I haven’t finished puzzle yet. I wanted to make more progress, but I ended up spending more time than I had planned on, when I went to the grocery store, spent frustrating time on the phone trying to schedule a service call with Sears, and a short amount of time lying on the floor.
Shall I elaborate? Well, then I shall.
My trip to the grocery store took a little longer than planned due to a) a twenty-something looking feller who was dressed like a banker trying to rush me through the produce section so he could get his hands on the romaine lettuce and cucumbers before I could make a proper selection; and b) crates of stock scattered haphazardly in the aisles which caused a one lane traffic flow. You may be asking yourself why a person who was rushing me actually slowed me down. It is simple. When I encounter a person such as he, my natural instinct is to instruct that person on the virtue of patience, and I believe in teaching by example. Yes, I slowed down.
I called Sears to have a technician come out to work on our hot water heater. I’ve had to restart it three times in the past two weeks. So, I calls them up and get an automated system that can’t understand me when I clearly enunciate “hot water heater,” or the second time when I say “h-o-t w-a-t-e-r h-e-a-t-e-r,” or even the third time when I calmly said, “HOT WATER HEATER.” The automated system decided to switch me over to a human being. I told the woman who I was and what I needed. She then asked me for my telephone number so she could look me up in the computer system to see who I was. She found me in the system, told me who I was and where I lived, and asked how she could help me. I told her what I needed. She looked at her computer screen and asked me if I was talking about the hot water heater that we had purchased in 1996. I explained that, no, we were living in a different house then, had not brought the heater with us when we moved, and that we had purchased this heater in the past 3 or 4 years. Gosh, she couldn’t find that purchase in her computer system. Had I used a different telephone number? I doubted it, because we had given up our land line before the purchase had been made. She checked Cindy’s phone number, without me telling the rep what her name and number was, but did not find the hot water heater there either. Was I sure I didn’t use the number of the land line we used to have? What was it? First I was surprised she didn’t already have the number in her system, but I just said, “I don’t remember what it was, but if you can wait a couple of minutes I’ll climb two stories to our office and get the number there.” She told me that, actually, she couldn’t wait, and that it wasn’t a big deal because the technician could look it up from the serial number when he came to the house in four days. Then, despite the fact that she couldn’t wait for me to climb the stairs, I spent the next 10 minutes fending off her efforts to sell me repair plans that I had no desire to buy.
As to laying on the floor…I was sitting on the edge of a metal chair while working on the jigsaw puzzle when my telephone rang. The phone was in a front pocket of my jeans, and rather than rise up and pull it from my pocket, I sat there trying to fish the phone out of my pocket. That was a bad idea. I felt the back legs give way, and I ended up lying on my back as the chair collapsed. I decided to just lie there and talk to my mother, for it was she who had called for the second time yesterday, rather than try to get to my feet and explain what had happened. It was just as well because it was a short conversation. She wanted to know what I knew about the shooting at Purdue. I told her I knew nothing because the television and the radio had been off since around 9 a.m. that’s all she wanted to know, so she said goodbye and hung up.
So what were my lessons learned? They were old lessons that I became reacquainted with yesterday. Patience will get you through just about anything. Also politeness makes you feel good. I felt better after my talk with the Sears Rep because I thanked her for her help, despite wanting to snarl vituperous phrases at her. And finally, with my mother, some things are better left unsaid despite discomfort.
Tomorrow I’ll get back to the autobiography thread of my posts.