I am an iced tea fan, especially good, sweet, tea on hot summer days. My local Sheetz must have sensed this iced tea craving that I have. They want me to d
rink their iced tea. In fact, they sent me a card so that I can drink their iced tea for a month. The tea is free, but I have to go through the drive-thru. A large iced tea before tax is a $1.45, so I am now a regular at Sheetz. I am fairly certain that this may have something to do with the fact that most of us are unaware that this particular Sheetz has a drive-thru. I am also certain that the gift card has to do with the fact that they have just opened a new location in my neighborhood. But, I like to imagine that they just want me to enjoy one of my favorite beverages. Brewed tea is always better than instant, but my family does not drink the stuff.
On one of my daily visits to Sheetz, I learned something new. If you are sitting at the drive-thru window, the staff person with the drive-thru headphones can hear you. I learned this because the woman at the window asked about what I was listening to in my car. I turned it off when I talked with her, but when she was away from the window, I turned it back on. She could hear my listening choice. She was polite when asking, and I did not mind telling her that I was listening t a podcast from Floris United Methodist Church. This lead me to think about how many times we are overheard.
We are overheard at drive-thru windows, but we are also overheard in public restrooms. How many of us have not heard the mom or grandmother discussing bodily functions and hygiene with a small child in the bathroom? We are also overheard in restaurants. We are heard when walking and talking with family and friends.
What do people hear when you are around? Do they hear wisdom? The person at Sheetz heard about Deborah, an Old Testament prophet. Do they hear judgment or commentary about those around you? Many of us have heard a person share the intimate details about a relationship including where the other person in the relationship falls short. Do they hear love or frustration? Dawdling in the restroom is standard behavior for many children. Caregivers deal with this in different ways, and the statement, “Have you finished?” can be said in a wide variety of tones.
Take care with how you sound because others are listening. What you say and what you omit into the world around you can have an impact.