When you are in a hurry, driving through the canyon at 50 mph, winding in and around the mountains, the potential of someone coming from the other direction and crossing the two little yellow lines better enter your mind! One little distraction could cause a driver to cross the line. The impact of the two cars’ speeds combined would mean death. Like most speeding drivers, I felt justified in taking my life and someone else’s on that gambling chip.
My four-year-old has been puking her guts out all night long and I need to give her relief by making a trip to the store. If I had taken her, she would have undoubtedly hurled several times in my car, as he episodes were about every ten minutes. This would have made for severe lack of attention in driving. I had called several people, asking for help, but everyone was too busy, or could not afford the time. I felt as if I had no choice but to leave my daughter where she was, with the phone beside her bed.
I grabbed my cell phone and zipped to the service station ten minutes away, using my cell phone to call her from the service station before coming back, so she would be more at ease. Leaving her alone was scary, but so was the thought of one of the drivers crossing the line from the other direction.
When I thought about it, there are several lines in life, easy to put in places, that mean so much. Your life can change forever, without respect and consideration about the dotted line. Take for example the infamous “dotted line” requesting your signature. How many times have you had a sales man impatiently waiting for you, while you read the warranty, terms, etc. when you felt bad in having them wait? Knock it off! They are compensated with quotas and handsomely in commissions, as parts of their job. When they nudge you to hurry, drop them like a hot potato because there is definitely something smelly going on… and it ain’t your cooking!
A few months ago, some delivery drivers came to my home to bring a truckload of furniture. I had just moved and decided to start completely over with new furnishings throughout. Although the decision was a bold one, I had thought it over for some time before acting on it. With my furniture came two men to deliver and set it all up for me. I gave them cold drinks, opened all the windows, and offered to order them a pizza. I appreciated what they were doing for me and wanted to let them know. In fact, since I was ten minutes late in meeting with them, I gave them a twenty right up front.
Throughout the period of six hours of unloading the truck, several things had gone wrong, and I was a concerned; my son’s loft bed could not be assembled because a screw was missing, and the boards leaned against the walls, the mattress lying in the middle still in its plastic. I never did get to see my dresser because the movers claimed it was scratched and put it back without showing me and asking my opinion.
During the same six hours, I had been running the flights, checking things out and keeping my two kids occupied so they would stay out of harm’s way. Finally, the guy who seemed to be in charge of the fiasco approached me in the kitchen with a stack of about twenty papers of inventory requiring a signature. “I need to check everything quickly before I sign anything,” I said. I thought that sounded responsible and not too much to ask.
“Aw, come on!” the guy said, wiping sweat from his brow, “You’ve been watching us the whole time! Listen, my wife has to get to school to take a test! She’s waiting for me right now to watch the kids so she can go.”
Not acknowledging him, or what he said, I proceeded to read the work order. He piped in, “I’m already late, and the test is a final and she’s been studying for two years to become certified.” I failed to see how his issue was my problem after all I did not request him by name to bring my things. He wiped the sweat from his brow and added, “You’ve been watching us all day and we told you what the issues were.”
He was right. I had watched them all day and I was tired of going up and down the stairs for hours on end, and I was not carrying furniture. “I’m already later than I had planned and if she doesn’t take her test today, we’re screwed. I really need to get home and watch the kids.”
Now he was speaking my language, for I knew what it was like to have my schedule adhered to due to the needs of my kids. Although he was not a single parent, I silently commended him for being so supportive of his wife’s success. Besides, it was Saturday and I know people do not enjoy working on Saturdays any longer than necessary. I flipped through the pages, scratching my name across the bottom of each before watching him zip out the door to the delivery truck that sat out front running, with the driver behind the wheel.
I was like a kid on Christmas morning as I watched them leave and then bolted into my house to salivate over my new furnishings. The family room was in the basement and it was beautiful. The main level was where I had started, of course, so I turned around with my eyes closed in the entryway and opened them, pretending I was a guest. Would I be impressed? Yes, I would!
Lastly, I bolted up the staircase to see what it looked like, absent my dresser and my son’s discombobulated room, and came to a dead stop at the top. Not even the top, really.
In front of the stairway, were a washer and dryer blocking the passing of anybody. I was horrified! I could not even push past them and I was stuck. I grabbed the phone to call them and they did not answer the cell phone. Although I am certain they were expecting my call.
I called the furniture store’s office, but because it was Saturday, the office only put in a half-day promising to get back to me on Monday if I leave my name and number on the message. Thank goodness my neighbor, who works at the gym, was home and offered his services when I begged him to help.
Did I learn from it? Yes, so it was not a total waste because I got a loud and clear message from this experience. When you make a large purchase such as a home, a car, or anything else which you have planned for before doing, take your time! What has taken you months to earn, takes the sales man hours to execute, and they get paid! If you read any contract requiring a signature, make sure you know what you are putting your name to!
Stop and think. Is it more embarrassing to ask a question, which has undoubtedly been asked before, and feel a bit silly for a second, or pretend you know what you are doing? The sales man will think you are an idiot for promising your life’s earnings for a payment that is two days late, if that’s what you’ve signed. Who cares what the sales man thinks while you are reading and rereading the agreement? After today, chances are not very good you will see him again, and he is paid a huge chunk of what you have just spent. Feel comfortable with what you have done because chances are very good you will have a time-invested reminder. That little dotted line could change your life for the better or the worse.
Coming back from the store with my daughter’s medication, I wondered if anyone had thought the guys that painted those lines have a ton of responsibility. Those little white painted lines are a thin dividing line, separating two or more vehicles traveling at high rates of speed, in opposite directions. If they were not there, lives would be lost.
When a line is present it seems so unimportant, but whether you are being separated by it, or signing it, you need to give it your undivided attention or be haunted for years to come. Your finances deserve the same attention, for they may save your life as well. Read the small print and ensure you make no mistake in the meaning BEFORE signing.