Friday, August 14, 2009

Lessons in Patience

This morning, our internet service was not working. When this happens, I usually type my post into my computer files and wait until later to put it on the blog. But not this morning. Our computer hard-drive started crashing. I tried to use my son's computer, only to find that the internet service was on then off, on then off, on then off. It was just as well, because he needed his computer for some other things anyway.

Finally, I decided to go to the library, where I can show my card and get one hour of computer time. I showed my card and was assigned a computer. In twenty minutes, #6 would be mine for one hour. I checked with the librarian to be sure of the procedures. As long as I logged on within five minutes of my time, I held my reservation. She did not advise me to get on the apparently empty #6 before my assigned time, since the last person might return to use it. I checked out some books, and came back. When my appointment time arrived, I sat down at the computer and wiped off the keyboard. Then a man walked up to me and showed me his receipt -- which stated that #6 was his.

He was clearly rattled by the revelation that we had two receipts for the same spot at the same time. I let him have the computer. I went back to the librarian, who insisted that I must have missed my window of time to log on #6. I showed her the time. This was impossible, since at that moment, standing at her desk, the time was only one minute past my window. She gave me more instructions, which contradicted the ones I had received 20 minutes ago. For one thing, she said that I could and should get on the computer before my five-minute window if no one was there. I must have done something wrong. She insisted that I must have been mistaken about the time. Nothing else was feasible.

It was still, at that juncture, only one minute past my sign-in window for #6.

She gave me another computer reservation, #12, which would be available in -- you guessed it -- 20 minutes. I could have computer #12 for one hour. At a complete loss for words, I numbly took the receipt I was offered and sat down to wait.

I simply could not think of a single thing to say.

It's becoming clear that I must make other arrangements for my writing and for the blog. I hope you will wait with me while I work this out. In the meantime, I will accept this set of lessons -- for they can be lessons, if I let them -- lessons in patience.

Are you receiving some lessons in patience this week?

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