Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Your approximate wait time is...

That great Gainesville, Florida philosopher, Tom Petty, said it best, I think: "The waiting is the hardest part". Lately, it seems like the patience-game has been the only one I've been playing.

We've been waiting for somebody to make an offer on our home here. Like most places in the Midwest, it has not been going well. We put our house up for sale in March and had an immediate rush of prospective buyers. Many liked it, but similar to most locales in our nation's mid-section, it's a buyer's market and there's lots of inventory from which to choose. So, I guess they didn't like it that much. It's too bad. We've made a ton of modifications on it in the almost-2-and-a-half years that we've been here: new windows, Gutter-Monster, new paint throughout, a state-of-the-art filtration system on the furnace, a beautiful deck, and more. Apparently, these additions haven't been enough to entice someone to fax over an offer. So we wait.

I went to see my family doctor for an annual check-up. I cease to understand what the value is in making an appointment. I'm seemingly alone in the reception area and yet I wait. And wait. Finally, 30 minutes after my arrival, I'm called in. Of course, there's the perfunctory weigh-in, which is always a boost to the ego. Then, there's the blood pressure-check. She reels off the numbers as if I fully comprehend their meaning. I don't, though I'm assured that I won't keel over anytime during the office visit. Then, I'm shown to my room. Where I wait. And wait. The waiting gives me time to read all the pamphlets about high blood-pressure (which I don't think I have), acid-reflux (which I KNOW I have), diabetes, stroke, heart attack, and asthma. I skip the pamphlet on menopause. And I still wait. I play air-drums on the tops of my thighs and I convince myself that I could give Neil Peart a run for his money. And I wait some more. 40 minutes later, my doctor arrives and apologizes for me having to wait. Great.

We're told by the pundits to be proactive, to make things happen. But how do you make your doctor finish his lunch early? It seems as if many of these things are out of our hands. For instance, I have a prospective client who has been a prospective client for over a year now. She told me that she wanted to hire me as the voice of one of the stations in their cluster, but that she wasn't quite ready to concentrate fully on the station-in-question yet because of some problems with one of the other stations that needed addressed first. Fine. No problem. I wait, and agree to stay in touch. And I do. For the next 6 months, she tells me in emails that she's almost ready to dive into the format-flip but that a transmitter issue with one of the other stations has set her time-line back a bit. "Can you wait just a little while longer?", she asks. Sure, I think to myself. I have this waiting thing down cold. No worries. Another 6 months passes and now I hear nothing from her. So, I reach out, remind her who I am, and inquire about the status of the station format-flip again. She finally responds, thanks me for waiting...and then promptly tells me to wait a little while longer "while some call-letter adjustments get taken care of".

"Waiting", so it seems, has been elevated to an art-form. If so, then I have a Ph.D. Early in the week, I wait on the line to talk to an insurance broker about a replacement policy that I've been waiting to have activated. Later in the week, I'm having issues getting my laptop to connect to the network here at home, so I wait for it to repair itself. When it doesn't, I wait on the phone for a service technician from Netgear to help me. Once I finally get a tech on the line, I wait a bit more for him to find another technician because I was incapable of understanding the first technician. And don't even get me started on Sam's Club. Ever try to check out on a Saturday afternoon? And, of course, I wait for my acid-reflux to tame down by not having any beer. Who knows how long I'll be waiting to have one of those again.

"The waiting is the hardest part". Don't I know it. So while trying to enact some Zen stoicism, I wait. The next chapter can't start until the current one ends, right? In the meantime, we wait for the Indians pathetic season to draw to a close and we wait for the Browns to win their first game of 2009. Heck, we might sell our house before that happens.


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1 comment:

Chuck Matthews said...

Dude, the woman at the station your waiting on... sounds like she's full of it. Perhaps she just can't say no? I'd move on from that one.