Patiently Impatient

Like most people I know, I can and often be impatient. You could also use the word intolerant because while they are different in definition and emotion, they often go hand in hand. We hired a private contractor to do some work and as we checked him out, we were told, “He's good, thorough, and efficient. Just not very timely.” I asked what exactly that meant and was told that while he would show up for work, his day began whenever he arrived. If he said he'd arrive by 9am, we could expect him by 11am or maybe a bit later. My husband called him and made an appointment to take place two weeks later for an estimate. He showed up three weeks later. We liked his estimate and hired him with a promise of work to begin four weeks later. He explained that he needed to finish his current job first. Taking that into consideration, we agreed. Four weeks came and went. The fifth week did the same. Finally in the middle of the sixth week, he called saying he'd be at our home by 9am the following morning. As promised, 9am sharp, he was at the door. We had the final consultation and arranged for the work to begin by 9am the next day. Normally, I'm a very patient person but I do often find myself intolerant of inconsideration. That's when my patience goes out the window. Nine o'clock came but the contractor didn't. As the hour hand on the clock snuck past the number 10, I tried to busy myself to keep from constantly glancing at it. Eleven o'clock passed as did noon. I commented to my husband, “It's a [expletive] good thing we didn't pay him anything.” He finally arrived at 2pm saying that he needed to make a quick trip to the hardware store and was delayed. I felt like screaming, “REALLY?” Here we are at the end mark of week one and 4 out of 4 days, he's been late. He has yet to show up at his 9am promised time. In fact, he has not once arrived before 11am. To his credit, he is not lazy. When he's here, he works constantly. He doesn't leave until around 8 pm (which interferes with our dinner, but we manage). You're probably wondering why I haven't confronted him about his tardiness. If it affected his workmanship, I wouldn't have hesitated but as I said, his work isn't just decent, it's good and he isn't lazy – just tardy. The work we hired him to do should take no longer than two full weeks. I'm eager to see if his tardiness affects that deadline. Our friends who recommend him urged us to not speak to him or speak as infrequently as possible. This man loves to talk, and it doesn't matter what the subject might be. He can begin about the weather and before you know it, he'll be telling you about the diamond mines in Africa. To avoid any lengthy conversations, my husband spends the day in the yard doing whatever he finds he can do; I close the door to my home office and try to keep busy but there is still only so much to do in here. Ergo, this essay. While the handyman is bustling around my living room, I'm trying to think of things to do. It was at that point when my brain's lightbulb illuminated. Ah! Write, I thought to myself. So, here I am, writing, and wondering if I can sneak out of here just long enough to make myself a cup of tea without getting caught up in a firestorm of time-consuming conversation..

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