Friday, February 14, 2014

He Said / She Said

I tried that phone number I was given yesterday by the man at the National Police station in Fuengirola. Success! My call was answered by an absolutely wonderful woman at Málaga's National Police station. We spoke entirely in Spanish. Without a problem.

Well, there was one problem. She said I needed to go to the station in Fuengirola, not in Málaga. I told her I had done so and was told just the opposite. The man here was unusually pleasant yesterday; in the past he has been very un-pleasant. How was I supposed to go back and tell him he was wrong?

After coffee this morning, I took the 2.5-km walk back to the station. Today was even more beautiful than yesterday, so I had another uplifting vigorous 35-minute walk in the sunshine (and back again). Both days, I got to see a sand sculptor at work on a scenic view of the Alhambra (Granada's palace/fortress). On my way Thursday, he was almost finished building the base. By the time I headed home, he had already begun adding the details. Today, the progress was a wonder. He said he should be finished tomorrow.

THE ALHAMBRA THURSDAY.
THE ALHAMBRA FRIDAY.
(CLICK EITHER PHOTO TO ENLARGE.)

I stood in line at the station and stepped up to the same man who helped me yesterday. He did a double-take as if to say, "What are you doing here?"

I didn't give him the chance. "Thanks so much for your help yesterday," I began. "I used the phone number you gave me and spoke with a wonderful woman in Málaga. She told me I hadn't asked you for the right thing. She said I should come back here and tell you I need a duplicate card."

He grimaced and I took a breath. I thought he was about to start arguing and then where was I? To my surprise, he quietly said, "I'm so sorry I wasted your time."

Maybe you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

I quickly responded, "Absolutely no need to apologize. You got me the help I needed and I'm back to get things done. I should be apologizing anyway. I'm the one who lost the card."

He had no idea what to do, but a nearby manager did. I'll go to the bank Monday to pay a small fee; I need to make a copy of my passport; and I need to get a new photo. I have an appointment Tuesday morning back at the national police (in Fuengirola) and then will wait 30–45 days for my new card.

Unfortunately, a month after I receive my new card, I'll have to start all over. We're almost due for our third renewal, which will last another two years... unless I do something stupid.


24 comments:

  1. Your diplomatic skills are improving every day!

    Where's this clip from?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carole:
      I had to be nice for a living. After a while, I lost the ability. Now that I'm retired, it's back.

      Robbie Williams did a single of the song with Nicole Kidman in 2001. That's simply the video done for the song. From my view, SO MUCH better than Frank and Nancy.

      Delete
    2. I agree - I'm so not a Sinatra fan.........

      Delete
  2. And a very happy Valentine's Day to you and Jerry!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carole:
      Same to you. We're doing a very good job of simply ignoring the holiday!

      Delete
    2. Yes, we tend to ignore it also - more of a retail holiday than an actual one.

      Delete
  3. Oh yes, Mitch, honey catches way more flies than vinegar. I am thankful I learned this along the way and it works.....most of the time.
    Happy things worked out for you at the NP station.
    I keep forgetting that Nicole Kidman has a nice voice!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jim:
      Sometimes it just seems easier to go for the vinegar.

      I also forget that Nicole Kidman can sing. This I think is my favorite so far.

      Delete
  4. Yes, Mitch I learned the very same thing after working in customer service/sales for so many years. Now it's time to get some great honey and enjoy!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ron:
      When I started preferring vinegar, I knew it was time to stop working.

      Delete
  5. YOU'RE SO GOOD! Intelligent, genuine, good people come out on top. How smart of you to come up with that line, and how nice of the other guy to be pleasant and apologetic. And... you did this all en español! How amazing. Plus, exercise and good sand-art!? All is good!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Judy:
      I did feel good about the way I handled myself and it's nice to have no regrets about how I behaved. The man at the desk is English. So the honey part was all done in English. The manager is German. We spoke Spanish. The woman on the phone... all Spanish (and I find phone conversations the most challenging since I can't use my hands). I'm so grateful for these summery days. It made it all so much easier to manager.

      Delete
  6. The sculpture is brilliant. I guess your losing your residency card is as bad as losing your passport.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andrew:
      Yep, the residency card is like losing the passport. And I'm sure glad I didn't lose both. But, interestingly, the worst loss is the US driver's license. Nothing to be done about that from here and I no longer have an address in California so they wouldn't let me replace it even if I did go there in person. Unbelievable.

      Delete
  7. Love the sand art.... amazing detail. Glad things worked so smoothly for you today... one less thing to feel hassled over.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Replies
    1. Spo:
      Thanks. Kindness is so much healthier.

      Delete
  9. You take what must have been a very trying situation in such graceful stride and such an intelligent and effective approach. As I sit here looking out at brutal ice and 14 inches of snow, I can't help but wonder if Spain and nice weather help just a bit in that regard.
    I tend to use a bit too much vinegar and wish I could think as fast in honey language as I do in vinegar language. Perhaps you should write a book: "Using Honey for Dummies" - I'd buy the first copy, autographed, of course.
    But, when I think about the proverb, who wants to catch flies? and who wants flies in their honey? Tea with honey and flies?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Frank:
      I think you're right that the good weather helped. You're right about not wanting to catch flies, too. I've always questioned the expression: "If life gives you lemons, make lemonade." I'm not a big fan of lemonade.

      Delete
  10. Love the sand sculpture, of course. The Discalced Carmelites once had a monastery (from the time of John of the Cross) near there, and I visited them both way back in 1978.

    Congrats of the handling of the awkward situation, too. I have found that when I am able to be polite, not only does the other person feel better, so do I. As they say, don't fight fire with fire: fight fire with a fire extinguisher.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michael:
      We still haven't been to Granada. Maybe next month. I'll say "hi" to the Carmelites for you (or at least to some caramels). Sometimes I need the satisfaction of speaking my mind (or at least I think I do), but this is a good example of how much healthier it is to just be kind.

      Delete
  11. You were so much more than polite. You found a very graceful way to save face for the man who actually didn't help you the day before. Well done! These situations can be so frustrating!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kristi:
      It's no surprise how much better I myself felt, too. So much nicer than saying something that hurt, having a difficult conversation, and then regretting it later.

      Delete

Tell me what you're thinking...
Dime tus pensamientos...