The scourge of impatience

There’s a scourge among us.

A scourge, I say!

A cultural blight, the most intolerable behavior, in my eyes.


Impatient people and their hurried impatience make me sick. I have no patience for impatience. Impatient people tail-gate, they roll their eyes when you’re carefully placing your lunch in common fridge, they tap their feet, they walk too fast, and they nearly collide with you in the grocery store because they burst out of everywhere in a mad rush.

When I was a child, I was tormented by impatient people. They made my life a helpless hell. I was a child, I could do nothing. I could not tell my teacher to chill, I could not tell adults to “wait, damnit.”

Now, as an adult, I have a sense of power and defiance I could never dream of as a kid. Now I mock impatient people, and frequently, I’ll take my time just to piss them off. I take my time. You’ll get there when you get there. Take a break, quit buying into the stupid Western self-important mindless frenzy. Integrate the concept that A and B are merely two points on the continuum and each intermediate spot between both is as vital to your existence as the beginning and end. In fact, I would argue, there is no true beginning or end to our compulsive adventures. Beginning and End is a human construct. The points you’ve denoted as beginning and end mean nothing other than the label you place upon them and the strict time scale that you place between yourself and the destination.

I hate impatience. Impatience affects me directly in near collisions and passive-aggressive sighs, but something occurred to me. Impatience is also a blot on my life in an indirect manner.

For instance.

I was in a major minor car accident last month. I call it this because it was major in the respect that my car was hurt badly but minor because neither I or the other party were hurt. My car suffered body damage in addition to other damage to the internals (suspension, steering). My car has been in the body shop going on a month this week. In fact, we are approaching their “estimated” date of completion. I miss my car, but my life is not severely disrupted since I routinely take public transportation to work about 2-3 days each week even when I have a car. I don’t drive around a whole lot because gas is expensive. I don’t do much outside my apartment, if I can help it. Incidentally, I have the “cheap” insurance, so my policy doesn’t pay for a rental car. Look at it this way. I bought my car in November, 2011, and I don’t even have 9,000 miles on the odometer.

I wish I had my car. I would love to drive the damn thing to work once in a while because the absolute commitment to the daily bus and train ride to and fro work every day is a little trying. I realize there was a tremendous amount of work that needed to be performed on my car and the last thing I want to do is rush or pressure the body shop with impatient helicoptering. I know someone who was in a similar situation last year and toward the end of the repair period, she was calling them daily for updates and predictions. It was brutal. She was being very impatient and I felt she lacked empathy for the people who were making her car well. I called the body shop on Wednesday for the first time since they began working on my car. I merely wanted an idea of where they were. I made it clear I was not rushing them. Still, the guy handling my car repair talked in vague circles, made promises, and embellished the deadline which led me to believe my car might be ready this past Friday. I didn’t receive a call on Friday, so I called on Saturday morning. Once again, I tried to make it clear that I was sorry to bother, I realized it was a big job. He still talked in circles and I suspect used a little embellishment again. Spoke of performing checks I assumed would have been done earlier in the repair cycle. It seemed he was conjuring a story in order to sate me.

I just wanted to tell him, “It’s OK! I’m not your typical impatient customer. I really don’t care when the car is ready. I only ask for honesty.”

I get the feeling he is not lying as much as being dishonest. He’s stretching the truth…buying time. Saturday he told me that they might need a part for the steering column and that it might even be done by Monday. Today. Today, no call. Were they even open?

I feel I’m paying the price of his strategic dishonesty because he is so accustomed to dealing with a constant stream of impatient customers that he has created a coping tool of “customer pacification” whereby he avoids honesty in order to get impatient customers off his back.

But I can take the truth. But but he won’t give it to me because he has been trained and molded by aggressive customer impatience and I’ve been lumped in with “them.” He doesn’t care that I’m patient, or “different”…he’s handling the situation in the only way he knows.

I just want a fair appraisal of my car’s progress, but impatient people have prevented that from happening because of their hounding.

I told the guy I would call back in a week if I don’t hear from him. Screw this.

I’m patient.