Patience

Jun. 29th, 2012 06:29 am
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Different events have combined to have me think about patience.

Maybe it's the 24-hour-news-cycle, or maybe it says something about our culture in the US that's not exactly the result of CNN and its competitors, but it was weird to see all the analysis of what the SCOTUS decision about the Affordable Health Care Act before the decision was released. Does anyone anywhere have a new favorite correspondent/news channel/news web site because of something that was written before the decision was published? Sure, we clicked on links, and we saw ads, and web sites charged for those clicks and ads, but, really, why not read a 40-year-old novel for a few days and just pay attention when something was announced? I can see why political hacks would have 17 contingencies ready to explain why this particular decision means their candidate is needed and their opponent is the worst possible candidate in light of this decision, but who cares what political hacks think?

News Flash: all the political hyperbole about this decision goes straight to the trash. We know John Boehner and his disciples don't like it. We know why the uninsured and the under-insured are cautiously relieved but not confident yet. But I'm not going to write thousand-dollar checks unless my income and wealth depends on that, and as a rule, I hate people like that. They're selfish and narrow-minded.

Similarly, SportsIllustrated.com published three mock drafts of the NBA draft last night within the week before the draft. They might as well had a screaming headline: "We Know That By Friday, You Won't Have to Wonder, But Can You Wait That Long?" Do people really win, say, bar bets based on who the 17th pick in last night's draft was based on guesses ahead of time? It's a draft. Even if you're right, that says nothing about who will win games starting in November. Is the guy who predicted in 1984 that Portland would pick Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan any more famous or better off because he made that pick? Is he any more credible for having changed his mind in his second-to-last mock draft to get Bowie-over-Jordan right?

What? You're not even sure anyone changed their mind like that two weeks before the 1984 NBA draft? Twenty-five years later, what matters are the careers Bowie and Jordan had, not anything else? OMG! Can that be right?

Finally, I've been dealing with a lot of customer service reps lately in a lot of different scenarios. Crisis call at work due to a hardware problem? Trying to get prescriptions filled at a new pharmacy location while getting prescriptions-by-fax from my doctor because I'm out of refills? The list goes on. And every time one of them says, "Thank you for your patience," I have to stifle my response. I need them, so I can't just hang on, but my patience isn't what comes to mind at those moments. Then again, listening to some of my colleagues berate our vendors when we're having a crisis makes me seem to have the patience of a saint. If the vendor is only obligated to call us back within two hours, no matter how upset we are, because there's no service level agreement in place with a tighter deadline, I let the two hours go by -- and remind management that we didn't pay for the better tier of service. My colleagues? Some of them berate some duty manager in some call center as if the duty manager stole our lunch money and then just threw it away, literally. That makes me look like a person of saintly patience.

The draft comes when it comes, and that's a published date. Supreme Court decisions some when they come, and the justices don't gave a damn about any trumpet-playing band; that's not what they call "rock and roll." Wait, no, that's wrong. They don't care about public opinion. They might have their own prejudices, but they care nothing about the editorials and speculation in Mother Jones and The Wall Street Journal. Even customer service comes at its own pace, and yelling "Hurry, hurry!" at the microwave never helps.

Says me, anyway.

Also, I'm exhausted. I'm spending most of my non-working waking hours unpacking stuff and putting stuff away. I should have taken the week off and just gotten it over with. (You know my wife and I moved from an apartment to a house last weekend, right? I mentioned that, didn't I?)

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