Are you a good waiter? Not the kind that serves food at a restaurant. I mean do you wait well? I’m a good waiter. My husband is not. I am not bothered by long traffic lights. I’ll sit and think about things while I wait for the stop light to turn green and I can head into the intersection. My husband goes out of his way to avoid long traffic lights.
I first realized I was a good waiter when I was a child and noticed that other kids my age were fidgety in church. I prided myself on my ability to sit still. Then in grade school, when the teacher left the room (probably to have a smoke), I was not one of the kids who got out of my seat and misbehaved. I sat and waited for the teacher to come back. In fact, one time, when a classmate brought a small amount of mercury for show and tell, I ended up being the only child in the room allowed to touch it because everyone else jumped up out of their seats to touch it when the teacher said they would be able to touch it. They were all sent back to their seats and I, alone, touched the magical liquid silver metal. A reward for waiting.
These days I do not get rewards for waiting patiently. I’m often overlooked in lines at stores because I’m not impatient. When “who was next?” is asked, I say I was, but sometimes someone, more impatient than I am, claims that position. And so I wait, but I simmer inside. (Once I tapped a woman on the shoulder when she cut in front of me in a line and asked her if I was invisible. She did not understand and stayed in front of me in line).
This weekend I waited a lot. I waited to help my daughter with her computer and cell phone (albeit after she waited for me — she’s a good waiter too). I waited for my husband to be ready to go out and purchase a new refrigerator. I waited patiently for the salesclerk at Sears to go through his required spiel about extended warranties and the advantages of Sears credit cards. My husband became impatient and angry. Back at home I waited for my son to get ready to leave the house so we could buy a few things he needed for his trip to Italy.
I think that at first — as a child — I waited well because I was too shy to not wait patiently. The alternative was interaction with others — something I avoided at all costs. As I grew older I realized that in many cases there was nothing one could do about the wait. Becoming impatient was fruitless and only caused anxiety and bad feelings if others were involved.
That said, there is one kind of waiting I do not do well — waiting for someone to make a decision if I have already made one.
So — are you a good waiter or an impatient one? Do you see positives for being impatient? Negatives for being patient? Have I wasted some of my life being patient? If you know me, am I wrong about this and am, in fact, a bad waiter?
I’ll patiently wait for your feedback…