Remain in your lane

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Gary Tetz
Gary Tetz

Like many respectable professions, long-term care has plenty of highly competitive, aggressive people. Brave scientists who sedate, tag and study them in the wild have labeled them Type A personalities. 

I'm from Canada, where the opposite is true. We tend to be more timid and soft-spoken, even passive aggressive at times. Up there, we call that Type Eh.

The Type A's have done wondrous, amazing things, and we should be grateful — we might not even have jobs without them. But still, for those of us wired for introversion and chronic passivity, they can be mighty annoying. 

That's why I've grown to love my morning merge onto a busy freeway. Easing down the entrance ramp toward two dueling stoplights, drivers are commanded to form two lines and take turns. I make my choice effortlessly — by staying right where I am. Then I watch. And smile.

All around me, the A's vie for advantage and position. They're natural, gut-level decision makers, infinitely comfortable with asserting themselves, so they do a lot of last-second cutting to achieve a triumphant payoff — a time savings of approximately three seconds. 

Meanwhile, I'm just sitting back there, listening to Debussy and feeling smug. Because with so much jockeying by the A's around me, I'll probably end up winning the race to green without acting. 

There's a place in the world for people wired like that — they pretty much built the place, after all. But there's also something to be said for those who choose to stay happily in our roles and let everyone else adjust. 

In our journey to success, we might not always get the limelight or the credit, but chances are we'll be more relaxed. 

So here's to both, the compulsive lane changers who keep pushing the boundaries, and the rest of us who serve comfortably and confidently in the background. 

Cheers to the A's — and the Ehs.