A few days go, a friend and I agreed to meet for a hike. On the appointed day, I had a business meeting scheduled for 1:30 that I was certain wouldn’t take more than 45 minutes. My meeting was about a 10 minute drive to the trailhead, so we agreed that we would meet “after 2:30” in the designated park.
My meeting went well, but the unexpected occured . . . 3 of the attendees (not I) were Auctioneers, and we seemed to wrapping up the business at @ 2:15, so I sent my friend a text: “Wrapping up here – my ETA @ 2:30”
I learned something about Auctioneers for the following hour & 1/2 . . . They LOVE to tell auction stories, and they have MANY tales to tell, and EVERY new tale told begets memory of another tale.
While I enjoyed hearing all of these stories, my blood pressure was rising as I knew my friend was waiting waiting waiting . . . Would she give up?
@3:30, the storytelling ended, and I called my friend who had done what I probably would have done – She set out on the trail . . . so . . . we began the hilarious problem solving exercise of finding each other in this HUGE park.
The hilarity commenced with what we thought would be the easiest solution. I would find her car, park there, and strike out on the trail towards her and she would turn around towards me. Sensible – Yes?
She told me that, from her car, she could see Steeplechase, OHB and Vaughn road near HWY 100. AHA! I know that spot well, and I was certain I would find her car in the dog park parking lot at the corner of OHB and Vaughn Rd, so I went there and found her car right where she described it – “Red car backed into the 1st parking lot – Totally visible”
I sat and waited for 15 minutes, and she sent me a text: : “I just made it to my car” . . . HUH? I looked around, and she was nowhere to be seen. Twilight Zone, Eh? I really didn’t want to confess that I couldn’t find her even as I was ALREADY THERE?
My phone buzzed – She sent a text of the trailhead marker which showed me that she was at the Goucho Trailhead from which she could see the dog park, right next to Steeplechase at the intersection of OHB and Vaughn Rd near HWY 100.
I hopped in my truck and drove the 1/4 mile gap , and we enjoyed a nice hike.
We were both “right” . . . the whole time.
Lesson learned – Clarity is important
We certainly could have saved this game of chicanery had we said at the beginning: “Let’s meet at 3:30 in the Percy Warner Park Goucho Trailhead parking lot.
What I love about this story is that we both sought to understand and worked together (without frustration).
When things start to go wonky with interpersonal communication in EVERY context, PAUSE, consider each person’s perspective, and maintain cooperative dialog to come together . . . then get down to business.
Meet others where THEY are whenever possible 🙂