PATIENCE MONTH: DAY 15: “Waiting is a form of passive persistence.” ― Ogwo David Emenike
Not great at this. Yesterday, I got an opportunity for some deep practice. We live in a different world today than the one we lived in 10 years or more ago.
More and more often, I am given the opportunity to do business with the world via telephone, in ways that can be both frustrating and deeply fearful. What is fearful about them is the lack of power I feel when something breaks that I use (technology, nearly every time!) and I have to navigate the world of long time waits over the phone for technological assistant that may come in the form of another person of non-Western status who is going to help me.
They often speak in a language (techie talk) that I do not understand, which can create a barrier if I choose to be perturbed by that. And they also have accents that can make their English difficult to understand for my Western ear. So, I must politely learn to get it that they are quite advanced over me, who knows only one language. And that they are also translating their understanding of things I do not even begin to grasp into a very challenging language when theirs is often much more difficult for me to understand.
I hear so many people demonize these lovely helpers and describe them as “stupid” for not speaking English. Really??? What makes English superior? I do not know how people believe this, but Ego is the only thing I can see here. And the fear…that we may not have all the answers…well, DUH!
I got to wait yesterday for periods of up to 10 minutes to resolve a tech problem that was not created by the young man on the phone, nor me. It was just a glitch in something I wanted to make work. Okay. We had some great laughs at how I filled the time in-between running different checks on the system to see if we could or would succeed. I would do some household chore and then go back to my TV, where the issue was. It was crazy!
He was terribly polite, apologizing for things that certainly were not his responsibility. I made a game of getting my yard work and housework done while we were waiting. It was great! At the end of it, he sent me a personal note that was so sweet and thanked me for being so patient and fun. His job cannot be easy.
Every time I engage one of the tech people I get to work with, I love to ask them questions about their lives. Most of them live in India or an Asian country, where they dream of coming to the US to live. I am always taken aback at this, because they do not understand that the job they are doing there is so important and will probably not exist for them here. Isn’t that the way it is? They are so hardworking, it is usually 2 or 3 am there when I am doing business at a normal time here, during the day. I am in awe of their expertise and their culture and they think we all live like kings here. There is a great deal to learn if I am only willing to be different and not listen to the fear that comes when something I own brings up my personal powerlessness. I am given lovely opportunities to grow and develop patience if I just let go of any stories I may create around this.