PoleCon 2024 will be held BACK in the DMV (DC-Maryland-Virginia Metro Area) May 30-June 2,…
About a year and a half ago I made a concerted effort to reframe how I was looking at the world.
I chose to focus on kindness.
For me this means granting others grace and compassion and generally believing that when people were rude or mean, it told me more about what they were going through than about what they thought about me.
I don’t always choose kindness (sometimes I absolutely think “f that guy that cut me off in traffic” or “who do they think they are, acting like that?!?”) but I try to focus on kindness most of the time. ❤️
During PoleCon, I primarily work at the PoleCon registration desk. The music is often really loud, and you check in to the event to get you wrist band by name. Many names are spelled in different ways. If people purchased a ticket in less than a week prior, they are in a different system from the faster/easier system so that means I often have to check in two places, asking people to spell their names multiple times because yes, I can’t remember a name long enough to check it in the same place twice.
I was checking in my last person for the day on Saturday night and I was tired, my throat was sore from screaming over the music (which was particularly loud), and I knew I would be making mistakes. I had to ask the person checking in at least three times to spell their name even though it was an easy name to spell.
The person behind them (who was with them but not checking in to PoleCon) snapped at me for my incompetence while pacing angrily behind their friend.
I stopped and thought:
- I could snap back.
- I could get angry.
- I could cry.
- I could do lots of things that might be “justifiable” given the circumstances.
I decided to take a breath and actively think “wow, they must’ve had a really long and hard trip getting here and that’s why they are so pissed off,” and calmly continued checking the other person in.
The next day, I was back at registration and the angry person (no longer angry) said their partner (who had been the person checking in to the event) gave them a ration of 💩 for being rude and this kept them up all night because they didn’t really mean it, it wasn’t who they were as a person. They came down early to apologize.
I shrugged and said, “I figured you all just had a really hard time getting to PoleCon.”
With tears in their eyes, they said that they did, and we hugged.
The moral of the story is: everyone is going through 💩
Most people’s actions have very little to do with you and everything to do with them.
It helps them AND it helps you to pause for a moment and to choose to be kind.