The Perfect Accident: A Lesson Taught & Learned

Is there such a thing? Usually not when it comes to car accidents but I’m convinced this one was different. Here is a story about a car accident gone right – and a lesson both taught and learned. 

Earlier this year, I ventured to OB on a lazy Sunday morning to grab brunch with a few friends. We chatted and laughed about the previous night’s escapades over breakfast burritos and then went our separate ways. While driving down the main drag thinking to myself that I really should explore other neighborhoods more often, another car, obviously not seeing me, backed out of a parking spot and straight into my dear Prius.

I’m the type of person that really gets flustered in these situations. I forget the list of questions to ask, blank on the name of my insurance company, even space on grabbing my license and registration… I know – I’m working on it. I did my best to compose myself, hopped out of the car and walked over to a local couple who had, from I assumed, been out exploring that morning. The story progresses with the basic exchanges of information, images taken of licenses , you get the idea. You’ll see why I say this later but, it didn’t cross my mind  to confront them with anger. I had no reason to. Certainly it wasn’t the perfect end to my brunch escapade but clearly, this wasn’t what they set out to do with their Sunday either. They thanked me for being so nice and quite honestly, I didn’t think much of it. I went along with my day per usual… but what happened later  is what makes this story special.

Cindy proactively called and texted me to make sure every step of the process was on track and everyone was on the same page. I got my car fixed without a hitch and she followed up with friendly text messages just to make sure I had everything I needed. She kept thanking me for being so great through this situation – so calm, understanding and kind. The whole time though, I couldn’t help but feel the same way about her. We talked about how easy and painless this potentially frustrating situation was and even discovered our shared passion for, you guessed it, blogging.

I hadn’t heard from Cindy in a few weeks until today and quite frankly, I didn’t expect to. She followed up one more time to make sure my car was set and everything was done. She then told me to check out her blog this evening – so I did. I cannot describe how unbelievably flattered I am by her kind words and quite honestly, her perception of my actions is one of the best compliments I’ve received in some time.

This post isn’t at all meant to shed light on how awesomely I handled our situation because what I did really wasn’t, or shouldn’t be, out of the ordinary. All I did was smile, understand, communicate and not be a big bitch from the get-go. The fact that this story is such a anomaly is a mix of refreshing and sad to me. While on one hand, I’m proud to be part of a positive experience that could have easily been the opposite, the fact that it’s as rare as it is- is disheartening. It has become painfully normal to react before thinking, to act based on your perception of someone else’s reality – rather than taking a moment to put the situation at hand into context.

Cindy gives me a lot of credit in her blog post (screen shots below) but it takes two to tango and without her calm, open, honest nature- followed by her responsiveness and pure sense of responsibility, this perfect accident would not have been such.

Read Cindy’s Blog- The Accidental Lesson

Screen shot 2013-02-26 at 10.10.04 PM Screen shot 2013-02-26 at 10.10.12 PM

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