Patience Is My Middle Name

It’s really amazing where inspiration comes from sometimes. There I was having a Facebook conversation with Zoom yesterday, when suddenly I thought of something that needed discussing.


 I have none.

Those of you who know me will find this hard to believe given my calm, almost Zen-like outward demeanor, but it’s true.

You know that question they sometimes ask you at job interviews about your flaws? I always say I’m incredibly impatient. But then I try to parlay that into a virtue by going on about how this means I get things done. How I’m tenacious when it comes to getting answers to questions;  finding  information that needs to be found ; finishing things that need to be finished. How I do things right the first time because I don’t have the patience to do things twice. I guess it works because people keep giving me jobs.

One day someone’s going to discover there’s an actual impatience syndrome or impatience birth defect or something and I will finally be vindicated.

Meanwhile I just seem like an ass when I roll my eyes and say, “get on with it already”, when someone tells a long-winded story or takes forever to get to the point in a discussion.

Or when I twitch, squirm, jump up and down and sigh loudly in queues.

Or tear at my hair or slide out of my chair at meetings because the discussion is just going around and around and around in circles.

Or start feeling really agitated and start pacing furiously in doctors’ or dentists’ or hospital waiting rooms making my way closer and closer to their inner sanctum until someone finally gets nervous enough to let me see the doctor I had an appointment to see hours ago.

Or call someone constantly to see if they’ve finished the thing yet that they promised to finish ages ago.

Or wanting to pull your own internal organs through your own throat rather than play a board game.

Or try actually to physically push cars or buses or trains into moving faster by rocking violently back and forth or yelling, “Come on!! Let’s go!!”

Or wishing pointedly and vocally that everyone would stop shilly-shallying, dilly-dallying, dithering, dawdling, vacillating, prevaricating, quibbling, equivocating, and eff-rucking around.

33 responses to “Patience Is My Middle Name

  1. My daughter just made the comment the other day that she wondered where she got her patience from, because “it certainly wasn’t from you” as I was taking exception with first a garbage truck blocking the street and then a school bus that could’ve turned off the flashing red lights after the handicapped kid was loaded (but probably not belted in yet) 🙂

  2. Whoever said “patience is a virtue” was probably the sort of person who’d keep you waiting for them in bar whilst they changed their mind five times about the outfit they were going to wear.

    Me? I can’t can’t stand folk who need to have a debate about everything. Make a decision! Luckily my project manager is even more like this than me, so we get along just fine. It’s us against a sea of men who like to hear the sound of their own voices in meetings whilst they make indecisive asses of themselves.

  3. I can be really impatient too sometimes! When I did yoga more often, I found it help me become more relaxed and patient. 🙂

    I really should get back into it…

  4. I think patience is something we all have to work at, none of us like to wait (or be kept waiting) when we know there are other things we would rather be doing.

    I find that when I take a few moments to meditate or do yoga it all becomes much easier.

  5. Becky – I believe it’s the impatient that really run the world. If it weren’t for us there wouldn’t be traffic lights or traffic rules for instance. People would just be content to dawdle in the streets forever.

    MisssyM – Welcome to my world. There is no decision, no matter how minute, that can be made without several lengthy debates and fact-finding missions. IT’S LUNCH PEOPLE!!! WHERE ARE WE GOING FOR LUNCH???

    Hannah – I don’t have the patience for yoga. All that posing quietly for long, long minutes at a time. Slow breathing. Weird music. I was happy when Pilates came a long and picked up the pace a bit. (It was really nice to meet you Saturday. Next time I’ll have to squeeze in at your table for a while)

    Nat – Funny story about meditation. A friend took me along to a Sunday morning meditation session at the local Shambhala centre. I had an hour private meditation lesson from one of the experts and then they let me into the temple or whatever they called it where we all sat cross-legged on cushions for 2 hours and “meditated”. I almost went out of my mind – literally. Really literally. You’re not supposed to look around. You can’t get up and run screaming from the room. You just sit there and empty your mind. That was just not happening. It was the longest 2 hours of my life. I find walking or running to be meditative in that it clears (not empties) my head and calms me down. But you’re right. Most of the Buddhists I know who meditate regularly seem like unbelievably patient people. They have all the time in the world for everything.

  6. Zoom – No, it was all that stuff you wouldn’t tell me which, if I want to know I have to wait and find out in person. And I said, no problemo, patience is my middle name. (PS: Not Dongo related)

  7. I’m really impatient myself except in queues and buses and waiting rooms and the like. I consider it found reading time so it’s all good to me.

    Oh, and that “worst flaw” interview question, who’s brainchild is that? Obviously anyone will tell give a flaw you can put a positive spin on. Who’s gonna say, Um… actually, I love me my heroine fix…

  8. And “faffing”.

    I have a friend, who can actually talk more than I can (a fact that shocked my mother when she met her), who several times during a conversation will say “Long story short” after she’s already told you the full, long story anyway. I want to get out of the convo car and push it along to hurry it up. Drives me batty when people don’t get to the point. In terms of queues and the like, I generally have patience unless I’m late getting somewhere else.

  9. haha, i laughed when i read the person’s comment about yoga. last time i went to yoga i was cursing mother nature for the snow, cursing the drivers who were driving like it had never snowed before, cursing the people in line at yoga asking “stupid” questions, and cursing the receptionist for being so kind and patient with the stupid people.

    i’m not a patient person. except with my little people when they are doing landmark things like learning how to read or ride their bike. then i’m really nice and patient.

  10. Your middle name is Patience? That’s a nice name. Mine’s Thomas.

    Meetings are a colossal waste of time. Back in the days when I was employed (Don’t get impatient with me for making it all about me, okay?) I would say “Give me some work to do, just don’t make me sit through a mind-numbing meeting wasting the time that I could be using to actually accomplish something.” When I was president of a hockey association, I was brutal in keeping things on track, preventing people from going off on tangents.

  11. If any of you busy people have tie to read this far I have to expose XUP for the fibber she is.
    Although Patience is not in fact her middle name she does possess nearly superhuman amounts of that very substance.
    As proof I merely point out that although little xup has been recently injured in a somewhat suspicious way, ( I mean who gets hurt figure skating), she is in fact still alive.
    No teenager would ever reach 20 if parents didn’t have excessive patience not to mention a great sense of humour and mass quantities of alcohol.

  12. LOL @ I guess it works because people keep giving me jobs. I have no patience, my mother used to call me Miss Patience. Ok, I should amend that, I have no patience for other people, especially if I have an APPOINTMENT. Who says their time is more valuable than mine? I do however possess the virtue, I must, my children now call me Captain Eventuallyyyyyy. I have a lot of condescending nicknames now that I think about it.

  13. If i wanted to have patiene I would have been a doctor. That just never gets old, maybe to others, but never to me.

    The lack of patience must be a French thing.

  14. Jazz- Ah-ha! I need to bring a book next time I go grocery shopping. And, you’d be shocked and awed at the stuff people say during job interviews.

    Alison – Of course! The worst offense of all.

    Louise – Faffing is a new one for me. Good word. I have a few “long story short” people around me as well. “TOO LATE”, I always say.

    Meanie – Glad to hear you earn your moniker. I must confess to sometimes being impatient with my little one. More now than when she was little. But I had tons of time back then.

    Bob – YOU prevented people from going on tangents???? YOU???? And here I thought Tangent was YOUR middle name. I’m surprised some corporate guru hasn’t declared meetings totally obsolete by now. Or maybe they have but it hasn’t trickled down yet. Meetings where one person briefly presents some information without time for Q&A are fine. When everyone is encouraged to blather on, they’re just a way of avoiding work or decisions.

    Bandobras – Alcohol is the key, it really is. It has taught me a great deal about chillin’. So has marijuana, but the line-ups are longer, so I don’t bother.

    Charlene – Well, people like hair stylists are obviously more important than you(that one burns me big time, when I have to wait 20 minutes past my appointment time which took me 3 months to get to pay someone $70 plus tip to cut my hair) Don’t even get me started.

    Jobthingy – Ya, I can tell by some of your blog posts how very Zen you are about everyone who messes you about.

    Cedar – I’m not French, damn you!! Stop getting me mixed up with your ex-girlfriend. I told you not to take all those cold meds

  15. My cat’s stuff is in the garage (food, litter box, etc.) and he always runs just ahead of me when I go out even though he has a cat door. Then he always stops right there, and stretches and yawns. Just inside the door and it reminds me of the idiots that stop at the end of an escalator. Sometimes I want to dropkick him across the garage. As for doctor waiting rooms, I don’t know if you can use my method there, but I always call about a half hour before my appointment and ask how the doctor is running. I make them tell me if he’s 20, 30 or how many minutes behind and then I say, “Well then I’ll be there at 3:30 instead of 3:00 as there’s no point in wasting my time sitting in your waiting room.” They are all fine with it. And I don’t mind waiting in line if I can have a beer. When we went into the Boathouse pub in Central Park there was a giant line for the bathroom so I just got a beer first and I was fine. Plus I loved seeing the envy of the people who had not thought of that. hee hee.

  16. i am always impatient but wasn’t always. i don’t know what happened. i even have difficulty getting through long posts sometimes cause i want to get to the end. i hate needlepoint for that very reason. i need instant gratification so i’m with ya there.

  17. I’m like you…I get Type-A in stupid slow-moving line-ups. (Especially if I’m hungry and the cashier and customers are mouth-breathing idiots and it’s taking forever).

    I deal with it by trying to remember to bring a book or a newspaper.

    Living where I live, I have to do that a lot. Given how most of the businesses are run in town.

  18. jeesh – just looked back at my comment. man, was i asleep when i wrote it?

    what i meant to say was that NOW i am always impatient but always used to be patient.

  19. CP – Do you travel with your own rim-shot guy?

    Geewits – “Ah beer……. the cause of, and answer to most of life’s problems” . I believe that’s a Homer Simpson quote. If you could actually get through to someone in your doctor’s office on the phone, there’s no way they could or would tell you how far behind the doctor is running. We’re all charity cases up here when it comes to health care so we take what we can get (if we can get anything at all) and suck up all the indignities.

    Raino – You really ought to stop mixing your medications.

    Laura – You’re killing me here in more ways than one. I bow to you, Queen of Nose Rubbing Innit.

    Friar – “ Mouth-breathing idiots”.. very good. Must be related to the now infamous “slack-jawed yokels”, no? Closely related, I’m sure. I’m really going to have to remember to bring reading material wherever I go from now on.

  20. Cedar – ???

    CP – Excellent

    Fairstar – Hi! Thanks for stopping by. Yes, being patient with kids is highly over-rated. It just turns them into namby pamby sluggos

  21. I’m a pretty patient person, but I have no patience when husband rambles on and on as his voice fades off. I have been known to just go back to typing. Sometimes it takes him a while to realize that no one was listening to him.

    However, I am so with you on the board game thing.

  22. SaVanVleck – Ohhh, I’m so with you on people who ramble and then fade out. Just say what you have to say so we can all get on with our lives already. Sheesh!!!!

    Loth – Sure, they have their whole lives ahead of them, so time means nothing. Hurry up little short people.

  23. Pingback: Choice: playing a game or pulling out your organs through your throat? « Savanvleck’s Weblog