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Trying My Patience

One of my happy places I go to in my head.

There was a time when I had very little patience.  I don’t mean the kind of patience where I couldn’t wait for something or I had to have something NOW.

Patience with others.

Managing my anger.  Controlling the high blood, as we call it in my family.

Being able to hold my tongue without exploding after I was done nearly biting it off.

You would think the limits of my patience were tested while I worked in mental health.  I witnessed and dealt with a lot in over 12 years in the field.  I had kids kick, hit, bite, spit at me, and call me every name in the book (as well as some rather creative ones they added to the book).  They lied, tried to be sneaky, manipulate, and split me and my co-workers.  If you were in their situation, you probably would have, too.

In just under a year working in retail, it seems my patience is tested even more on a nearly daily basis.  Kid losing his mind and threatening to kill himself?  No problem.  I can handle that.  Guest gets bitchy with me because they don’t take the time to read the signs?  Hold me back because I might hurt someone.  Okay, not all the time, but the last few weeks it’s like all the idiots have been coming into the store and letting their light shine on their jackassery.  I really don’t know what they get from it.  The more I try to understand it, the more my head hurts because it is so incomprehensible.  Once they’ve gone through their ranting and either gotten what they wanted or walked away empty handed, they still look like Cinderella’s ugly step-sisters.

Two weeks ago, I was dealing with a woman who was insisting the price of some toddler clothes were cheaper than they were ringing up.  I showed her the sign that it says, “Starting at…”  We all know what that means.  Right?  Common sense.  Right?  Well, then she made me show her what on the fixture started at the minimum price.  Once I did she was okay.  Until she started in about the sign on the other side.  Which was the same.  only there were also cargo shorts and not just shirts on that side.  Apparently in her mind even if it said, “Starting at,” everything should have been the price listed.  So, I’m calmly trying to explain to her that the price of the shorts are as marked and something else on the fixture is the minimum price.  Somehow I wound up between her and her kids/cart. One of them was antagonizing the other and she decided it was time to yell at them and continue on yelling at them.  In my ear.  I took a step back and let her continue yelling (which went against every social work bone in my body).  She then asked for the manager, whom I attempted to call with no luck…because as I found out later, I was still on another channel on the walkie and not the main.  She then decided she didn’t want the clothes.

In between her yelling and me calling my manager, I wound up behind her and her kids. She started tossing the shirts and shorts on the fixture.  I’m trying to pick them up and finally said calmly, “Ma’am, if you don’t want them, you don’t have to throw them.  You can just give them to me.”  To which she responded, “I’m not throwing them at you.  I’m trying to give them to you, but you’re not catching them.”  Now my patience is really tested. and I start biting my tongue.  As soon as she walked away and started looking around the department, I dropped the clothes off in my basket I had across the aisle and then went up to explain the signing and pricing to the cashier that called me.  Guess who walks up in the lane and starts arguing with the cashier as I walk away?  You guessed it. I went on my break after that.  I was too hot and I needed to calm down before I lost my temper.

Later on that evening, I talked to my manager for the evening because she eventually talked to the woman who kept insisting the shorts should be $5.  She was finally offered them for the price she was insisting on, but she refused them.  Should I even mention she tried to go through another lane and get them for even cheaper saying they were on clearance?  Oops.  Guess I already did.

What a special woman.  She was young, too.  I’d be surprised if she was 20 or older.  She looked no more than 17 or 18.  With two kids.  I feel for those kids.

Just yesterday, I had a woman near the end of my work day tell me that my friend, who I answered on the walkie when she called for help with a price check, made her feel like “an absolute idiot.”  Then said, “And I don’t appreciate it.  I thought you should know that.”  She had that tone when she said it, too.  The haughty entitled tone.  I thought to myself, Oh my God.  You were a total bitch to her, weren’t you?  Pretty much a rhetorical since I’ve had so much experience with people using that tone of voice.  So, she showed me where she got the backpack from that she was trying to buy.  I showed her the backpack that matched the numbers that I was given and where the backpack she wanted actually belonged. She seemed fine after that.  When I talked to my friend later, she told me the woman called me a liar before she even came back to talk to me.

Another special woman.  And she had her young son with her, too.  Can you guess what he’s learning?

Those are the days I’d rather deal with a client having a crisis than an entitled so-called “normal” person who believes they are the end all be all.  Those are the days that I also remember my dad’s words, the customer is not always right.

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Slowing Down

I have a friend who keeps talking about moving because he’s tired of the fast pace of his life and he just wants to slow down. This the same friend I’m always 1) giving a hard time, 2) calling a dork, moron, idiot, and a variety of other names that some people find offensive so I won’t mention them here, and 3) trying to hammer some sense into his thick skull.

We have had this discussion many times and every time we have it it’s like we’re having it for the first time for him.  Or he could just be playing me to get me riled up as I tend to when he’s being a dork.

I keep telling him it doesn’t matter where he goes or moves to if he doesn’t already have the perception of slowing down in his head. He needs to have the mindset or he’ll always feel “rushed.”  This is the guy who runs his own business from home and takes on side jobs to get out of the house.  I don’t know about you, but if I was running a business from home, I’d prefer to do things like go to the park, movies, library, coffee shop, etc. to get out of the house.  Hey wait, I already do that.

We moved from one city to a bigger city back in October.  Life is busy because I do work more hours than I was before the move and I come home exhausted.  In order to get that slowness I let things slide to enjoy my time off.  Okay, so I didn’t vacuum last week so I could go to the Butterfly Festival.  One week of not vacuuming is not going to kill my carpet. I didn’t fold and put away a load of laundry (blankets and towels) so I could enjoy reading time on our lanai with natural Vitamin D and a nice treeline view.  Sometimes, I just don’t want to turn on the laptop so I can have a little unpluggled fun. I love days at sea on a cruise because I can sit by the pool all day and read. I love going to the beach when I’m visiting home and doing nothing but laying there.  Nevermind that it could take me an hour or two or three to get from Downtown Honolulu to the North Shore.  I can sit in traffic and enjoy the fact that I’m home and drink in the vivid colors surrounding me.

That’s another of my friend’s things about moving.  He wants less traffic, less waiting in lines.  Here’s another mindset issue.  We are always going to sit in traffic and wait in lines.  We can’t get away from it.  We can only accept it, embrace it, and enjoy the music on the radio while in the car or the cute kids playing in line in front of you.  Part of slowing down in your mind allows you to be patient and enjoy moments when it seems like life it throwing all kinds of stumbling blocks in your way.  You can either stand there and complain or you can climb/go around the block.

If my friend manages to read this post he’ll send me a message, “You’re right, Di.” as he usually does.  Why?  Because when it comes to things I tell him, I’m always right.  The real trick is for the message to sink in.  Why?  Well, there is a reason why he’s known as The Village Idiot.  And we call him that with all the love in our hearts…as we plot the many ways we could torture him and end his life.  MWAHAHAHAHAH!

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Patience Is A Virtue Not Being Taught

A butterfly from the Butterflies of Japan exhibit

I was introduced to Krohn Conservatory’s yearly Butterfly Show last year when it was Butterflies of Japan.  Chaz and his chado friends were asked to do tea demos during special night of the exhibit.  I was glad I went in to take pictures when I did because I wound up being recruited to help make the matcha and serve samples during each of the demos.  I didn’t get a chance to just hang out and watch all the butterflies. Nor did I get a chance to take pictures of the demos since I was so busy serving tea and the accompanying sweets.

I’ve found myself with several weekend days off lately to enjoy time with Chaz.  This is very rare that we both

Blue Morpho in flight, the only time you can see their pretty colors.

have a day off together. I asked him on Sunday if he would want to go to the Butterflies of Brazil exhibit at the Conservatory before it ends later this month.  He just kinda hemmed and hawed.  I took that as a no and planned to go on my own.

I saw a bus pulling away and group of kids out front as I drove around back to park. There was another group arriving as I walked around. I thought to myself, “Oh great. I came at the wrongtime.”  One of the volunteers mentioned that there were two school groups and that every weekday they had school groups coming through.  Well, I guess there isn’t a right time.  Crowded on the weekdays and crowded on the weekends when parents are carting their kids

Butterflies were all over people.

around to keep them busy.

I admit, I freaked out walking into the exhibit with a bunch of screaming kids running around. First off, if people are coming in my home (however temporary it may be) I don’t like them screaming.  Secondly, I remember butterflies landing on the ground last year and with kids running around not paying attention to what is on the ground, I feared for their safety.

What I observed other than the screaming and running, was a lot of grabbing and trying to climb into foliage to get to the butterflies.  By the kids andadults. I can understand kids getting caught up in the

This one kept flying around. It finally stayed in one place long enough for me to snap this.

excitement. But, the adults, too?  I even witnessed a grandmother screaming at her grandson to stop screaming. I was more taken aback by her screaming than his. Probably because his blended in with all the other kids screaming.

I had quite a few butterflies landing on me while I was there.  Even though I was taking pictures, I was quiet and still in one place for long periods of time. Quite the opposite of the chaos whirling around me. I even had a kid grab one off my arm and then ask if she could take it. The butterfly wasn’t happy and flew back on my arm and held on tighter. I could feel the pinching. Then, the kid grabbed for it again!  Aiya.

It made me wonder if any of the adults had prepared the children for the exhibit.  How to be still, quiet, and patient. Or even try a little empathy of, “How would you like it if someone came to your home running around, screaming and grabbing at you every 10 seconds?”  I’m pretty sure most of the kids there would have said they wouldn’t like it. They were old enough to process that. In fact, many times I had to control my urges to say just that to the kids running around grabbing at the butterflies around me.  I even wanted to tell them if they’d just be still, be quiet, and be patient, the butterflies would come to them and hang out for a bit.

Patience is just not something you see anymore.  There is no need with our society today.  Fast food.  Cheats on video games.  Microwave meals.  Ready-to-wear clothes.  Call ahead seating.  Instant messages.  FASTPASS at Disney so there is no more waiting in long lines for many of the rides. There really is no incentive to be patient in this culture.  I find that sad.  We lose the joy of actually making things from scratch, be it in the kitchen, garage or craft room and passing our knowledge on to the next generation. We miss out on creating fun moments waiting in lines with friends/family.  We lost respect for others (and other living organisms) because our lack of patience means we put ourselves first.

We forgot that it is okay to be still and be quiet and to teach that to the next generation.

 

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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