I had decided before the phone landed back on its cradle.
I was annoyed. Angry. Frustrated. Indignant. Irritated. Offended.
I was right and they were wrong. It was irrefutable. I was their boss. I was going to do my job and boss them.
I rose from my chair to walk the seven minutes down to where they were waiting. I was going to put things right. Out the door. Beneath trees splintering 5.30pm sunlight. Through the aromas of earth, heat and bush. Propelled by my duty I tracked towards my wayward charges.
That person did not meet them. Someone else did.
They had held onto their anger and emptied it over me. Mine had peeled off in transit. They spat their argument. Mine straggled behind me kicking gum nuts. They had been rehearsing their demands. I had been seven minutes free in the late afternoon.
We all discovered a better position for the coffee machine.
They were still wrong and I remained right. Just as the gum nuts had obediently arced away into the softness of leaf debris in response to my boot. So what?
Their rebellion had gifted me seven minutes glimpsing wisdom and Grace.
The Abbot used to say that there aren't as many Holy people as there once were. I think that he was talking about Leaders.
Leaders are much, much rarer than the many to whom we award that title. Very few people have all the qualities of a leader because they are counter-intuitive. Study Leadership and the conclusion is that Leadership is impossible. May as well be a boss instead.
The aspiring Leader attends to the list of qualities and inevitably edges her brain towards the abyss of contradictions and vulnerabilities - until she closes her eyes and leaps into her fears then feels the soft tug of the silken parachute of Grace filling with air above her and lowering her gently back down to earth.
Never to be the same.