I woke up this morning feeling like I needed to give kudos to Ali. Yes, you read that right. Kudos. To Ali. The thing is, I rarely give Ali any credit, not because he doesn’t deserve it, but more because I have issues conceding anything. To him or to really anyone for that matter. I’d like to thank my father for this wonderful trait. Trying to get a compliment or a “you were right” from my dad is more impossible than justifying $7.99 for overrated almond butter. As you can see I also have issues letting things go. So as I add both of these unpleasant characteristics to my mile long list of things I need to work on, allow me to take a minute to give Ali some much deserved recognition.
Yesterday around lunchtime Ali called to tell me he would be working late and wouldn’t be home for dinner. I didn’t hear from him again until after dinner when he called to tell me that his 1 day old car wouldn’t start and thus he was stuck at his office. A few seconds after that our call dropped so I didn’t get the rest of the story until later, but luckily he found someone to drop him to his dad’s place (another 30-40 minutes in the wrong direction) so he could once again borrow a car. Then Ali had to drive another 30 miles back home and when he finally got home it was after 9pm.
So here is the amazing thing: despite a long day at work, an unexpected work dinner, and a brand new car that wouldn’t start, I never once heard Ali curse, get frustrated or upset, or even raise his voice. Instead, he came home and thanked me for being understanding and “saying the right things” to make him feel better. Then he proceeded to make himself a cup of tea, became re-acquainted with his second wife (laptop), and started checking emails as if it were just another day in the neighborhood.
This morning was no different. Ali avoided the gym like the plague, got dressed for work, patiently waited on hold with Roadside Assistance, and then with no mention of his predicament, he jumped in his borrowed car and drove off like it was any other normal day.
I tried to imagine how I would have reacted if my new car stopped working after one day. Considering that I dropped a few F-Bombs last night when our call got disconnected, and I ranted and raved to absolutely nobody about how much I detest AT&T, their service, their customer service, and their billing methods, you can imagine how much worse things would have been if I found myself in Ali’s shoes. I imagine that in five seconds flat I would be on a 5-way-call with the salesperson that sold me the car, his manager, the fleet manager, the owner of the dealership, and my attorney. I’d also have AAA on the other line and I’d be typing the words “lemon law” into Google. I’d be cursing up a storm and then I’d come home and take it out on Ali and Maya. Because as wrong as it is, that is how I operate.
I really want to learn a lesson from this. I want to be calm and cool. I want to stop being demanding and angry with people. I want to roll with the punches. I want to stop cursing like a sailor. I want to do all these things, and more. But it’s never going to happen. Why? Because as I write this my blood pressure is shooting through the roof as I imagine all the things I want to say to AT&T about our dropped call yesterday. Yes, I am still annoyed about a dropped call! I want to tell them how my calls have been dropping for years on the same stretch of the 405. I want to demand answers for why they haven’t addressed this problem. I want heads to roll and responsible parties to take accountability. I want revenge.
Clearly I’ve learned nothing from this experience. But kudos to you Ali for having the patience of a saint and for making the world a better place, one dead battery at a time.