Monday, January 3, 2011
Need To Slow Down?
The speed of life is fast. Incredibly fast. Maybe too fast.
And one of the reasons I like spending time with my elderly father is because he reminds me to slow down.
What does slowing down look like? I’m really not sure. I think it might involve taking a micro-sabbatical. I also think it might involve drinking more tea with my new hand-made teapot, compliments of hubby. (I didn’t ask for the teapot, so I think it’s his way of telling me I’m drinking too much coffee.)
There’s one thing I do know. When I’m in a hurry, I tend to step on other people. I tend to think my time is more important than their time. I tend to be rude and even a bit self-absorbed.
Shocking, I know.
I was keenly reminded of my need to slow down when I was helping my father set up his new computer. He was adding a favorite financial website to his desktop, but we couldn’t seem to get his password to work. He had already called customer service and had been given a “temporary password” but we were still locked out of his account. And he was frustrated.
So I told him, “Just call customer service back. I’m sure they can straighten it out.”
He dialed customer service. He got re-routed. He tried to explain. And he got frustrated again. I could hear a woman named “Lori” on the other end of the phone.
“Sir, I already gave you the temporary password. You must be typing it in wrong.”
I could tell Lori was in a hurry, and she was getting annoyed with his repeated calls.
This old guy doesn’t understand. He doesn’t know what he’s doing. I already gave him the temporary password, and he probably can’t type.
Enter Lawyer Daughter.
My blood was starting to boil. Instinctively, I ripped the phone out of his hands. I tried to explain that the temporary password wasn’t working, but Lori didn’t want to hear it. She became even more annoyed with me. (And, no, she wasn’t about to give me her last name.)
After several rounds of trouble shooting and two more calls to Lori, we finally convinced her to slow down and listen. It wasn’t the password that was the problem, and together we figured out that the account just needed an adjustment.
Lori wasn’t so bad after all. And I can’t blame her for being in a hurry. (Heck, she probably gets paid on how many calls she takes a day.)
Some days, I feel a lot like Lori. Some days, I need to slow down and listen.