Yesterday I went with a friend in a neighbourhood I don’t know well. I parked the car in a snow-covered street, after we both checked the parking signage, and made sure it was okay to park there.
When we came back to the car, there was a ticket on the windshield; I was mad but pretty sure I would be able to contest it. As I was brushing off the snow from the car, I noticed I had parked in front of the driveway. I checked the ticket and yup, the description was right. I hadn’t seen that driveway when I parked, and clearly, I would have moved to another spot if I had.
I probably didn’t notice it because I was more focus on the signage (it’s a nightmare in Montreal), and it was all covered in snow, but these are not valid excuses, I should have paid attention. My friend told me she shared the blame, but while I appreciate the gesture, I drove the car, so I was in charge. It’s my job to pay attention, not hers.
I was quite angry at myself because I always to try to be nice to people and make it easy for everyone around me, but this time I was the jerk. I felt like this one wrong move on my part ruined all the moments I tried to be nice. I was angry and ashamed.
That’s a reminder that when I see a stranger misbehave, I shouldn’t think they’re a jerk/moron/dummy. We can’t make quick assumptions about people based on a single poor action from their part without getting more context. We’re all jerks sometimes.