I cycled home from the office an hour later than I would have liked tonight and the proportion of knobhead drivers around after 5:30pm is definately higher than before 4:30. I had a couple of incidents (which is unusual for me) and I’ll just tell you about the first one as the second was oh so predictable and less amusing.
At work we have been going through a series of ‘change workshops’ and despite some cynicism around my floor I can see that they are working for our particular group which is a cross section of people from various departments. I think we are being particularly well lead/coached within our group.
One technique we have spent some time discussing and practising is ‘data rich feedback’. When giving criticism or praise the principle is to detach the emotion and subjectiveness from it, to qualify what you are saying with indisputable facts but then go on to explain how that makes you feel.
So on my way home tonight, when I tried to cross the A6 at the junction with Oldfield Rd/Adelphi St in Salford, an articulated lorry was parked across our path as the lights went green. There was queued traffic ahead of him for quite a distance and from his lofty cabined position he would have been better placed than most to know that the traffic ahead would not be moving on imminently. Never-the-less he decided to enter the junction (it’s not a box junction, don’t get me started on box junctions…) when he knew that the lights were likely to change and he would cause gridlock.
Well, what do you know, the lights changed and he was stuck in the way with no traffic able to move apart from little old cyclist me. I took my life in my hands and weaved cautiously to the right to go around the back of his trailer and then left to ride up to the side of his cab before tuning down Adelphi St.
Now folks, this is how NOT to do it, as I simply yelled ‘Dickhead’ at the top of my voice on behalf of the queued cars who I knew did not have a hope of crossing the junction through that sequence of lights. I rode away and looked back over my shoulder to see him giving me the bird so being a good Englishman I gave him two back in the spirit of Agincourt. I am ashamed of this and if Auntie Sharon was there I’m sure she would have told me off.
The conversation should have gone something like this…
“I notice you are driving like a Dickhead. I imagine that is because you are a Dickhead, but it makes me feel very angry and I want bust your nut you lard-arsed Yorkie eatting fat fwork.” (not entirely sure he was overweight but the presumption is that truck drivers tend not to have slight and slender figures)
I find it helps to go completely Joe Pesci to get things off your chest. I had this dialogue all worked out in my head within the minute it took to reach the lights at the end of Silk Street. My head was now clear and I was happy again.
Sadly my newly acquired karma was broken just 8 minutes later. Ce la vie!