The Power of Soft

By Hilary Gallo

How to get what you need and still be nice

Friday, 30 January 2015

Softly does it...

The following was sent to me today by a friend and a supporter of the book.

The story speaks for itself.

“I got on a train sat down next to a man who had his feet on the seats. Early 30s, he seemed relatively well dressed and was playing a game on his phone. I quietly pointed to the sign that said "Please keep your feet off the seats" and suggested he follow it.

He looked at me. And then sneered. "What the f**k has it got to do with you? You are a f**king prick". I raised my hands in a form of surrender and left it there. I didn't move and continued to read my book. I could sense the nervousness of the other passengers (it was a busy train) and wondered if I could or should have handled it another way.

The guy continued to sit there with his feet up.

10 minutes later, he looked at me, took his feet off the seats and said:

"Do you know what mate? You are right. And I am sorry. You didn't deserve to be spoken to like that. I've just got a lot on my plate at the moment".

I looked up and told him I appreciated the apology.

He went on: " I am up at the Old Bailey at the moment. No idea if I am going to see my kids for a long time. I just don't know... " and he trailed off.

He had a scar on his face, and then I realised his suit was a "defendant's" suit. For appearance. And when he got up at City Thameslink I noticed he had a pronounced limp. As if he had been hurt. I felt deeply sorry for the man who was presumably facing a spell in prison.

And pleased that dealing with it quietly and considerately, we both got what we wanted.”

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