I consider myself to be a reasonably patient and tolerant person under most circumstances. Some folks have told me that I have more patience than they could summons. I suppose it all depends on the situation and the person.

Yesterday, there was a scheduled electrical maintenance/repair to occur at my place. It had been booked in a couple of weeks prior and I had been advised that the power would need to be turned off for the work to be complete; four hours I was told.

Little did I know when the booking was made that our weather was going to launch itself into summer with some gusto and that this was going to be a rather warm day. As this became apparent when I saw the forecast, I thought that given the start time and being only four hours, I should be alright with that; the power will be back on before the heat of the afternoon sets in too much.

When the electrician arrived over half an hour early, I was cheering; the power will be back on even earlier; you beauty! I had already been around the house earlier in the morning closing all windows, blinds and curtains to keep the overnight cool in and the heat out. This is going to be fine.

Time ticked away and I tended some tasks that didn’t require power. The temperature was rising at a steady rate and I could feel the heat imposing yet I was still okay at this point. After all, I only had a short while to go before the power would be back on and I could switch a fan or air-conditioner on.

Then I heard something. What was that? Are you serious? The electrician had left without as much as a single word. Going for lunch perhaps? Okay, allowing for the lunch break, yep, all good, on track for the power to be on within the four hours plus lunch break.

This is when my patience began to be tested. Over one and a half hours later before the electrician returned. Not a word again. So I figured once more that it can’t be too long now before the power is back on. The temperature was really climbing by this point so being a bit hot under the collar with not being advised of an update or that he was going off-site wasn’t helping.

I was constantly wetting face washers, wringing them out and placing one behind my neck and wiping myself over with the other in an attempt to keep somewhat cool. I was also going into the bathroom to stand on and against the cool tiles; anything to try and cool down. Out of the drawer came my old hand held Chinese style paper fan and my wrists had a workout I tell you!

With each hour that passed, I was even more and more put out that the electrician couldn’t just knock on the door and advise that it was going to take longer than it had been booked in for. That was all that was needed – to speak a few words and courteously advise the state of the situation. A few words are far better than none at all.

When he was missing in action, I had considered phoning the company to see why I had no power and if he was returning however my phone battery was losing charge and I was trying to keep some in case I desperately needed to use it.

There was a couple of times that I thought I may have needed to contact a loved one to ask them to come and pick me up as I began to become shaky and feel a bit ill. Each time I thought of that, I thought again, surely it can’t be too much longer; by the time they get here, the power will be restored and they have come out in the heat for nothing then.

Nine hours after the job began I finally had electricity on again. Nine hours! Nine long hours! Five of them hot hours! When I was advised that the job was complete I couldn’t help but mention ‘that was a very long four hours’ to which came a reply of ‘that’s just an estimate’. Hmm. Whoever is doing the job quotes and estimates may just need some assistance there because nine is a long way from four!

And all that was needed to keep this person, namely me; calm in a hot situation was communication. All that was needed was a few words spoken. All that was needed was some consideration and courtesy shown. Why is it that communication seems to be a vanishing tool?

My resilience kicked in and I managed to get through however, not totally unaffected. My patience endured and I managed to remain polite in my communications with the person who didn’t see the helpfulness of communicating with me throughout the day. My tolerances accepted that we are all different and act in different ways. I did consider contacting the company with a suggestion of coaching their staff members in keeping their customers abreast with updates and any projected delays, however have not acted on that.

So, please folks, speak, talk, communicate – it goes a long way and can make someone’s day more manageable x

Image: Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.