Thank You for Listening

BLD024792I was just trying to make an appointment for my son.

I called the logical number, the one the doctor gave for a referral. They told me to call another number. So I did.

At the second number, they took loads of information – the prescription number, my insurance information, my son’s info, and mine. They asked what days and times are best for appointments. They told me they would call me back with a time to schedule.

That was last week. No one called. Did they forget about me? Did I speak with the right person?

And so today, I called again.

They sent me from number to number to number, and I swirled in the pool of confusion, growing frustrated, angry, a reaction to the sense of helplessness I felt. Someone, anyone, just tell me you’re the scheduler, and put our name in for a day and time.

Finally, I spoke with a woman named Suzanne.

“That must be really frustrating,” she said. No judgment. No harshness. No anger. No challenge.

“Yes,” I said. “It really is.”

“Well I’m sorry you had this difficulty, and I am going to make sure someone helps you. Clearly, we haven’t yet worked out the kinks in our system. Let me take your information, and then I am going to personally call the person who makes the appointments and have her call you.”

Two hands - careI breathed calmness in, exhaled relief.

“Thank you,” I said, over and over again.

I envisioned Suzanne as not too tall, with the reassuring personality of one who keeps crowds from morphing into chaos. A manager. A person whose heart beams beneath her ribcage, beating out compassion and love and understanding.

The kind of person who makes the world a better place.

At the end of our call, she said, “Do you have a pencil nearby?”

I got one, and a piece of paper.

“Write down my direct phone number. If someone does not call you, I want to hear from you, ok?”

Yes, I said. Absolutely. And thank you once again.

She could have hung up the phone on me and returned to her daily tasks. But she made all the difference. She kept me from going to the other referral on the slip of paper my doctor sent in the mail.

She restored my faith in humanity.

She reminded me that I do matter, and that kindness wins.

I am seeing lately so many examples of meanness, of people barking at other people in an effort to protect themselves from inevitable hurt.

Except hurt is not inevitable.

When your aim is good, and true, protection naturally envelopes you in warmth. You will be ok. There is no question.

And I find myself moving away from the earthly woes of anxiety and worry and angst and fear and meanness. Outright nasty. I want no part of it.

I think of Swamiji in hottest India, wearing his white cotton and caring little for personal possessions or world acquisitions. Only of meaning and truth and divine right order.

Christ in skiesAnd I think, I want that. Englightenment. I want to not be touched by the tides of human emotion. I want to maintain equilibrium and compassion and big-picture vision every single day.

A woman hit my car in the parking lot when I was in the hair salon with my daughter. When I came out, there was a piece of paper underneath my windshield wiper.

A name and a phone number in script. And the note, I hit your car. Please call me.

It was a small brush against my fender which scarred the metal in a noticeable way, a way that I will have to pay for when the car lease ends. She didn’t have to leave the note. She didn’t have to offer to pay.

I might not have noticed for a while.

I planned to call her, and drove along my way, and then along an old pock-marked road on a cold day, I bumped over what I thought was snow but was not, pulling off a part of the plastic on the left side of the car.

Was it knocked loose from the woman’s inadvertent collision? Or was it my fault?

Scratched car paintRegardless, I went to the collision shop and asked for an estimate. Let’s repair it all. All is well in the world.

The total came to $1,200 and the woman said, “But that wasn’t all my fault.”

That’s ok, I told her. Pay for what you think is fair. It’s all good.

And I meant it.

Who knows whether her dent caused the greater issue, or my fast driving. Who cares.

It’s only money, which comes and goes and comes again.

It’s all good, I told her. Pay for what you think is fair.

And thank you for being so honest.

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