Double Parked

During my first trip to New York City in 2007, I was surprised by the insulting customer service (or lack of…) everywhere we went.

Glad to get home to California smiles, I was sharing my feelings about this experience with a friend who lived in NYC for many years. He shared an “insider” trick — have a common cause. For the most part, this meant “have a common enemy.”

His tactic: Go into the donut shop (Zabar’s, to be specific) and growl, “Geez, what’s that jackass doing out there, double-parking like that? Oye, some people…” His promise was that this would instantly form a bond, a common ground (albeit of complaining), and you’d get family-style service. You’d be one of them.

This story comes to mind often in different ways. I have a longing for that common ground and feeling of togetherness (sans the complaining). And the fear is that no one will have my back. That I’ll be left standing alone. That no one will be on my side or understand me.

Ironically, my comfortable, habitual response to this fear is pushing everyone away.

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