Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Hostage In My Own Home

They said they'd be here today. I put my life on hold, waiting for them to show up.

They never came.

It's happened to all of us, hasn't it? The cable guy is supposed to come hook up the cable. Or, the appliance repairman is going to come take a look at your fridge. Or, they're supposed to be delivering your new bed. Or, the exterminator is coming to take care of those wasps in the backyard.

Whatever the case, you're expecting someone to come--and then they just don't show up.
If I stare at my watch indignantly, will they get here sooner?

Often times they will give you a window of when to expect them: "We'll be there sometime in the morning," or "Expect us between 2:00 PM and 5:00 PM." Those expectancy windows are great, but they'd be even better if they actually showed up in the pre-arranged time range. Your anger, impatience, and frustration grow with every minute that passes before that window closes. If they said "morning," 11:59 AM is the official boiling point!

Sometimes they don't even give you a window. The other day I was having some people coming to do something in our yard, and I asked if they knew what time of day they would be there. The text I got back said, "I'm not sure what time they will be out today. They will, however, install it by the end of the day." Great! So I need to stay home all day long on the off chance they come by. (And no, they did not have it installed by the end of the day. They called at 3:30 PM to tell me they wouldn't make it, but they would be there by 9:30 AM the next day. They finally did show up on Day 2 at 1:15 PM.)

So, some of you are asking, "What's the big deal? You are at home, waiting for someone to arrive; you'd usually be there all day anyway. It's not like you had anything else to do." You're right, I'm often sitting around, not doing much--but in this situation I can't do anything else! It's amazing all the things that you'll want to do the moment you don't have the freedom to do them--make a quick run to the store; go drop something off at the post office; go grab a burger for lunch--you can't do any of these things because you're waiting for someone who may or may not show up.

If you're like me, you'll end up spending an inordinate amount of your day gazing out the window, staring at your watch, or impatiently stomping your foot.

The worst thing about this at-home hostage situation is what it does to your bathroom habits. You can't grab something to read and go sit on the porcelain convenience for fear that as soon as you get comfortable on the throne, that's the moment that the cable guy will come pounding on the door!

While I'm waiting, my anger and frustration will build up, and I'll tell myself I'm going to demand a rebate or a discount for having to wait so long. But, when they do finally show up and give me the bill, I'm so happy I'll say, "That's okay! No problem!" I'll be so relieved that the hostage situation is finally over, I'd agree to just about anything. Freedom is a wonderful thing! (At any price.)

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