Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Forthwith & Posthaste 

Photo by Henri Cartier-Bresson

I’m not as patient as I used to be. I’m also more patient than I used to be. In private, amongst friends or at work or even when trying to make considered decisions, I am like a zen master. I can sit silently and contemplate the nature of my existence. Yet, if in a lineup waiting to pay for something, I cannot abide the person in front of me who has decided to bury their credit card in a wallet, deep in the bowels of a backpack, purse or messenger bag, and only after every item has been scanned and bagged decides to begin their spelunking adventure for the one card they require to pay for the things they knew they would have to pay for when they entered the store. You just wasted my precious time, but don't think twice, it's alright. Many people commit this act of time terrorism. I find glaring at the back of their head is calming. It’s a coping mechanism.

Why worry about a few moments lost in a lineup given the immensity of hours lost connecting one device to another device via bluetooth, or watching the spin of a loading graphic or trying every password you've ever used to log into a computer you rarely use. None of which compares to the time spent sitting in front of my computer in service of somebody else's business. That is my job. I am literally paid to sit there and take it. I fill the time by taking copious notes, colour coded, with diagrams and arrows and instructions with sticky notes.

I'm not sure it's because I'm being paid for this time that makes it tolerable whereas when I'm out in public it feels like everyone else is wasting my time, but shopping in particular is an excruciating experience for me. Let me be clear, I don't mean window shopping or browsing, for those are times I've chosen to slow down, but when I need to buy something as dull as dish soap it feels like I'm wasting my life on this unredeemable task. I'll never get that time back and I get nothing from it, except dish soap.

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