Last Friday, a maintenance worker locked my seven year old daughter in the restroom at the beach. Fortunately I happened to be standing right there and got her immediately unlocked (as well as another female patron who’d been trapped with her) and Kiddo#2 immediately forgot about it.
I, on the other hand, left the kids with my Patient Husband and said, “Excuse me, but I’m about to get someone fired.”
I wouldn’t really do that, but Momma Tiger was sharpening her fangs. She found the beach facilities director and informed him of the inadvisability of having a maintenance employee walk up to the restroom door and lock it without even shouting “Hey! Anyone in there?”
Momma Tiger was given a number for the chief of maintenance, who didn’t call back.
That night, exhausted, I took benadryl (allergies) I went to bed and proceeded not to fall asleep. After half an hour, I thought, “Okay, what’s up?” since as a mom of four, even without benadryl I usually fall unconscious with a speed that would make a narcoleptics gasp.
My guardian angel didn’t want me the sun to set on my anger. Some people who know their stuff think that’s bad for your soul.
I pointed out that this wasn’t fair. I know that as a Christian, I’m ordered to forgive. But this wasn’t really a forgiveness situation. Because even I knew the maintenance worker wasn’t a monster. If anything, she appeared to be mentally handicapped. She’d probably been told, “Go lock the restrooms” by a supervisor who never thought to say “But check inside first to make sure no one is in there.”
The problem was, once I thought about it, I kept rehearsing what happened, thinking of ways it could have been worse. If I hadn’t been outside, I wouldn’t have known what had happened to Kiddo#2. If I’d been in with her, we’d both have been trapped. My Patient Husband, already at the car, wouldn’t have come looking for us.
And in response to all this, I kept realizing that no, none of these bad things had happened, so I needed to let them go. My guardian angel simply kept me awake. I said the words (“I forgive her, but that wasn’t the issue.”) I prayed for her. And I said, “Look, I’m still going to complain, but I’ll say I don’t want her disciplined. What I want is the procedure to be changed.”
I guess that was good enough, because once I did that, I slept like a rock.
The next day returned for a name/address higher up the food chain. The facilities director and I agreed the worker herself had meant no harm (and he did say she had some sort of mental challenge). I’ve now written an attention-getting letter which will promptly be round-filed.
But maybe the worker herself got startled enough that she won’t just blindly lock the doors again. And my guardian angel prevented the sun from going down on my anger.