A Poet's Life

Mona Bethke

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First Impressions…

I’ve often wondered if I could have any kind of power, what would it be? I have a friend looking for an apartment in St. Pete.  I decided to stop by the leasing office of a property right around the corner from where I live and get some info for her. They own somewhere between 5 and 6 buildings on that block.  So, I walk in and this very masculine woman is standing in the hall.  She was actually quite intimidating looking.  I extended my hand and introduced myself.  She looked down at my hand, shrugged her shoulders in that who gives a shit way, looked in my eyes with that who the hell are you look, and tilted her head to the side.  I kept my hand out until she shook it and snidely said, “What can I do for you?”  I smiled, told her my business and then she proceeded to go into a condescending litany (talking to me like I was mentally challenged) about how “my friend would have to come in person, and an appointment would have to be made.”  Now, this is the first impression for a possible new tenant. Very bad impression.

It’s at this point, while walking home, that I started talking to myself.  I ran this scenario through my mind.  Rewind the conversation.

After all of that indignant, rude, and condescending behavior, I look at her and say, “by the way, I’m the new owner of these properties and you ma’am, are fired.”

Now that’s power.  What a way to teach the lesson of never judging a book by its cover and understanding that you never know who your speaking with and how you treat the person could possibly affect your life.  I’ve never wanted an obscene amount of wealth to go into material overdose mode…no quite the contrary.  I want the power to teach people that being kind, respectful, and decent shouldn’t be so difficult.

That is all.

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