A Few Steaks in the Office

For Jason Fritz, some unsolicited generosity led to a great lunch.

I was watching N.C.I.S the other day, and it gave me a really good idea. For those unfamiliar with it, the main character is a special agent named Gibbs, played by Mark Harmon, and the agency director is named Jenny Shepard, played by Lauren Holly. The two are very close, and have a long past that includes a former relationship.

In this particular episode, the two of them got in a major fight over something—I can’t remember over what, but it was the way Gibbs apologized that struck me. Because of their past, Gibbs has certain privileges that most people don’t have with their boss, which is why they got in a shouting match in the first place. To apologize, Gibbs just breezed into her office (without knocking, of course) holding a bag, took a seat on her sofa, and started laying out cartons of food on her coffee table, all without saying a word.

After getting over her initial shock, Jenny was delighted at what he had brought and the two quickly made up. That struck me as a really nice way to mend fences with someone, and I liked that it spoke to his level of confidence, too.

Now to switch gears: there’s a woman I work with who is very important to me. We used to be very close, but lately we haven’t been getting along as well, and we’ve hardly been talking. That’s been bothering me, so I decided to do something about it. I went and got a couple of steaks around lunchtime, and I did exactly what Gibbs did—I just walked in (I had made sure she was there before I ordered the food) and started laying out packages of food.

She had much the same look on her face at first as Jenny had had on the show, but we sat down and started eating and talking, and we had a really good time. That was probably the most time we’ve spent together in months, and it was great. I missed my friend. It’s not something I would do every day, but relationships with other people always require a little effort, and I think we both got so busy at work for so long that we sort of forgot to do that.

I’m going to have to remember to do that every once in a while. The cost of the food was a small price to pay for getting her to stop working for a little while and chat, and I think we all need to look around sometimes and think about who is truly important in our lives, and who we would miss if they suddenly disappeared.

No explicit apology was made, nor was it needed—it was simply understood to be there, and sometimes what doesn’t need to be said can be more powerful than any spoken words.

photo: themarmot, Flickr

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About Jason Fritz

Jason lives in Sacramento, California, and is a single father with three boys. He works for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and in his spare time he likes to read, write, play video games, watch TV, and read far too many tweets from Maureen Johnson.

Comments

  1. I went and got a couple of steaks around lunchtime, and I did exactly what Gibbs did—I just walked in (I had made sure she was there before I ordered the food) and started laying out packages of food.

    A bold move. Reading that, I was like ‘wow’. You dived for the finishline. That was amazing.
    No explicit apology was made, nor was it needed—it was simply understood to be there, and sometimes what doesn’t need to be said can be more powerful than any spoken words.
    A very good point, thanks for the piece

  2. Uncle Woofie says:

    A very nice article…!!!

    I wanted to make sure to say something to that effect because I honestly feel that ‘positive’ postings like this do not get their entitled due in the comments, especially compared to what we’re all trying to accomplish by writing here.

    Want to get plenty of comments? Post something the “Oh YEAH..?!?!?!” crowd gets off on….wanna hear the “crickets” chirp around here?

    Post something positive & pleasant.

    Inna immortal words of Ross Perot, that Dana Carvey always enjoyed making fun of…

    “Now that’s jus’ SAD.”

  3. I wanted to make sure to say something to that effect because I honestly feel that ‘positive’ postings like this do not get their entitled due in the comments,
    thats the reason i commented also woofie

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