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Conflict stories from everyday life – recently in traffic control

Updated: 3 days ago

Today I'm starting my new series about conflicts 🧨 in everyday life. How do I personally feel when I encounter small annoyances? How do I deal with them? When does an issue become a conflict? And how would you handle it? It was just recently, on a Saturday morning. I was driving back from dog training with my dog 🐶 and had overlooked my speed in the local area of a small community in the Bucklige Welt. It happened as it had to: I was waved aside by a policeman 🚓.

Recently in traffic control - conflict stories from everyday life
Recently in traffic control - conflict stories from everyday life

The problem is not so much my speeding, but rather that (as is often the case) I don't carry my driver's license, registration certificate, and certainly not cash with me, ever. I'm completely digital, so I have everything on my phone. Yes, I already have a digital driver's license. Not very practical, as it turns out. Because in a stressful situation, it's easier to pull out your driver's license than to finally find your digital identification among hundreds of apps on your phone 📵. But that's just the beginning of the curse of this brave new world - a conflict threatened to escalate:

The policeman 👮 – very formal and determined – already somewhat tense about my ability to pull out a driving license, explained to me that he would not accept it. The legislature has apparently issued a corresponding regulation for citizens, but the executive branch has not yet received any internal instructions on accepting them. I start to gasp, get nervous, and consider whether I should invoke my civil rights, the ombudsman or the aunt from the animal corner. No, as a mediator I remain calm and collected. Anyway, after an eternity I find my driving license, but the policeman pulls out his cell phone to scan it. There you go, it works. You just have to want to. Unfortunately, the certificate for the app on the executive branch's cell phone has expired. Apparently it wasn't.

This is not going well at all, not to say it is getting out of hand. The officer turns a blind eye and threatens to issue a fine that must be paid immediately. I pull out my cell phone to pay it. But we are in Austria: Here you may be able to identify yourself electronically, but you still have to pay your fines in cash 👛. Where will we end up if the police officer's belt now has a mobile payment terminal hanging next to his weapon, teaser, radio and handcuffs?

The tension is rising. I have to go to the nearest savings bank to withdraw cash. But this is where the next obstacle arises: At most ATMs 🏧 in Austria you can already withdraw money using NFC (i.e. via mobile phone). However, if these are located in the bank's foyer, you can only gain access outside of opening hours if you identify yourself - with your card. It doesn't make sense, but it's reality. The mood is threatening to turn sour - at least I think so. Now I'm probably going to be reported; in the worst case scenario I'll have to go to the police station and the whole day will be ruined. You just shouldn't mess with the police. Typical Austria. But I'm proven wrong: The officer offers to escort me to the nearest branch and let me into the foyer using his personal card 💳. I'm stunned.

No sooner said than done. I drive to the parking lot of the nearest savings bank under police protection 🚓 and withdraw a considerable amount of money. That's going to cost a lot. But at least we've found a solution. You can imagine my surprise when the police officer only charges me 20 euros. When I ask him again, he explains: "YOU DON'T HAVE TO OVERDO IT."

I think that's a very wise statement. When we get into conflict situations, we can usually decide whether we want to contribute to escalation or pacification. Do I personally tend to add a little more or offer possible solutions? My thanks go to this police officer who de-escalated the situation throughout the entire process. I learned a lot from him. 🚀 🚀 🚀

I look forward to your comments: How would you have felt in this situation? Could a conflict have arisen for you?

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