Speaking of shortcomings: Today I started my day by yelling at a recorded voice.
OK, so I was a little frustrated by the repeated prompts of “I’m sorry, I didn’t quite get that. It sounded like you wanted to order new service.” Which I didn’t. Quite the opposite, actually. I had cancelled phone service for our home back in Georgia effective two weeks ago, and I just received a bill for service through the middle of this month.
Eventually, I got a human. I didn’t yell at her, but I was plenty irritated when she explained to me that no cancellation order had ever been placed–even though I had a confirmation number for said order.
Let’s just say I didn’t win the Customer of the Day award and leave it at that.
So this unpleasant exchange this morning (entirely avoidable and entirely of my making) got me to thinking about how no matter what I chose to pack, or store, or give away during our “big move,” the one thing that I couldn’t escape bringing with me up to North Carolina was myself.
It’s a pleasant fantasy: change your location and change your life. Leave everything behind and build a New World. It’s why Utopianists cross oceans and deserts to create perfect societies. And it’s why utopias fail.
Don’t get me wrong: there is indeed something special about changes in location. I firmly believe that we become in the environments we put ourselves in. But I’m also pretty clear on the fact that even though so much has changed, and will continue to change, in our daily lives, I am still the same person who gets aggravated with automated voice systems, and who tends to get a little too self-righteous in his indignation.
But something was different. In the midst of being a disgruntled customer, I happened to catch a view of a peak in the distance. And it struck me that something was very much out of joint. Not that it’s okay to be reactive and emotionally volatile in a city, but impatience, intolerance, and irritability seemed decidedly out of place here. So since here is where I want to be, maybe it’s time for me to chart a new emotional course.
Let’s see how I do when I get my final cable bill later this month.