In our uber-paced world of blazing download speeds, drive-through cremation services and fast-food App ordering, it’s no wonder the average patience level of a human being is zero. We want everything now. No exceptions, no excuses. And while I usually make an effort to avoid embracing the creeping cycle of impatient cynicism, I’m not always successful. But in my defense, I am generally remorseful afterwards, acknowledging (with a glint of shame) that I had no business overreacting, no business allowing my patience to dissipate like an errant snowflake in May. This I admit to, like a chastised puppy who peed on the carpet.
Blame society, blame the Creator. Whether it’s a fit of road rage over the idiot who refuses to give up the passing lane because the GPS says a left turn is coming up in 20 miles, or listening to the ‘Best Of Elevator Classics’, while on hold with technical support, we all have our thresholds. Do we react appropriately? Do we behave like mature individuals, or do we react like indignant heathens, broadcasting to the world the grave disparity between our ideals and our actions.
There are dozens of examples that illustrate the extent of impatience, how moments of anger, fueled by rage and indiscretion, can get the better of us.
We each have our own list. Here’s a couple you may be familiar with.
I admit this is not as big an issue as it was a few years back. With debit cards prevalent in all facets of business and commerce, my needs for withdrawing cash, especially from my own bank (to save the additional $3 fee), have declined significantly. But it was an issue, not all that long ago.
Does this sound familiar?
You pop by your own bank’s ATM to withdraw $40. A quick in and out, time is of the utmost.
When unbeknownst to you, you’re promptly stuck behind the Grim Reaper of banking doom. Let’s call them Beeper Reapers; ‘Beeper’, because by the time they’re done, you will have heard the dreaded keypad ‘beep’ 67 times. These are the individuals who insist on completing 6-months of banking in one long, arduous session. And while the assortment of envelopes and crumpled papers should have been your first indication of a pending purgatory, the sighting of a bank book in their trembling fingers is the definitive final nail in the coffin. Welcome to Hell on earth. Do people even use bank books anymore?
Nevertheless, with each consecutive beep, with each bewildered pause and scratching of the head, the interplay of envelopes and bank statements, seconds of your life tick away, moments you will never get back.
My solution is simple.
The 3-minute rule.
Each person is allotted a 3 minute window in which to do their business. Once the time is up, a $5 ‘sanity’ fee is immediately withdrawn from the account in question – for each minute they go over. That should speed things up. No more Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star on the numeric key pad.
Pay to play, or get the hell out.
The morning stop at the drive-through for a quick java before work. Just a coffee, you’re in a hurry, and so is everyone else.
But the line isn’t moving. A standstill. You watch, helpless, glancing at your watch as the parking lot backs up, chaos in coffee-land, no cars can get in, no one can get out.
Because the BMW in front is ordering FOR THE ENTIRE FRIGGING OFFICE. Seven coffees, two Decaf, three Teas one bag in, two out, sweetener not sugar, breakfast sandwich lightly toasted hold the bacon, two sesame seed bagels with cream cheese, gluten-free Carrot Muffin, and a dozen assorted donuts.
Clearly an order that requires parking the vehicle, and entering the establishment. Come on folks, some common sense please.
$32.75 later, the line moves.
My total, $1.75.
My solution is simple.
Slap the driver.
And there you have it.
I don’t condone violence (usually), nor do I support giving pensioners a heart arrhythmia by having them play ‘beat the clock’ at $5 a minute. I raise the issue to remind us that life is too short to waste dwelling on the negatives. What you put out to the universe, you get back. Life isn’t a race to the end. The end comes far too soon anyhow.
So stop to smell the coffee occasionally. But just coffee. Don’t be ordering breakfast burritos, bagels or a baker’s dozen on my watch.
Until next time,