One Friday I packed my bags ready to go away for the weekend. Destination? As far away from home as possible. Somewhere where I could pretend my life wasn’t mine, albeit for a couple of days.
I was sitting at my desk willing the day to end when I realised I had forgotten to pack my contact lenses. A disaster if your eyes are as bad as mine. I had a train to catch in less than an hour and the lenses I was wearing were daily disposables.
I remembered that my opticians have a branch a few doors away from my office. Phew! I called the branch and after explaining the situation, the guy on the other end of the phone assured me that it wouldn’t be a problem. He’d call my branch to verify my details and give me a call back.
He called back with bad news. They didn’t have the particular brand I wear in stock so he couldn’t help me.
‘Can’t you give me any brand?’ I asked.’
‘I’ll have to get the authorisation of your opthamologist before I can do that,’ he replied.
‘Then get it!,’ I screamed down the phone.
I was getting irritated. I knew there was no way I’d be able to go home to pick up my lenses and my only hope wasn’t sounding promising. I’m not sure why I was getting angry at him. It wasn’t his fault I forgot my lenses or that they didn’t have my brand in stock.
My phone rang again and the news was no better; my branch wouldn’t give him the authorisation he needed. Flames began to escape from my ears and nostrils. I hung up and called my branch. Before the guy who answered could churn out any annoying scripted greetings, I jumped down his throat.
‘My name is MEE. I asked your xxx branch to call you to authorise a pair of replacement lenses. Why wouldn’t you do it? Am I am supposed to spend the weekend blind? Would you be satisfied if I get run over crossing the road? You’ll be happier when I’m dead eh?!’
Somebody say drama queen!
‘Please calm down madam. I need your details so I can pull up your account. I did speak to the guys from xxx branch. Unfortunately we cannot authorise a different brand of lenses without a check up.’
‘That’s a load of rubbish and you know it. I recently swapped my monthly lenses for dailies and didn’t need a check. Now you tell me that you cannot swap one brand for another without a check? Does that make any sense?!’
With each word, my voice was getting louder. By the time I completed the rant, my vocal chord was near snapping point.
‘I’m sorry madam but there’s nothing I can do.’
‘There’s nothing you can do? Why do I pay you every month if you cannot provide a service when I need it? Tell me why you are in business? Go on, tell me, I’m waiting!’
I was so angry I started to scare myself. I didn’t recognise the person speaking. I was being uncharacteristically rude. Surely, I wasn’t getting worked up over lenses? I’ve slept in my daily disposables more times than I care to admit so the lenses couldn’t have been the real issue.
The truth is that I’d been frustrated and stressed for a while, hence the break. My anger had very little to do with the lenses, they just triggered the emotions that I’d been burying. I knew I was being irrational.
When I eventually calmed down, I was ashamed of myself.
When things go wrong, human beings NEED someone to shoulder the blame. Someone must be held responsible for our problems.
That someone, is never us.