If I’d had any idea how much waiting was involved in life, I’m not sure I would have signed on to be honest. Like I had a choice. I can hear you thinking that from here! It’s not the first time I’ve though about it or even written about it. Somewhere in my mind is the memory of something I’d written about waiting in line, or in a queue, or in a waiting room, or at the train station, anyway you get the idea. There is a lot of waiting.
Over the years, I’ve gotten rather good at waiting. You can do all sorts of things while you’re waiting and depending on where you are doing said waiting. You can read, listen to music, play a game, do a crossword, write, any number of things. If you so choose you can just daydream or observe life around you. I don’t see waiting as a waste of time anymore. Instead I see it as an opportunity.
Take for instance a phone call that needed to be made today, to a government department notorious for its ridiculous wait times on the phone. Firstly, if you’ve been fortunate enough to get through at all, and then secondly, if you’ve somehow managed to successfully run the gauntlet of the automated questions that are meant to recognise your verbal responses, then and only then are you placed on hold. The music has improved but is still pretty average. The music changes every few minutes just to keep you inspired enough to believe that you could be speaking to another person at any moment. It goes on and on and on, interspersed with other recordings telling you that your call will be answered and it is important yada yada yada. My favourite part is the part where the voice recoding tells you that the service officer will treat you with courtesy and respect and it urges you to behave in kind. Makes me wonder what some people are like, I mean do they call up and go crazy when they finally get through. I get it, its unbelievable waiting for over an hour on hold, but would you really think you’re going to the best assistance from the person you finally get to speak to if you start ranting and raving? Of course not. Just think, they are probably frustrated too. It’s not their fault your waiting so long. That person is just doing a job and trying to help people.
So when I’m faced with a mega wait, which I know is highly likely, I do not get my knickers in a knot. I plug my phone in, wherever I am in the house, (don’t make these types of calls unless you are at home and comfortable) switch over to speaker and just carry on with whatever I’m doing. Today that happened to be cleaning. The bathrooms to be exact. Deep cleaning, because we are currently renting and we have a routine inspection tomorrow. It’s the only part of renting that I don’t enjoy. Obviously I understand it’s necessary etc and here in Oz it’s once every three months. Most people think thats over the top, especially when you are leasing the same place for a number of years, but well it is what it is. It’s just strange having a person you don’t know come through your home every three months. Luckily we’ve had the same lady the last four times which is great! Anyway I digress, as usual. So there I am cleaning away, listening to the music etc making the fruits (I call my kids fruits as in womb fruits just in case you didn’t know) lunch and just getting on with things. Finally my call is answered!!! I am so happy and thats the first thing I tell the customer service officer, that I am so happy to be speaking to her. We go through all the ID checks and then she happily and helpfully guides me through a maze of bureaucracy. Not even kidding you! She has to put me on hold again so she can sort stuff out for me and I say no problem. I make a coffee and sit down with my book and read for a bit. Twenty minutes later and she’s back. The first thing she does is apologise for the length of time I was on hold, “no problem” I say, and I actually mean it. We finish up the call with her giving me some very helpful advice and instructions, I thank her, we hang up.
I feel happy that I can cross that call off my to do list, and the waiting, well I wouldn’t have even known that I had waited over an hour to speak to someone if my phone didn’t show the length of the call. The time waiting wasn’t wasted and in that sense it didn’t feel like an inconvenience. Im not saying that every person you speak to will be nice, some people aren’t or maybe they are having a bad day, but mostly I find that if I’m just kind and friendly, people are pretty nice 🙂 Mostly. xo