The other day I waited in a queue to make a purchase. When it was my turn at the counter the sales register computer stopped working. I waited while the sales assistant tried to fix the problem. I waited while she called the manager over. I waited while the manager tried to fix it. I waited while they called for IT support. And when they sent me to another sales point I waited while the sales assistant finished answering a customer query.
I don’t know exactly how long I waited, but it was long enough for the manager to give me a 20% discount off my purchase. It was an unexpected reward for waiting patiently.
I’d like to say that I’m always that patient, but of course I’m not. I can get frustrated, irritable and angry, especially when I have an expectation that things should be faster. Sometimes my attitude leaves a lot to be desired.
“Are we there yet?” is a question that also reveals a certain attitude towards waiting. In fact it’s really more of a complaint than a question. It’s taking too long. We’re tired of waiting. We want to get onto the good stuff. We think waiting is pointless and boring. We just want the waiting to be over. We want what we want and we want it NOW. Like the petulant grandson in The Princess Bride, when asked to wait we want to know, “Well, when does it get good?”
Having a good attitude can make all the difference when it comes to waiting, especially in those situations when we have no idea how long the wait will be.