Saturday, October 20, 2012

"choose frustration over indifference"

there i was at landmark, wasting precious time as the cashier (vainly) attempted to find an additional ten centavos. you see, she had "proudly" handed me my change, proclaiming it to be exact until i pointed out that she had given me two five-centavo coins, making her short ten centavos.

her defense, "i thought they were ten centavo coins." which, seriously, how could you go wrong, right? i mean one has a hole in the middle?!?!? so i waited, and waited, and waited for my ten centavos. for some reason she wouldn't open her drawer but attempted to persuade the others to open theirs (there were three other cashiers). in the end, i walked out in a huff. it was taking her forever, and i think she was enjoying it.

now i know that thought running through the minds of the cashier, the checker, and the other people in the area was that i was being petty. after all, it was just ten centavos. even the pulubis on the street would scoff at you if you were to give them change as small as that. i didn't know either, until i read market man's blog and realized that if there was one thing i shared with this amazing blogger, it was his motto:

and that was what i was doing exactly. i refused to accept the fact that the cashier short-changed me.

over the past couple of months, i've been struggling to develop what i learned to be "holy indifference". you see, in the catholic singles community where i belong, one of the major teachings is to preserve relationships over results. having spent a chunk of my professional life with the opus dei, it was pretty difficult letting go and letting things be. if you've been to any institution run by the opus dei, you'd know that not only are they precise, on time, and perfectionists, but they believe that if something must be done, then it must be done well. so, i never really developed the skill to be indifferent; rather, i thrived on pushing, pounding, and hitting until things wouldn't have a choice but to go right.

of course, they never do. that's how life is. so i spend a lot of time being frustrated: about how everyone's always tardy, about how things are almost always planned the last minute, about how you really should not count on certain people cause their heads are just up out there in the clouds. while others could easily say, "at least we learned over the experience," i couldn't. rather i'd push and push and push and frustrate myself enough to tear my hair out.

reading market man's rant, and eventually his motto, i was struck by the fact that yes, i too am one of those people who'd choose frustration over indifference at any given time. so what if ford edsa refuses to acknowledge their oh-so-poor service. i would spend hours on end tracking down the manager of the service department and give him woe for the poor service that they did. i would call and call and call service hotlines to complain, and when the customer service assistant is being especially useless, i'd be the one who'd spend a good 45 minutes waiting for the supervisor to come on the line so i can bit his head off for his team's lack of abilities. and yes, i'm the one who'd fill out customer satisfaction surveys - restaurants, hotels, airlines - because if they care enough to have these surveys, then i should do my part by telling them things they ought to hear, even if they don't really want to hear it.

yes, the frustration had added wrinkles onto my face. and yes, the frustration has turned most (if not all) of my hair gray. but i don't care. the day i become indifferent is the day i die. until then, i will allow myself to be frustrated. 

and btw - i got into an accident yesterday. my six-month old car is now officially not scar-free. hopefully my insurance will come through.

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