Monday, December 19, 2016

2.     Nothing Personal
I passed the copier-printer-fax machine-label maker-cheese grater on my way to my office.  An error light blinked on the hateful, high strung, high maintenance “business productivity center.”   (“Business”   as in, “I’m taking the dog outside to do her ‘business.’”) This particular productivity center produced more jams than Smuckers.  Overnight it had chewed up ten booklets I needed in an hour.  Paper was lodged in every gear, roller, spring, and lever. 

I fought the urge to kick the toner out of it.  Instead, I got myself a cup of coffee from the kitchen.  I came back to the machine.  The urge returned.

I counted to ten and tried to remember what a friend had told me.  He had rescued a car from a neighbor’s back yard.  After working on the engine for months, he had sanded, primed, and painted it. To repay his kindness, the car would quit running the moment he lost cell phone coverage or drove through a rough neighborhood. 

“You gotta be careful what you take personally,” my friend had said. “Otherwise you’ll do something stupid out of frustration. Plenty of times I’ve wanted to push the car into the Ohio River, but I didn’t.  The car’s not trying to frustrate me, it’s nothing personal.”

Today I’ll be careful about what I take personally.

Needles Not For Knitting (c) 2016 by Ken Montrose

Needles Not For Knitting is a work of fiction.  Any resemblance between the characters and anyone you might know is purely coincidental.

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