Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Excuse Me... Sir

Yesterday's medical emergency took us to the executive building where, among others, our Chief Executive Officer resides. The patient was in the lobby, however since I took the back way to avoid traffic lights, I parked at the side of the building. Orange vest on, and massive 40-pound EMT bag over my shoulder, I proceeded through the building towards the lobby.

While occupying most of the width of a very narrow hallway, a door ahead of me opened... and out stepped my (large, international) company's CEO. And behind him, a very important and prominent foreign diplomat, and his security detail, giving me the evil eye.

Uh-oh. Retreat.

Some may say that it would have been excusable, given the nature of the medical emergency, to push past this group of Very Important People. Our CEO is a wonderful person, and is quite understanding about situations such as this. However, my upbringing has always dicated that I must be polite and respectful, especially to my elders, and especially to those above me in the corporate ladder.

As such, I backed out of the hallway and waited for them to pass. I greeted our CEO, who saw the orange vest and said "Thank you for helping out." I was honored to have been acknowledged.

Once the esteemed group passed, I proceeded to the lobby to help take care of our patient.

It was the right thing to do, even if it delayed me for a minute.

Sometimes, being polite takes time out of one's day. It's not always convenient or easy to show respect. But, as this situation has shown, it is always time well spent.

If only others, especially those on the road, would take this message to heart, the world would be a slightly better place for all of us.


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