The waitress teaches me a lesson

The idea of a higher power or god used to turn me off.

After all, how could I trust something that allowed bad things to happen to children and animals?

Then I tried a 12-step meeting. There, I learned that I could stop wasting my energy trying to fix people. What a relief! Over time, I stopped believing I was the director of the universe and that my compulsion to control people and situations was making me sick.

But I still slip up sometimes, as I did yesterday.

No matter that I knew that Swiss restaurants—especially those catering to tourists on mountain passes—feature horrible customer service; when that waitress spoke disrespectfully and loudly to my daughter and me, I felt shocked, unwanted, and angry. I should have felt some sympathy for the poor woman, who was working on a Sunday and who was juggling complaints from other diners.

My daughter told me to cool it. Instead, I complained to the manager and waited in the car.

In retrospect, I think I was playing director of the universe. Who the hell did I think I was? Yes, she was rude, but who was I to teach her a lesson?

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