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By February 03, 2015

What would be your first reaction when a stranger reprimands you? Wait, before that, what would you do if you are waiting at a set of traffic lights and a stranger taps on your car window? Would you:

1. Think he is a window washer and sent him on his way?
2. Lock your door immediately and stare straight ahead?
3. Unwind the window the see what does he require?

On this particular day, I went with option three. The burly tradie (tradesman.. or construction worker for the non-Aussies)  stood there, fluroscent jumper, worker boots and all, hand-on-waist and very surly.

Uh oh. Not good.

I wished I could drive off, leaving a trail of tyre smoke behind like in the movies leaving this stranger behind. But I was stuck behind the lights so there was nowhere for me to hide. Before I could greet this stranger, he flew off the handle and started yelling at me for sitting in the wrong lane, how the lane I was sitting in is for a right turn, not straight. He also mentioned angrily that he nearly crashed into my car once and how he saw me sitting in the right-turn lane a few times, only to turn straight.

Now, this was one of those crazy weird junctions that Australia, or Victoria has that is mega confusing. But there was a signboard that say “xxx Highway. RIGHT LANE only”. So in my mind I assumed that the sign meant drivers on the left lane could only go straight ahead and forbidden to turn right. On the other hand, drivers on the right lane could either turn right or go straight ahead. I have also seen many drivers who have done the same thing that I did. So, I could defend myself, if wanted to.

Yet, maybe because it was a Monday morning and my brain was not functioning yet, I just sat there and let him blew off his steam. After he finished, I just said “thanks!” and he stomped back to his car.

When it was time for me to go, I followed the tradie’s advise and went the way that the lane was supposed to lead to (which runs parallel to my normal route). But before I turned into a sidelane to take me back to my usual route, I accelerated just enough to throw the tradie’s ute behind and, maybe, just a slight chance, I did leave him a trail of tyre smoke to show him my anger and being told off for doing something everyone else had done.

All the way to work, I was fuming and defensive of my choice. I could not believe my Monday morning was ruined like that. Moreover, I was ten minutes late because I had to re-route back to the road I usually take to work. Add that with back to school traffic and I was more than displeased at having the start of my week being disrupted.

Just as I was hatin’ on the tradie and thinking back about the morning’s episode, it suddenly struck me: Had he not warned me about sitting in the lane that was supposed to turn right, I would’ve gone straight ahead as I have done for months and crashed into the car on the left lane that, for some inexplicably reason, turned right.

So, while I got a stern telling-off from a random stranger. I did avoid a nasty accident thanks to the tradie. Even though he was loud and rough on the edge, he did mean well to let me know what I was doing could lead to an accident. For that, I am very grateful for the slightly rough start to the morning.

I still remain convinced that the road rules on that junction is vague, but this morning, I dutifully sat on the “correct” lane as described by the tradie.

Note: This is one of the more difficult post for me to write. Admitting my own weakness has never been easy, but I feel it is also more important to be open about it. Emily from Ember Grey inspired me to find things in life to be grateful for. So, here it is :)

Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey

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  1. For one- I'm so glad you're ok! Second of all, my goodness I sure think he could have approached you in a nicer, more kind tone! Especially if you weren't sure about what was right/wrong. I'm sorry your Monday morning started out this way (although, clearly it could have been worse) - and hope your week only gets better from here, Samantha! (I'm so glad you linked up!)

    1. Thanks Emily! After I changed my mindset and think of it as a blessing in disguise (Even though it was a harsh one) my day started to pick up from there! Love the Grateful Heart linkup that you do and I always enjoy reading your blog!