For all those wasted hours spent with my ear to the phone, here’s a brand new spin on how I think answering the phone should really go:
If you are canceling my upcoming doctor’s appointment and expecting me to reschedule it (because something came up for the doctor) after making me schedule it months in advance, please press 1.
If you are about to tell me that your _________________ repairman will be here between the hours of 8am and 6pm, please press 2 and I will return your call with my hours of availability between the hours of 8am and 6pm.
If you are trying to sell me car insurance or health insurance, refinancing or leasing options, cheaper long distance rates or airline tickets, or wanting my vote in the next election, please remember my number because it’s payback time!*
What used to be an exciting event – planning a much needed vacation – is now an exercise, for some (particularly the elderly), in overcoming obstacles. There are many unconventional things that must now be considered before embarking on, say, a cruise:
Are there wheelchairs available in the terminals (and onboard the ship itself)?
Will all your meds be able to pass safely through customs?
Do you have a doctor’s note to explain the beeping that will (because of the titanium rods currently holding together your limbs) inevitably occur when you go through the metal detectors?
Mind you, these are only some of the obstacles elders will be facing getting onto the ship in the first place. Once you board:
Are there elevators to take you not only floor to floor but also to your seats in the dining areas and theaters?
Is there a special menu for diabetics?
Are there devices for the hearing impaired in noisy areas where BINGO and other activities take place?
And this doesn’t even cover any additional transportation snafus that might be incurred by using planes, busses, cabs or boat tenders to and from the cruise ship. Sadly, at this point, you will be so exhausted from merely planning (what should have been) this fantastic trip that you’ll most likely… just stay home!
We spend countless hours on our looks and on our bodies – lotions, spas, gyms, power drinks – so why don’t we spend any time trying to improve our minds? Yes, we play games on our computers and do crossword puzzles and the like. But, since graduating from school (be it HS or college), we haven’t properly exercised our brains.
Try these experiments:
Say the alphabet backwards
Play the old car-trip game (by yourself) where you think of alphabetized foods you’d like to take on a picnic
Try to remember the names of all of your teachers by grade
How did you do? I was visiting my son some weeks ago and, all of a sudden, I remembered a name we had both drawn blanks on in a recent phone conversation. We laughed. But it just goes to show you… It’s easy to forget but it’s redemptive to remember!
Why don’t people smile anymore? Walk down any city street and this is what you’ll see:
People arguing on their phones
People frowning unhappily
People rushing and bumping, unapologetically, into one another
Why bother spending an hour in the morning, getting ready to go out into the world, only to scowl and rant and rave… who’s going to notice all the time you just spent primping?
Did you ever watch or hear someone yawn and (all of a sudden) you yawn, too? It’s oddly contagious. So why doesn’t one smile beget another? You smile if you hear a baby doing that ‘uncontrollable giggle’ thing or when you see ANY animal video on YouTube. But there don’t seem to be that many moments in our own lives where we just LAUGH.
Next time you have a soda or a milkshake, try blowing bubbles through the straw… We used to love doing that as children. Or spontaneously break into a happy dance for no particular reason. If someone happens to catch you, hopefully they’ll laugh along with you. If not, you just bought yourself a one-way ticket to the funny farm!