You can’t be good all the time… We all get frustrated, have bad days, and unfortunately we lash out, hurting others, only to realize later what we actually did. The important thing is to learn from our mistakes and move forward trying to do better. That was the case for (almost) all of these people who learned how to better their ways.
1. Just Don't Yell
One of my first jobs I took seriously was in fact McDonalds. You can hate it all you want, but it's incredible how detailed the instructions are. From a processing/logistics point of view, they can make you a fresh hamburger in under a minute.
That's amazing if you've ever worked in a kitchen.
I was usually working as an "Initiator" which is like the leader of the kitchen. You decide what gets made first by toasting the buns and sending them down the line with the proper wrapper and condiments with a printed tag on it if it's special (no pickles).
Generally speaking you also call out to the co-workers anything special, and if there's large orders of nuggets or something coming in. A hyper 20-year old "inish" can really put the strain on some elderly line workers. I kept them working hard during rush hours.
One particular dinner rush I really gave our only cook Terry a hard time. He was in a motorcycle accident when he was younger. I wouldn't call him handicapped or mentally challenged, he was just a really slow mover and thinker.
He kept coming up short on things like nuggets, chicken patties, burgers etc.. It was really slowing us down.
At one point he's holding a dirty tray, walking across the kitchen and I yelled at him to get more burgers cooking. He just stopped, gave me an evil stare, threw the dirty tray on the ground, and yelled
"Not everyone is perfect like you! Some people have to try harder to do normal things!" My heart sank and I started feeling really bad. I still remember that stuff almost 15 years later. If you've ever worked in a busy kitchen you know how those moments create strong bonds between co-workers.
I ended up being good friends with the guy, and helped him out a bit more when I could.
2. The Broken Bro Code
It's a long story. Basically, when I was in my late teens I had a huge crush on this one chick, she was amazing. But me and my friend followed this bro code that basically said we couldn't chase after girls because it just leads to anger, hate and suffering.
Well, against my better judgment I started sneaking out with this girl. We went on some awesome dates: fancy dinners, hiking around in beautiful mountains, and the like. It was awesome. Everything was working out and my friend had no idea that I was seeing this chick.
This went on for years.
Unfortunately I was stupid and didn't think, and I got this girl pregnant. It started to get more difficult to hide our relationship from my friend. Well, one day he finds out about it and we get into this huge argument and start beating the crap out of each other.
It wasn't pretty.
Honestly I did some really stupid things in that fight now that I look back on it. I'd learned so much that I thought I could easily win this fight with my friend, but I was wrong.
While we were fighting my friend looked right at me and told me that the crowd I was hanging out with was evil. So I looked him right in the eyes and said in my most dead-panned voice and facial expression:
"From my point of view the Jedi are evil" That. That was when I realized I was the bad guy because of how stupid I sounded.
3. Just A Sneeze
I was clothes shopping in Uniqlo with my girlfriend. We both had our hands on a sweater, checking the size when I suddenly felt that familiar burn/tingle/irritation in my nose.
The nature of what we were doing had me standing very close to and facing my girlfriend. Since the urge was so sudden and I had my hands tied up I instinctively turned my head and lifted my arm so as to not sneeze directly into her face.
I move out of the way and don't shoot my snot and saliva onto her. Success! I'm an everyday hero. Or not. Uniqlo arranges their shelves of clothing into aisles and they're not particularly big, just wide enough for two people.
Unbeknownst to me, a woman had attempted to squeeze by in the narrow space my girlfriend and I did not occupy. She was mid step and directly beside me when I turned my head to direct the sneeze away.
She had had her mouth slightly ajar perhaps in preparation for an "excuse me" which was unfortunate as I then sneezed directly into her open mouth and face. I froze, feeling unbelievably bad for having just shared my bodily fluid with an unsuspecting and certainly unwilling stranger.
She let out one of those short quick exhales and slammed her hands over her mouth in shock and disbelief. An avalanche of apologies fell out of my mouth but they were too late as she understandably ran off around the bend of the aisle and disappeared into a crowd of shoppers.
4. Youth Anger
A co-worker and I were not getting along. Something wasn't clicking and I thought she was just old, rude and lazy. Eventually I got called into the boss's office and she was there, crying her eyes out.
My boss informed me she had been telling them that I was being rude, aggressive and overall a jerk to this person. Turns out she felt she was under pressure because of my attitude, and she couldn't handle it.
I felt awful, and apologized profusely. I was young at the time and it was a big wake up moment for me.
I was at a point in my life where I was trying to turn myself around physically, but now I knew I had to for my attitude as well. That coworker and I became quite close over time, and even though I left that job 6 years ago, we still keep in touch.