When I moved to Mexico, something crazy happened: Nothing. Nothing happened the way I planned it. Nothing went according to schedule. No appointments came when they said they would. No friends showed up on time for anything.
Once, I made an appointment for internet installation. The appointment was set for one week in the future, which I already considered to be in the realm of WTF long, but I went with it. I’m in a different country, right?
Did you know that Seattle enjoys one of the fastest, most robust internet connections available almost anywhere? Neither did I.
Anyway three weeks later, at 2:30pm, I get a phone call from a serviceman at my doorstep wondering where I am. He’s at my house to install my internet. I’m not there, because our appointment was TWO WEEKS, THREE DAYS, AND 30 MINUTES IN THE PAST, so I am fully unprepared. I run home, without my laptop, he installs the hardware I need but has NO MEANS TO TROUBLESHOOT HIS WORK, because his employer doesn’t give him a laptop to do that, and I didn’t bring my laptop because our appointment was TWO WEEKS, THREE DAYS, AND 30 MINUTES IN THE PAST, so I am forced to sign off on work that I cannot verify has been completed. I didn’t speak any Spanish then, and wouldn’t have time to argue even if I did, so I did sign off on that form and then I did throw that pen directly past him and out my front door into the street.
I know now that he was calling me a bitch. And I probably deserved that.
Anyway, sure enough I could not connect to the internet later that evening. To test my new theory that no one ever shows up on time for anything, I scheduled two appointments, with two computer different specialists, at noon the following day. Neither ever showed up, I’m still waiting for their call(s).
But, turns out I can be pretty resourceful when I want to be, and I fixed it myself. Internet: on.
Made friends with Lalo for future internet annoyances, and I think this must be how everyone ends up “knowing a guy” for everything. Because you can’t depend on a lot of people.
So, with this story in mind, coupled with other experiences and the stories of others who have gone before me, over the last couple of years I’ve adopted a “do nothing” policy. It goes something like this:
Step 1: Something goes wrong.
Step 2: I don’t do anything.
Almost always, I’ve noticed, the problem fixes itself.
Had I known (my fault), that 2:30pm on this week actually meant 2:30pm on THAT week, I would have done nothing. I know that now.
Had I known that people who are required to do things that need troubleshooting, are not given the tools to do the troubleshooting, I would have made sure to bring my tools.
I would have taken more responsibility myself, had I understood all the ways that I’d given responsibility to people who would not take it.
If I had understood that I’d previously enjoyed one of the easiest and fastest internet connections on the planet, for my entire adult life, I’d have tempered my expectations a bit.
I don’t really mean this as a ranty kind of post… I mean it very much in an empowering way. I’ve learned to decide if and when I’m willing to wait for someone. I decide what’s worth waiting for, and if I’m not willing to wait, I find a way to fix it myself, or I phone my guy. I’ll bring my own tools, just in case. I’ll do what I can to learn about the project, because I might have to finish it myself. It’s not ideal, but what’s wrong with learning something?
I just got home from dinner and my internet wasn’t working. And then it fixed itself.
This happened earlier today too. Maybe my router is dying. We’ll see.
If something happens, I know a guy.