July 19, 2019•403 words
Grin & Bear It
On the trail for Fain, Perrin and Mat come across Bornhald's legion of Whitecloaks. Wary of being followed, Perrin reaches out to the wolves to see if they are being pursued.
Reluctantly, he reached out with his mind in search of wolves. Almost immediately he found them, a small pack lying up for the day in the hills above the village they had just left. There were moments of astonishment so strong he almost thought it was his own; these wolves had heard rumors, but they had not really believed there were two-legs who could talk to their kind. He sweated through the minutes it took to get past introducing himself - he gave the image of Young Bull in spite of himself, and added his own smell, according to the custom among the wolves; wolves were great ones for formalities on first meetings - but finally he managed to get his question through. They really had no interest in any two-legs who could not talk to them, but at last they glided down to take a look, unseen by the dull eyes of the two-legs.
Perrin, The Great Hunt, p. 518
You can practically hear Perrin's teeth grinding as he, in his view, wastes time on frivolities. Those extra minutes were worth it, else the wolves would have ignored the request. This is a frustrating and, sometimes, flat out irritating situation to be in: only one party has a sense of urgency, and is trying to recruit others to help. Handled poorly, it can sour the team building before it truly starts. Sometimes you have to ask about little Timmy's baseball game, even though it's the furthest thing from your mind. Making a connection with someone outside the confines of work yields short and long term dividends. It takes a few minutes longer, but it's more likely to result in a "let me see what I can do for you" as opposed to flat out refusal. And it lays the foundation to continue to bring that individual into the team by treating them as a person, instead of a commodity that provides something you need. But, it certainly is frustrating - especially when the only one with the urgency is you.