Thursday, March 20, 2014

A Waiting Game

Modern life is full of waiting. Many religions might even argue that life is merely the waiting room for the after life. In modern western society there is a lot of waiting lines for ATM, self-serve check outs, entry to a venue of choice. Some would say the longer the line the better the venue, or at least the better the venue’s marketing.

Sometimes waiting is frustrating, waiting for a taxi, waiting for the person who has jammed the office copier to come back and fix it, waiting for any service at the post office.

Other times waiting can be a positive, even exciting experience waiting months for your long planned holiday to commence, grand final week when your team is playing in the big game, waiting for a online purchase to arrive in the mail.

To consider how ones response to waiting can change consider an airport. With modern security passengers have to check in anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours prior to departure.  Passengers arrive eagerly for their travel experience willing to wait out the time between arrival and boarding. How quickly does this eagerness change to frustration or outright hostility if that flight is delayed even for only a few minutes?

Do people work to fill in the time during the day before playing in the evening and weekends or is it vice versa. To answer which is correct for you, consider again the airport departure lounge. Is the inevitable wait  an opportunity to read, browse the overpriced retail stores or grab a drink and bite to eat or is it an opportunity to catch up on emails and read that report from the office.

Hospitals are an interesting experience in waiting. You want an ailment that is serious enough to get the medical professionals attention and get you to the front of the queue. However you don’t want your condition to be so serious that alarms sound, codes are paged through the hospitals p.a. system that bring doctors running from all corners bringing a variety of machines that beep with them. You also do not want a condition that places you in a room with stadium seating so that medical staff want to wait and line up for an opportunity to see how you are treated.

I personally like to have something to wait for, no not to be eventually served by a bushranger bearded hipster barrister to get my morning caffeine fix waiting for something exciting or interesting. I like to have holidays booked ahead of time with the dates in my diary. I like to have tickets to an event or performance. I like eating and drinking out with friends, whilst I enjoy a spontaneous opportunity – a phone call asking what are you doing tonight?” I enjoy the night more if I have had to wait for it. Even if it is only 24hours I enjoy the anticipation and the waiting.  A blank diary is my enemy.

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