Sep 11, 2015
The Laundromat and the Missing Socks
Location: UP Village, Quezon City, Metro-Manila, Philippines (2008)
A Pair of Columbia Socks
This happened back in 2008. I took my laundry to the laundromat but when I got it back, a pair of new Columbia socks given to me by a good friend went missing. As a budget backpacker traveling light, I only have a few clothes. In fact, when I meet some friends, they even have a bet going if I will wear the green or the brown pants (obviously, I only own 2 pairs). Naturally, I know all my clothes by heart. A new branded pair of socks missing? I would notice that as easily as I would notice a missing front tire of a bicycle. For some odd reason, I was convinced it wasn't misplaced, but stolen as their way of 'doing business' - as I had been missing clothes lately from various laundromats. Naturally, I went berserk!!!
I asked to talk to the owner. When she came out, I gave her hell. I told her to produce the missing socks OR ELSE! I didn't use expletives, but I used strong words, thinking, "I won't let you steal this one from me!"
The owner didn't know what to say. She was apologetic and said she'll do her best to look for the pair of socks. She promised to view every footage of the CCTV camera to see if there was foul play. I wasn't placated. I was still angry and agitated when I left.
A Few Days Later
While I was cleaning my place a few days after, on a recessed corner of the room where junk usually piles up, what I saw made my jaw drop! The pair of "missing" socks! It was there the entire time, misplaced by me. The awkward embarrassment consumed me even if there was no one around.
The Decent Thing to Do
Of course I could have just kept silent and no one would ever know. But it didn't sit well with me. I had to bite the bullet and go back to the laundromat and apologize to everyone - and to tell them to stop looking for the socks! It was daunting to say the least. First, I went to the local bakery and bought a ton of pandesals, peanut butter and other watchmacallits as my peace offering. And now came the hardest part - facing the owner and swallow my words back. Even with my apology, she was still upset. She said I uttered harsh words - it was perhaps an understatement to say the least. I didn't know how to appease her. I tried...and tried. At the end of it, she gave me a reluctant grunt that she'll get over it. It was the most I could get. I left. That was the last time I was there.
I did learn my lesson.
Everytime I think about blaming someone for anything, I hold back and let the anger run its course - maybe overnight, maybe a few days. After simmering down, my demeanor changes and my words come out on an even keel. Sometimes, and this has happened more than a few times, whatever I 'lost' turns up where I placed it for safekeeping...and completely forgot.
- not to quickly react and be harsh
- consider the possibility that it was my shortcoming - and not the other guy
- that I should give the other guy the benefit of the doubt until I get my facts right
I remember an episode when Abraham Lincoln wrote a scathing letter to a general who nearly cost him the civil war. After writing the letter, he didn't send it to the general - he kept it in his drawer. The following day, he destroyed the letter. He never had the intention of sending it to the general - but he had to let off steam. Perhaps, the beliguered president, comfortable in his oval office, thought about the insurmountable obstacles the general had to face while dodging bullets in the battle field while assessing the impossibility of the situation.
Lessons learned from the trenches....priceless!
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Greg & Sally Tree Garden Cafe
(Sep 13, 2015) Bro another take out is either you wash your own socks or take memory enhancers :)
(Sep 13, 2015) What reminded you of this story?
Charlene C. Tan
You went nuts over a pair of socks??? Wonder what happens if it were a pair of pants! ha-ha :)
Sep 11, 2015
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