I had a phone call the other day and the message was to return a call to somebody I was waiting to speak with. I’ll call him L. We had spoken earlier, but it was not a good time, and L said he would phone back.
It was a very busy day, probably the busiest of my week, and my mind was in overdrive. That call from L was critical to a story I was writing.
L had called back early, so my thoughts leapt to where I knew he was, in a car, heading south, maybe in or out of range, and my thoughts tumbled out aloud. Did L leave a number?
“If you would listen,” the person said smartly, cutting into the phone line, clipping each word with pinking shear accuracy, “the number is…”
So that was me figuratively smacked upside the head. Again. Because this caller has leveled the same kind of aggression toward me before and fired. I bit my tongue. Same place, and just as hard.
The first person to claim I am one of many faults is me. I own my ineptitude. Nobody in the world can castigate me for my misdirection as well as myself for about every action and deed where I messed up, should have learned, acted thoughtlessly, felt spiteful, angered, rude.
But I know I am also generous, and take time to listen, I am contrite for my muddleheadedness when I am feeling overwhelmed.
I have explained, time and time again, my hearing is not so good and, I’m sorry, could you please repeat that?
With this person, it never works. I am brushed off with a flip “Never mind”, that sends a message I did not afford them the courtesy to hear them the first time, so I am again, a rude bitch. When I cannot bloody hear.
And I apologize to keep the peace, even when I am simmering.
There’s little time in this world, and you’ve got to pick your battles, and I don’t often feel like making lemonade, but I will.
On that day, I did not apologize in tandem with my simmer, I just wrote down the number, thanked the caller, and muttered something under my breath after I dropped the phone in the cradle.