Now don’t get me wrong, I love my iPhone. In fact, if gay marriage were legal in California, I might marry her. That’s right, it’s a she. A sexy, sassy, stylish she with productivity, power and a passion for Oregon Trail to boot. But as much as I love her, our relationship can sometimes be a little rocky. Sometimes she doesn’t communicate as quickly as I want her to, and she does have a tendency to over accessorize. In fact, I think my former colleague Eugene is pretty much spot on in all of his assessments of my baby’s shortcomings. Not that I don’t love her anyway. But hey, we all need to let off iSteam every once in a while, right?
Note: This post is an excerpt from the ongoing chronicles of my year of trying something new every single day. To see the full list so far, check out 365 Days of Different | Ranker – A World of Lists.
Okay, I know. I work in the tech industry. I’ve done my fair share of IT fixes around the office. I’ve worked in sales. I’ve even waitressed. If anyone should be patient and respectful towards those poor souls on the other end of the Dell help line, it’s me.
After all, I know they’re probably just as annoyed by the language barrier between us as I am. And it’s not their fault that their automated voice recognition system only seems to recognize numbers that don’t exist in my impossibly long service code. And I’m sure there’s a perfectly good explanation for them putting me on hold for 20 minutes in the middle of our conversation. Maybe they just wanted to share the joys of their hold music with me. You know, to soothe me during my busy day or something.
Yet no matter how much I justify their sheer and utter ineptitude at providing any help that even comes close to being supportive, I still manage to lose my cool pretty much every time I talk to them. I can’t help it. They bring out the worst in me. The nagging, aggressive, unsatisfiable customer that comes from the darkest depths of my Long Island roots.
So today, as my something different, I decided to try doing the unfathomable. I made a conscious effort to be understanding, engaging and even — dare I say — patient when dealing with Dell’s ‘customer service’ representative.
I kindly kept my cool throughout all six retellings of the fact that I simply needed to reschedule a visit from their on-site technician. I recounted the fact that my boss’s computer has been beeping eerily every few minutes for the past few months, without ever once reminding the support technician that the many interns who had dealt with this particular service order before me had already given her that information. I even managed to stay patient when I gave her my email address (my first name), and she asked me to spell it — right after I had just spelled my name for her report two seconds prior.
I managed to make it all the way up to the last few minutes of the call. And then I snapped. A few very snippy seconds later, she managed to figure out all the information she needed, magically find the answer for me and send me on my merry way. Long story short, it appears that sometimes you just have to be a bit of a bitch. At least if you want to get something done with Dell support.
I just cut the cord on two years of on again off again romance with someone I can confidently say is the love of my life — to date. There’s no easy way to turn our compendium of a courtship into a long story short, but suffice it to say I walked away from a situation that we both knew wasn’t working. And although I didn’t shut the door completely, it’s not looking like it’s going to reopen right away either. To put it another way, I did delete his number from my phone, although I kept it written down on good old-fashioned paper.
In contemporary courtship terms, that last sentence probably said it all. But, of course, nothing can completely convey all the thoughts and emotions that go into making — and dealing with — the decision to cut communication with someone who is so central to your life. It’s the kind of thing that seems so simple in theory, until you wake up the next day and start to realize that there are countless little ways in which the absence of that person from your life affects you. Especially today, when odds are you and the person you’re dating are digitally connected almost 24/7, it’s easy to feel like losing them is more than just about losing a lover, it’s about losing that constant conversational companion, that communication, that connection.
All of a sudden, your phone is silent, and you’re alone. That’s when everything becomes an exercise in reevaluation. Now normally, I would try to stave this stage off by simply wallowing in so much misery that eventually I couldn’t take it anymore. I would literally binge on the blues, until I was so sick of it, there was nothing left to do but get up and go back to my life. Between being sad and being better, there wasn’t much room for reflection. But this time, the fourth or fifth time this particular passionate affair was put out to pasture, I decided to do things differently.
So I sat down, and I started to think. What can I do that will force me to learn from this experience and grow enough to maybe manage not to have to do it again? After all, you’d think I would have learned after time two or three. Clearly, my wallowing technique wasn’t working as a means of making sure I didn’t repeat my mistakes. It was time to try something different. And that’s when it hit me. Trying something different. It’s not something I usually do. As a rule, there are few things I dislike more than being in a situation where I’m not in control. And nothing wrests the control right out of your hands quite like a strange, new situation. So, obviously, I’ve spent most of my life trying to avoid all things awkward and unfamiliar.
But, of course, as any regular viewer of romantic comedies knows, the heroine can never move past her propensity for failed flings until she forces herself to confront her demons and – surprisingly enough – try something new. Take the movie “Julie & Julia,” which I just saw. Julie Powell felt like her life lacked purpose. So she gave herself a challenge — spend one year cooking your way through Julia Child’s cookbook, blog about it and see what happens. It worked. They made a movie about her after all.
By now, you can probably guess where this is going. I too have decided to give myself a challenge. And I too am planning to blog about it. Do I think they’ll make a movie about me? Probably not. But I do think that this exercise will force me to face some of my fears, and find out some new things about myself, the life I want to live, and the love I want in it. After all, what better time is there to do something like this than now? I’m single in Hollywood in my twenties. It’s not exactly Sex & The City (Carrie’s shoes alone probably wouldn’t fit in my apartment), but it is that time in my life. Why not force myself to do something different with it? So here it is.
The challenge: do something different every day for the next 365 days — the countdown starts on August 10, 2009 and ends on August 10, 2010, at which point I will be a year older and hopefully, at least a few exciting experiences wiser.
The rules: The ‘something different’ can be as major as making myself try the Trapeze School at the Santa Monica Pier or as minor as finding a new food to try or a weird new website to hit. No matter what, it must be something I’ve never done before. I’ll document the whole thing in full at http://www.ranker.com/list/365-days-of-different/mollie, and I’ll also put excerpts of my experiences up here, and at http://www.speedladating.blogspot.com and http://www.girlsintech.net.
I’ll definitely take suggestions about strange new things to try. So long as they don’t leave any permanent marks or put my clumsy ass into serious physical danger, I’m down to try it. Or at least, I’m going to force myself to be. That’s the whole point after all, isn’t it?
Seriously, if you haven’t figure it out yet, this is the presentation for you. If you don’t know what to do with it, this is the presentation for you. If you love it, use it, work in it and want validation for your pale skin, twitxhausted fingers and thriving online social life, this is the presentation for you. Long story short, this thing is awesome. Check it out.