Last Saturday my trip to the farmer’s market was some what spoiled by the failure of the bank to provide cash. The decision of the bank to close on Saturday shows the failure of the local economy which is very much in evidence. Still, the biggest failure was on the part of the bank staff. There had been a major power outage the night before and I am sure this was the reason the ATM was off line..Someone from the bank should have stopped by to check if power was back on at the branch and that the ATM was functioning. I went there past the normal bank opening time of 9:00 and Saturday is in most places a day for shopping and running errands
Then there was the issue of the plumbing. I have had major backups of the plumbing in this house more than once. I called the landlord and left a message. After waitin all day and getting no reply I called into the office the next morning and got his assistant. She said she would call him and call me back. Apparently she either called him or the plumbers but she never called me back. I say apparently because about two hours later the plumbers showed up. All well and good but I had no idea when or if they were coming. They might have come much later that day or not at all. I told the assistant I had a medical appointment for the next day I had scheduled a month previously. The plumbers could just as easily have shown up when I was gone. To top it off, they determined my toilet was shot and needed replacing which my landlord refused to do. So two plumbers on hourly pay spent and additional hour meticulously running a coat hanger wire through the holes in the bowl where the water comes in to flush and and more time fiddling with the failing mechanism in the tank. A standard toilet costs around a hundred dollars. Whether they were insulted their professional opinion was ignored or they felt sorry for my situation, they went out of their way for me. Nonetheless, the toilet is working but not well. It will soon clog again I am sure.
To top it off the new laptop’s Windows has shut down improperly four times in four days. Of course it’s a holiday weekend so I can’t reach the computer shop until Tuesday. Like everything else around here they are not open on Saturday. On the other hand, my fairly new cell phone got dropped in the rain. on Monday night. When the emergency drying things I tried failed to revive it on Tuesday morning I went on line and filed a claim with the insurance on my phone plan. Within a few minutes of filing the claim I got an email saying my claim would be verified within 24 hours. Sure enough, the next day I got the “claim approved” email and a notice my phone was being shipped. Late Thursday the Fedex driver banged on my door. By the time I got there, in true Fedex form he was already in the truck and he waved at me as I picked it up and drove off. I put in the battery, turned on the phone and in a few moments I was back in business. I think it says something when an insurance company is the best communicator, the most cooperative and gives the best service.
I don’t expect everyone to be available 24/7. I certainly am not. Communication is essential however. I am quite sure my landlord and his office staff have no regard for my time. To them I am an inconvenience. I have no right to be annoyed as I sit waiting, unable to go anywhere or run any errands. My auto shop used to have online appointment scheduling but as I discovered when I lost my phone, they have discontinued it. So now I have to wait until Tuesday to schedule. They are also not open Saturday. I could have done it yesterday but I was waiting for the cleaners who showed up late, then called their office and came back and said someone else would be there in an hour. The owner contacted me 30 minutes later and said he could send someone today. I said I would not be home. After several back and forth messages he will try for Tuesday. At this point I still don’t know if anyone is coming.
I am getting pretty fed up. But when things fall apart, you must not. In the past I most certainly have and it only made it all worse. The reason hired a cleaning service is to have more time to work on important things, like my school, my writing, my website development and my garden. I also want some time to have fun. It was Belgium vs Wales Friday afternoon. What a match! I was a bit disappointed with Belgium but my friend in Wales is thrilled. I don’t like having my time wasted by others, does anyone? If I am going to fritter it away, I want to do so in things I enjoy. The cats do not really care about all this. Cat time happens in another dimension, sometimes I am pretty sure it’s the one narrated by Rod Serling. Cats never have to schedule anything, lucky creatures. They do like to be fed on a regular basis but are remarkably forgiving if I get home late. “Never mind all that, just feed us NOW, please.” I schedule the vet appointments and they really could do without that, in their opinion.
In the coming week I will address some of these issues, calmly and rationally. That old saw “Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on our part” is not quite right for this situation. I plan (or try to) but must rely on others, as we all do. It seems to me things fall apart from conscious neglect, like my toilet, and from laziness. The cleaning service owner does communicate and I am sure has his own scheduling nightmares so I will work with him. Those that cannot provide me with the services I need on days and hours that are quite reasonable will be replaced, even if that means I have to move to another state (or country for that matter). Accidents happen, mechanical devices break down and people and animals get sick. This is life. But when things fall apart because a certain standard is not being maintained it’s time for change. If the old road is not taking you where you need to go as mine is not, then find another. I intend to.