Patience: A noun meaning the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.
I get it we are living in some pretty frustrating time. We have all been locked up for too long. Jobs have been put on hold. Those who are working are working in different experiences.
We are separated from our families, friends, and lives. We are told where we can shop, where we can go and when we can do it.
Patience in today’s world has been replaced by frustration.
Personally, I have had some experiences the past few weeks that required more than patience, but the need to shut up and walk away. Work would be the first place that I have had to forgive and accept.
Working on the front-line means changes. We are on high alert at all times. Things like a minor cough use to mean they could have a dry throat. Now is it Coronavirus? Everyone is trying to do their best job. They are also tired, concerned, and burning out from working in high alert. And they are frustrated!
Their work lives and personal lives have had so many changes and keep changing daily that taking a day off means coming back to different rules and ideas. The conversations and decisions made yesterday are new ones today.
I have seen my co-workers snap at each other and not even realizing they are doing it. They have snapped at me and I’m pretty sure, I have snapped at them, thou I hope not.
The benefit of this relationship is we know each other and it’s easier to forgive because we are there together sharing the stress. We also know each other well enough to know when something is off with each other.
The outside world is a little harder to have patience with. Let me share three experiences I’ve had in the past few weeks. This, by the way, is the total of times I have been out.
The first one happened in the grocery store. This woman is standing in the middle of the aisle, blocking the aisle texting on her cell phone. She dressed in more PPE then any surgeon I have worked with. I wait for her to move, she sees me standing there and keeps texting.
Finally, I have given up on this woman moving and putting her phone down and I walk by. I’m now halfway down the aisle when I hear her yelling. Yes yelling… six feet, six feet. I turn to see what the commotion is about and realize, she is yelling at me why she is still standing there texting. I shake my head and walk away.
My next experience is at Walmart. I only go out every two weeks to shop and things are changing every day. I’m now in the aisle yet again when a woman starts giving me the death looks. I have no idea why.
After she scurries off, I realize, they have made one-way arrows on the floor and my cart is facing in the wrong direction. I committed a shopper’s sin. I didn’t see the arrows. Again I shake my head and walk away. I am now educated, in the past two weeks, some stores have added arrows on the floors. Be sure to check them to avoid death looks.
Yesterday we went to pick up a dresser at curbside pick-up. I follow the instruction on the email and call when we arrive. The woman who answers the phone tells me I must park at curbside pick-up. I explain to her the curbside pick-up is single row parking and I can’t park there as I have a trailer on the vehicle. If I park there I’ll take up all her parking there. She repeats the same thing to me in a less friendly voice.
I take a deep breath and explain to her again that I have a trailer and I’ll block off all her curbside parking. Again she repeats the same thing to me only now she sounds frustrated.
This time I repeat myself again adding, I will be happy to park my trailer and block all your parking as long as she is ok when others coming to pick-up started complaining because I have blocked off parking, can I give them her number.
Suddenly the light goes off in her mind and she realizes what I’m saying. The tone in her voice gets nicer and she tells me to park as near to it as I can and let the guys working in pick-up know where we are and why.
Holy crap… did I really have to have the same conversation three times for her to understand me? Or was it the threat of having people complaining to her that she didn’t want? I guess being courteous is also a sin.
In this house, we understand that thou we are all going through this pandemic at the same time we are experiencing it differently. We also understand people have health risks of their own or family members and they are scared.
What we don’t understand is that lack of patience. Patience in today’s world has been replaced by frustration. Frustration will not get things done any faster nor will it speed up the return to the new normal. If anything the new normal will be twice as frustrating without patience.
Tomorrow I have to go to the grocery store and the drug store. I look forward to who will be frustrated or rude. Not really. What I hope for is to keep having the patience to ignore the bad behaviors of those who are frustrated or fail at communication.
I really hope these behaviors and lack of patience are not part of our new normal.