It sure beats stepping in chewing gum.

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I dropped by the market today to pick up dinner and opted out for the self-checkout. I had about ten items and scanned and bagged them like I was a professional check-out girl. However, as I’m sure you’ve experienced with any u-scan system, sometimes the computer gets caught up in god knows what and you are stuck with a screen that reads, “Attendant has been notified to assist you” when you didn’t even ask for assistance in the first place.

This happened today, and I waited a few moments before turning to look for the attendant, who was caught up in a conversation with another customer. From what I could gather, they knew were acquaintances and were discussing Halloween plans. She hadn’t even heard the alert and was unaware of my presence. I walked up to her and she didn’t acknowledge me until she finished her conversation. I found myself getting mildly annoyed. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that my thought process went a little something like this: “Excuse me. Hi. I’m a paying customer. You’re on the clock. Stop chit-chatting and pay attention to me. HELLO?”

I opened my mouth to say, “Excuse me,” but she turned to me and smiled and said, “Sorry about that! What can I do for you?” I suddenly felt like a jerk, and it dawned upon me that I was not the center of the universe (imagine that) and I then figured that I’m probably not the only one to experience such an impatience thought process.

How many times have you found yourself honking your car horn because the car in front of you didn’t floor it when the light turned green? Do you ever get antsy when the girl behind the counter isn’t moving as quickly as you would like her to? How often do you catch yourself huffing and puffing because someone didn’t drop everything they were doing to cater to you?

When it comes down to it, fifteen, thirty or even three hundred seconds is not going to put a damper on your lifespan. Unless you’re Otis. Or, if you’re one of those people who believes in fate – perhaps the universe is aligning, and if you were to run out the door fifteen seconds earlier (had the cashier not made you wait), you would get mugged or run over by a bus. Maybe in a parallel universe, there’s a you that exists where you don’t have to wait for anything, but you’re constantly stepping in someone else’s chewed gum or running into things. I don’t know about you, but waiting a few seconds sure beats stepping in chewing gum. Dramatic examples, but only to make a point.

Reality check : The world does not revolve around you. Your parents, siblings, teachers, friends, coworkers, and strangers on the street all have lives of their own and guess who (usually) is not their number one priority? You. Patience is a virtue. The sooner you adopt this trait, the easier you’re going to make it on yourself. Scout’s honor.

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2 responses »

  1. well, there’s a reminder i was in need of. thank you! people don’t usually say that stuff right out, especially not the people whose number one priority you think you should be, but aren’t.

  2. Pingback: Let them be twelve. « The Radical Uprise

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