planet. Unfortunately I occasionally run into the social equivalent of Kryptonite, and my Mojo of affability fails me when I need it the most. Like a weakened Superman, me off my game is not a pretty sight.

This column relates to a recent incident that left me with a taste for crow and a need to admit my mistake.

It is rare that I take time out of my efforts to put environmental awareness at the forefront of public consciousness to shed light on my own short comings. Prideful, vain, and usually in control of my composure, I rarely find myself needing to offer a public apology for behavior unbecoming of someone who considers himself fair and rational.

This is one of those times.

Last week I totally lost my cool when confronted by a parking enforcement volunteer as he wrote me a citation over a registration infraction. Thinking I was right I was completely wrong and got "all angry" with the man in uniform. Even knowing he was just doing his job, I couldn't just let him do it.

Working under false information is no excuse. I was wrong about my registration, and I was wrong to take it out on Officer Blenkle. It was if someone flipped a switch in my brain. I went from enjoying a leisurely lunch of coconut soup to indignant irritant in a matter of minutes. As if stimulated to a Pavlovian response at the sight of the citation book, I felt compelled to fight the inevitable armed only with denial.

Jousting at an imaginary windmill I became the dragon.

The obvious gentleman, Officer Blenkle accepted my apology in casual style when I sought him out 24 hours and 300 dollars later. Humbled by his grace, and his forgiving for my social faux pas I learned a important lessons about restraint, responsibility and the folly of confusing the messenger with the message.

With some serious car karma to mitigate I have decided I can no longer afford impulsive outbursts. From here on in I have decided to employ a more thoughtful operating filter when confronting frustrating circumstances. Instead of making myself wrong I choose to make things right by acknowledging my curbside tantrum so that others can learn from my lapse of judgment.

Mondays happen. Regardless of the weekend, good or bad, busy or lazy, having a bad day is no excuse for taking it out on others. I was wrong for blaming Officer Blenkle for my mistake, and I can assure everyone it will not happen again.

Apology accepted and lesson learned, the force has been restored.

Jedi training anyone?

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