Time is not on my side
- Written by Patsy Oliver
I was waiting in line for something the other day - you know, we're always waiting for something - when I realized exactly how impatient I've become. I know that this is nothing to brag about. As a matter of fact, it's almost disgraceful. But it's the truth. I hate to wait. I won't do it at all in many situations - if the line is too long, then I can either live without it or get it somewhere else. Don't you think it would be scary to know exactly how much of our lives we have spent waiting in traffic, in a check-out line, at a doctor's office ... the worst. At least at the Social Security place you can take a number, take a trip to the mall, and be back before they get to you. I seriously cannot sit still and just do nothing, and reading only helps for a short time. And it seems like the places where one has no choice but to wait, hire people with no discernible people skills. "Take a number and have a seat," with a glare for your stupidity in not knowing that immediately. "Excuse me, but I'm not sure if I need a number. I just have a quest ... "Just take a number and have a seat." That's when I turn around and mumble something nearly inaudible about how "someone didn't eat their Wheaties this morning" ... which gets me nowhere, but makes me feel better. So, I was recently at the grocery store and I opted for the self-check line because it looked like there were too many people in the other. Don't you just love the self-check? I mean, the name can have more than one meaning because if you catch it just right, you may need to check yourself, and your groceries. So, I obediently scanned my little "super shopper" card and then my first item, which was a packet of Kool-Aid. I had five of them. After scanning it I put it in the bag. Then the computerized female voice proceeded to nag me. "Please place the item in the bag." So, I did what any good and impatient person would do. I talked back to the computer. "It's in the bag , you #@! ... what do you think a Kool-Aid packet weighs?" As you may have suspected, that had no effect and I was unable to proceed. The attendant was busy helping someone else. Yes, believe it or not, there were other confounded self-checkers. So I had to wait ... I know. Then she came over as my eyes fixated on her from a distance, to be certain she knew I was in distress. She punched some buttons and cleared the screen and I was then free to scan Kool-Aid packet number two. The result, as you may have guessed, was exactly the same the second time around. I tried not to become impatient with the attendant. After all, it wasn't her fault, but I had to insist for packets three, four and five, that she not go away again until they were done. A few items later, I tried to scan some prunes for my mom. No, they really were for her. My Cute Little German Mother sends me to the store for prunes and/or prescriptions at least twice a week. I make fun and tease her about it, which means, of course, that some day - as what comes around goes around - I will be both very impatient and very constipated. So, the prunes were a bit crushed on the bottom and they wouldn't scan. The attendant had to send a sacker for another one. You know, so as to call as much attention as is humanly possible. I finally finished, in a good deal more time than it would have taken at the line with the real, live checker. My son made me promise not to get in the self-check line again because when Mom is impatient, well, you know, ain't nobody happy. I told the little fellow that I would not get in that line with him again. And I apologized for cursing at the computerized nag.