WAITING

WAITING

I know I’m not alone in finding it difficult to wait, whether in line, on line, on hold on the phone, or in my doctor’s waiting room. When I know I’ll have to wait I try to remember to take a book, but when I’m rushing out the door to make the appointment I often forget.  I think the most difficult waiting for me is to be on hold on the phone.

With my ongoing calls to Dell about my defunct computer I’ve spent literally hours with my phone pressed up to my ear. If I’m quick enough, I plead for silence while I wait. Dell’s music choice was not particularly irritating until I’d listened to it for several hours. Now when I hear it I’m reminded of the negative experiences I’ve had with the whole computer disaster.

There’s one business, can’t remember which, that has my favorite Rachmaninoff piano concerto to entertain their callers. The waiting time there is always too short. They seem more efficient than most call centers, but time has been described as “relative,” and my experience is undoubtedly colored by having my enjoyment cut short.

Not everyone likes classical music, though.The companies that use music to keep their customers happy are probably facing an impossible problem. How do you satisfy everyone with one piece of music?

Waiting in line or in traffic are annoyances I thought I’d left behind when I moved to a small town. Indeed, traffic here is nothing like it is in metropolitan areas, but lines at the pharmacy, the bank, the post office and the supermarket seem unavoidable. I think about how I can spend that time doing something I never seem to have time for, such as improving my balance by standing on one foot. But falling into the person behind me is a real possibility, and would be too embarrassing to consider.

I’ve found meditation helpful in airports waiting for a flight. Doing it while standing in a line that keeps moving might present a challenge, however.

What about working on a crossword puzzle and enlisting help from others in line? Many years ago I belonged to a pottery cooperative, and our lunchtime activity, other than eating, was working on the New York Times puzzle of the day. But we knew each other somewhat. Not sure it would work with strangers.

I’ve always admired people who can spout off dozens of lines of memorized poetry. Committing a short poem to memory is a possibility, too.

You notice I’ve neglected mentioning the one activity most people turn to these days – electronics. I find someone talking on a cell phone when standing 12 inches away from good ear to be offensive in the extreme. Being around someone entertaining herself on a tablet, or a smartphone is less bothersome, but it is isolating. Trying to strike up a casual conversation with someone intent on the screen of their device is difficult, if not rude. Even eye contact with them is not possible.

Oh, my. I probably sound like what I am, an old lady complaining about leaving the “good old days” behind. But even with my complaints, I find I need a computer, and I’ve been waiting for 3 weeks now for Dell to provide me with something that works. It will be at least 3 to 4 business days before I can expect a replacement. In the meantime, what’s bowling ball material in 7 letters?