Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Patience, My Child

Do you ever wonder what it might have really been like 100 years ago before all of our new and "wonderful" advancements? Before every phone call you made was answered by a computer, before we all expected our food to show up in the window the second we pulled our car forward? (Hopefully everyone can follow me here, because already I can feel my brain pulling me in several different directions! Good luck...)

The reason I ask is because I am sitting here fuming about the way things work and how it just shouldn't be so difficult to talk to a real person about a real problem without having to jump through every phone hoop ever invented. Trying to get settled in a new place that is WAY huger (i know that's not a word!) than where I came from has proven to be rather irritating for me. In Montana, when I had a question for someone that I had previously dealt with, I just called that person. Yes, I had to do the whole phone menu thing, but I got to talk to or leave a message for the person I needed to talk to. Here in Florida, when you call, you are lucky to be able to figure out which option you really want. Then, if you have indeed pressed the correct number, the information (given by a computer, of course) is at best unclear and at worst, terrifying. When you finally get ahold of a real person, they really have no answers for you either and you STILL need to contact the person that you originally dealt with but cannot leave a message for unless you go through all of the above! Whew! I'm wiped out just having tried to re-create that.

Which brings me a little further...Am I just acting like a spoiled rotten child, expecting to have something in what I consider to be a timely fasion? (In my defense, I sat very patiently on hold for 15 minutes before I even got to talk to a real person...and that was after receiving my worrisome automated information) Or, have we just been so conditioned to believe that we should get what we want right when we want it that waiting in line (cyber or physical) is just normal in today's world?

I think about sitting in line at a drive-through restaurant. I have noticed that usually if the wait in line between placing the order and touching the food is more than 2 minutes, people start getting really irritated. I understand that the concept of fast food is for it to be fast, but come on! If we have to wait for 5 minutes to get a hamburger (made just the way you like it), hot french fries and a cold drink, we are at LEAST 20 minutes ahead of a sit-down meal at a restaurant. 100 years ago we would have been dang lucky to get a meal like that no matter what!

What about the wait at the doctor's office? We grumble about 30 minutes, or on a really bad day an HOUR! But think about when there was only ONE doctor to cover a vastly spread out "neighborhood". If you were sick or bleeding from a horrific farm accident, you were usually waiting for the better part of a day for good ol' Doc. (Of course, all of this is just conjecture, since I didn't really live back then! lol)

I think that we have all become at least a little bit spoiled and I don't really like that thought. It goes against all of my "rights" to have what I want when I want it. It forces me to realize that my life isn't the only life happening right here, right now on this beautiful planet. And, as rough as things are right now, someone out there has it much worse than me. Sure takes the wind out of my sails...here I was all geared up for a fight about how I'd been wronged being forced to wait for answers. Seems to me that I have learned a very valuable lesson today...Patience!


DeenaL said...

How true! We have all gotten so busy with our "fast-paced" lives that we don't even take the time to enjoy them. We are such a demanding people--we want what we want RIGHT NOW! We don't realize that sometimes the blessings in life are in the "waiting." Hope you have a great day, Heather!
Love you,

Mindy said...

Oh yes the famous patience! I have learned to never pray for more patience. That seems to set me up for LOTS of waiting on hold and standing in line. Thereby teaching me patience =)

Hopefully things cheer up soon for you! I know that next year you will look back at all this and think that you had a lot to learn... but once learned life is pretty easy! Well not exactly 'easy' but easier! Lucy you!

Lucy, Me