Yesterday Jayne and I were driving home from Sydney when we had a “choice” of route to take…

The reason we had a choice was because this time, unlike other times, we’d been to Sydney on a weekday for a specific event. This was very different for us because on the rare occasions we do drive up to Sydney, it’s usually on a weekend day and not on a weekday.

And on this particular weekday, we had chosen to return home during daylight hours rather than after sunset. And this decision in itself presented us with a couple of obstacles to negotiate.

The first obstacle was that we wanted to avoid passing through school zones when traffic must obey school zone speed limits.
The second obstacle was because we were travelling in the early afternoon, we also had roadworks to contend with.

So here’s what happened:

Heavy rainfall that our local area received last year had resulted in serious pothole damage to a number of roads. As a result, a couple of arterial country roads were still being repaired.

In fact, part of one major arterial road had been closed for a reasonable amount of time while road repairs were being carried out.

So yesterday, when we chose to join this road at an access point that last week was operational, we found that the road was closed in both directions and we were unable to join the road.

This left us with two choices.

We could either return to the town where we had come from along the road we had travelled, or we could take the crossroad that had been restricted to local traffic only for quite some time due to pothole damage, and had been undergoing pothole reparation and maintenance.

We chose the latter…

I decided to chance the crossroad, figuring that the repairs along there would have been long finished by now…

I should have known better…

About three miles down this road, we encountered traffic controllers in action.

Road barriers. Traffic cones. And a lady in high vis.

I asked her politely, in a joking manner, if there was any way she would allow us to drive through the roadworks zone.

With a smile on her face she said there was no way.

She said that the only people allowed to drive through were people who were residents along the road.

She explained that if she let me through, she would also have to let the two cars behind me through as well. [These two cars had followed me along this road as I drove past a “Road Closed” sign.]

I told her that I wouldn’t tell the drivers behind that I was not a resident.

She told me “No” again.

And then she said this:

She told us that today drivers had sworn at her, and that one driver had even told her to “go and kill herself”.

Can you believe that?

And all this lady was doing was she was doing the job she’d been employed to do.

That was all.

It’s pretty embarrassing to believe that someone doing their job can be abused and harassed by another member of the human race, simply because they are doing their job.

It makes you wonder…

Are people out there really so insensitive and that abusive that they would swear at a total stranger and suggest self-harm?

As the lady said to us, this week she was dealing with the fact that on a personal level she was going to be attending two funerals.

And it got me thinking… we never know what sort of stuff is going on behind the scenes in the heads of the people we encounter each day…

Everybody has their own story, and their own backstory, and you can’t imagine what some of those stories are doing to the minds that they are occupying?

So before you speak, maybe, you should hold that thought, and wait for the second thought.

[I’ve written about the second thought before]

Because in most cases, the second thought will result in a better outcome for all.


This lady was resolute in her role of gatekeeper.

Nobody who wasn’t meant to get through her road closure was ever going to be allowed to get through.

As a dentist, wouldn’t you like to have this lady managing all those calls to your dental office that want to reschedule or cancel?

I’m sure that with her focus and determination, she’d have a positive impact on your cancellation and reschedule numbers.

That’s for sure…


Dr. David Moffet BDS FPFA CSP is a certified CX Experience coach. David works with his wife Jayne Bandy to help SME businesses improve their Customer Service Systems to create memorable World Class experiences for their valued clients and customers. Click here to find out how David and Jayne can help your business