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Carol Perkins: Keeping cool in trying times

Previus Column: Visiting Wolf Creek and Tebb's Bend

By Carol Perkins

Being placed on hold agitates most of us, but what really annoys me is having to listen to the Covid-19 precautions the company is taking (I'm on the phone for goodness sakes) and then recorded voice telling me to listen closely because their menu has changed.

Has every business in the United States changed menus? I get the same spiel from everyone I call, whether a store or a doctor's office. "Listen carefully, our menu has recently changed." Was there a national menu changing day?

After I listen to all the options and still can't decide which fits my need, I enter "O" for the operator. That works only part of the time. One unfortunate result is that the menu descriptions start over, and I have to listen to all of the choices again. If none fits what I want, I try to find the closest to my problem. Then I'm transferred to another menu.

What I need is a human. After the new menu follows the old menu and I choose a number to press, once again I get a recording. When I finally reach a person, I am often transferred to another person in a different department. By then, my "nice voice" is fading.

During these last months (that feel like years), I've noticed myself becoming more agitated over insignificant things or situations I can't control.

One of my button-pushers is masks. What is the big deal about slapping a mask over your face and doing what you're asked to do? I seldom go grocery shopping because Guy does all the leg work. However, recently I decided to shop, and I was pleased to see a huge sign outside the store that read, "Mask Required!"

I'm pushing my cart, distancing myself the same way others are, and there she was! As I rounded a corner, a lady smiled as if she knew me, I smiled back, and then it dawned on me when I saw her teeth that she wasn't wearing a mask. They were available at the entrance, so where was her mask? The only answer was that she was defiant with an "I'll show you" attitude.

My first instinct was to say, "You're not wearing a mask?" (Dumb statement) but I didn't want to get myself whipped in aisle four. (Violence has erupted in stores over masks.) Other shoppers were looking at her, too. I wondered after I left if management said anything to her. She went merrily on her way while the rest suffered from lack of oxygen and in my case, steamed up glasses while trying to protect others and follow the rules. I was agitated.

I'm trying to keep my cool and be calm, but sometimes it's hard. Oh, for goodness sake, who is that mowing his yard on Sunday morning while I'm trying to listen to my preacher? What day does he think it is? My agitation level has risen again.

This story was posted on 2020-08-21 10:00:00
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