Slapped with Perspective

A few nights ago I was writing the post about my daughter’s car accident, when just as I clicked “publish”, my internet went down.  I went into a panic. I ran around like a crazy person, doing all I could to fix it, reset the router, restart my computer etc. I ended up on the phone with my internet provider at 2 in the morning, where I was put on hold for over 45 minutes. Frustrated and angry, I finally gave up and went to bed.

When I woke the next day, the internet was still not working, it was now showing a “no service” light. I was livid, we had just paid the bill for the month! Someone was going to get a piece of my mind! I called the same number from the night before, expecting to be put on hold again, but was surprised when I heard a live voice on the line after just a couple of seconds. The young man on the other end was very kind and helpful, even though my attitude was far from deserving. He went about asking me several questions, and setting up an appointment for that same day. While we were waiting for everything to be scheduled, instead of putting me on hold, he started chatting with me. At some point in our conversation I asked where my call had been routed to…he said, “I am in the Philippines”.  My heart stopped, I suddenly pictured this man sitting somewhere surrounded by complete devastation, on the phone with a grumpy woman, trying to help her get her internet service back. I asked him how it was where he was calling from, but he skipped over my question and began thanking me profusely for the help sent from my country! He went on to tell me how grateful he was that we had sent ships and helicopters loaded with supplies, and so quickly after the storm had hit. He never once focused on all that had happened there, nor did he try to fill me in on the details. He just kept thanking me.

As you can guess by now, I felt like a completely self-indulgent American, sitting in my warm, dry home, complaining to this man about how inconvenient it was that I had no internet service, and how it had disrupted my whole day. He finished setting up my service appointment, apologized for all my trouble, and said he would personally call me in the evening to make sure all had been restored. Before hanging up, he once again thanked me for all that America had done to help his country.

My internet was fixed before the end of the day. The shame that came with my self-indulgent, ego centered, “it’s all about me” attitude may take a bit longer to repair.

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Related post, and must see. http://afternoonwalks.wordpress.com/2013/12/09/normalcy/

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11 comments on “Slapped with Perspective

  1. It isn’t just you. Most of us have become very self-centered in this wonderful country of ours. Actually, you are probably one of the very few who catches him/herself being less than what he/she could easily be. I know that I don’t catch myself often enough.

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  2. I would have done and felt the same way. Your post has made me think as well. Usually we are routed to someone overseas that we can barely understand and become over reactive (me). I will always remember this post and it will make me stop and think before inserting my foot into my mouth.

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    • He was just so incredibly kind and helpful, and though I know it probably wasn’t the case, once he told me where he was, I pictured this guy in what was left of an office building, looking out on the complete devastation, and just trying to earn a living. Hmmm

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