Post author: Mic Johnson
My day started out as it so often does, sitting in my home office enjoying a hot cup of green tea in my LifeIsGood mug and doing a little meditation (I’ve been working on meditation and mindfulness for the last 3 months) using the Vision Pursue app I was introduced to from my friend Jon McGraw.
As the morning went on, I attended the monthly networking/education Business Book Review put on by another good friend, Shawn Kinkade. I then took my car to my friend Carl Casey at Casey’s Auto Repair to have him give the car a good once-over before we hit the road for a Memorial Day weekend trip.
I then headed to the bank to close out our safe deposit box. I knew it would only take a few minutes and then I’d be off to grab lunch and get on with the rest of my day.
And that’s when the day took a rather unusual turn.
I went into the vault with the bank representative. He put my key in one slot and then put the bank key in the other slot. But it wouldn’t open. He jiggled it. He wiggled it. He turned the key left and right. But the box wouldn’t open. Even worse, my key was stuck.
Then a manager joined us in the vault to give it a try. She wiggled it even more. She jiggled it even more. She turned the key left and right even more. Nothing. It was stuck.
I was standing in a bank vault locked out of my safe deposit box.
The bank representatives then told me that the only thing they could do was call a representative from Diebold to come to the bank and to break into my safety deposit box. He had just gotten to Lawrence, KS and was at least 45 minutes away. No problem, I thought to myself. I would just go grab lunch and come back when they got the safe deposit box open.
And that’s when they told me I couldn’t leave.
Apparently when something like this happens (at least according to the processes and procedures at this bank), the customer can’t leave the bank because it would open them up to a lot of potential liability (like if my passport or will went was missing, for example.)
My 5 minute trip to the bank ended up taking 2 hours. As you can imagine, this could have easily caused my blood pressure to rise, but I consciously decided to take a different approach. I wanted to share a few of the lessons I took away from that experience:
- SMILE AND LAUGH. The bank staff were very friendly and apologetic, but every one of them greeted me with a smile. While I could have let out my frustration on them, I proactively chose NOT to do that. It wouldn’t have helped me. It wouldn’t have helped them. And it would have made a frustrating situation all the more frustrating for everyone involved. So I smiled back and even laughed a little at the unusual predicament I found myself in.
- WE WERE ALL IN IT TOGETHER. It wasn’t just my day that took a wrong turn. It impacted the bank representatives. It impacted the service tech from Diebold who had to drive back from Lawrence in the pouring rain. It impacted the customer he was going to in Lawrence who took a lower priority because of my situation.
- MY IPHONE WAS MY FRIEND. I posted about the situation on my Facebook page and several of my friends commented (and I’m assuming got a good laugh), so it helped lighten my mood as I joked about it being unusual trying to break OUT of a bank, how there was a security guard there who I pretended was hired solely to keep me IN the bank, etc. I also took the time to check email, make a couple of phone calls, and read some online content. And I texted Jason and my wife Missy and told them about what was going on.
- I WAS REPRESENTING BLUE GURUS. I was wearing a Blue Gurus logo’d shirt (provided by our friend Keith Steiniger of Proforma IDology Marketing Group) and was consciously aware that how I handled this situation would reflect not only on me personally, but on our company too.
- LIFE IS 10% WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU…and 90% how you react to it. Life rarely goes exactly the way we want it to. Adversity comes in many forms. We all have a choice in how we respond to situations. I’m thankful I was able to pull from that life lesson that day.
- FIND THE SILVER LININGS. I left the bank and the bank manager kept telling me “You are awesome. I’ve never had someone handle a situation like that so well.” The situation also gave me a blog topic to write about. And my lovely wife made a delicious salad that was waiting for me when I got back to my home office.
I hope this post made you laugh a little. I hope it made you think about how you handle adversity, in whatever form life decides to serve it up to you. And I hope you take these lessons and think about them the next time your day takes a wrong turn.
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