Lessons From A Flat Tire: Hurry Up And Be A Tool

For two weeks I drove around Baltimore on a spare tire. During that time I learned some things and observed some things.

We’ve talked about watching and good ideas. This one is about speed.

The maximum speed rating for most spare tires is somewhere in the 45 to 50 mile per hour range. On side streets and neighborhoods, or in the grind of traffic this isn’t necessarily a big deal. Put yourself on an interstate or beltway when things are clipping and you have what may be called a predicament.

With the cruise control set at 50, four way flashers on, and staying in the right lane you’d think people would notice the potential obstruction and go around. Not always. It was surprising how many people made the choice to rush up behind, tailgate, honk, and recklessly rush around as if it proves some sort of point. You know, where the body language of the car looks like a teenager in a huff.

So here’s the deal: acting like that makes you look like a tool. Treating people like they don’t matter; like they are an obstruction; like you and your time are more valuable…tool. You know where else this happens? Grocery store lines, side walks, RedBox kiosks…tool. Hurry, rush, huff around all you want. Tool.

I’ll close with a little secret: I noticed this because I’m guilty of being a tool myself. So I’ll ask myself the same question I’m asking you:

How and when can I treat others in such a way that will communicate more about their value and less about my toolishness? (Yes. It’s a word.)

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