The Quickest Way to the Front of the Line

Taking a shared van - my arch nemesis!  Oh, how I loathe the.

Okay, in all reality, I don't hate it that much.  Loathing is a special sort of hate I only reserve for the most vile, most villainous, and most destitute activities I can think of. Things like buying clothes. And shoe shopping.  Oh...shoe shopping, I just broke out in a cold sweat thinking about it.

Where was this post going?  Oh that's, right, shared vans. Recently, I was traveling to train presentation skills out of state.  Everything was going smoothly up until I arrived at my destination.  I had reserved a shared van from a company I trust and have used many times.  I had a great conversation with the women on the phone and was trusting that my experience would be the same as it had been many times in the past.

Only it wasn't.

I arrived at the designated "Shared Van" waiting area.  I knew this because there was a bright orange sign that old me so. There were a few people waiting.  I said, "Hi," and preceded to check emails on my phone to make sure nothing had changed in the world since the last 10 minutes I had checked.  Nothing had.

I kept waiting for my van. I waited some more.  And some more.  Now, this didn't really bother me as I had a ton of time and I wasn't going to be training until the next day.  However, everyone around me - the growing salvo of people that kept showing up - all for the same van, didn't have that luxury.

They were upset.

Really upset.

I know this because told me. And everyone else.  Repeatedly.

Finally, about a half an hour later, our van showed up. We're all excited.  Only...there isn't enough room.  Everyone freaks out. The driver, while nice and cordial, isn't equipped to handle it. He asked me if I had a reservation, I told him that I did, but that I had just reserved my spot today, so if the others needed to get on first that I was happy to wait. Now, he seemed to think this was odd and gave me a look that made how odd he thought it was obvious and moved onto the next person.  He even came back to me and asked again. I politely declined again. He gave me the same look and moved on.  Finally the van is about to depart only there is room for one more because of the way the groups traveling worked out. So, the oft-confused driver came back to me and asked if I would like to go with this group. I responded in the positive and I was off. 

As a bonus I was the first person that was dropped off at my hotel.  This is rare, especially for those of us who travel in shared vans.  I was ecstatic.  I had a great conversation with the driver and was at my hotel in no time (...that is, after I Googled directions and confirmed that he was taking the right exit. And, in all fairness, he asked me to).

So, where are we going with this?  Sometimes, we have to step back and let others go ahead of us.  It's not always are time to succeed, be in the limelight, get the promotion, or even get to our destination.  Sometimes, we have to step aside.  

So, today's challenge: when faced with a choice or an opportunity to take action - take a step back first. Is this your time?  Should you be taking the action now?  Maybe, maybe not.  However, by letting others go ahead, you might, just might, get to the front of the line faster than if you didn't.  It could be because of a mistake they make, or an opportunity you'll have to assist them, or just blind luck.  You never know.

Sometimes the quickest way to the front of the line is to let others go ahead of you.