Not only is it still allergy season for me, I am getting over a summer cold therefore I had facial tissues on my store list. The smaller cube shaped boxes fit well in my bathroom and I was down to my last box.
There I stood facing the industrial shelving that holds the paper goods, staring at the several feet of empty space between me and the store brand facial tissue cubes arrayed at the very back. How helpful. I looked over at the name brand cubes to my left – of course quite handy. I looked at the full sized boxes to my right and was quite pleased to see that there was a full selection of the 3 ply version for my main bathroom. I grabbed a few. And went back to staring at my intended cubes about five feet from my nose.
A woman about my own age came up behind me. “Did you need some of those?” She pointed at those cubes. “Yes, I am considering my options.”
I had considered scaling the rack and also going in search of a long stick – say a broom a couple of aisles over. She clearly had the same thought, disappeared for a moment and came back with a fly swatter. Smart woman, she leaned in on the shelf below and started to tease the cubes forward. I looked at her arm-span and offered to help since mine is greater. The two of us worked in tandem and managed to pull 6-8 cubes forward.
Only to find that they were the kind with lotion. Drat. Ingenuity thwarted by the store’s buyer who clearly overbought this kind instead of the plain old ones that we were both after. We walked our separate ways empty handed.
I don’t know if she meant to work together or just get me out of her way so she could achieve her own goal. I walked away thinking that while ultimately disappointed in my main goal, it had been energizing to work together with this stranger to overcome that obstacle.
Facial tissue cubes are still on my store list for this week. I wonder what will happen?
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Tagged: Collaboration, Creativity, Learning, Making decisions, Problem solving, Purpose, Teamwork
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