Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Insolence of Office

This past month and half has felt like an uphill Odyssey, during which every pebble that could tumble, tumbled, every thorn that could pierce, did so, and every wind that could cut bone, howled wildly, brandishing fresh knives. These weeks have made me long for days when I was juggling only one, at the most two disasters at a time. Today, it feels like time has run out and I will need all the motivation I can muster to get up from where I sit.

Last Friday, I was shocked to hear myself sobbing and begging for a technician that could fix my washing machine. The problem was not just the washing machine, but a whole lot of emergencies suddenly blooming everywhere I stepped.

Of course, part of me wonders if I do not feel this way because of my sudden, severe anemia, which exhausts me. However, finally, there is promise for that at the end of tomorrow (the gods willing). Tonight, the lion's share of my grading is done, and my washer is finally functional after weeks of stubborn silence. So perhaps it is a combination of relief and exhaustion at having lived like a juggler for the past few weeks.

But no. There is yet a monster I fight, since I still hold my sword.

Right now, I have a battle with either a credit card who mistakenly filed a charge as fraudulent, or a merchant who has seriously mismanaged my booking for my upcoming international trip beginning in a few days; or perhaps I am fighting both. I cannot tell whom I fight or on what side. With complaisance that is a characteristic of all scriveners, I am repeatedly being told, "Yes, yes, we understand your frustration, but the computer, you understand?" and "Of course your position is appreciated but our policy cannot be compromised." And my favorite, "I completely understand your problem but it is obvious that you do not understand what I am saying, or you realize my problem!"

I wonder if I am losing my grasp on reality. Should not I receive an apology for someone having messed up? Should I not receive reassurance that all is handled and well? After all, the trip is not cheap and I have received no discounts for my booking, nor any advantages from the credit card. Yet, like with the immovable technicians and managers in charge of  my washing machine, I hear myself almost begging, asking for unspecified favors.

There is no report of my challenging or disputing a charge for years; yet there remains a dispute. This reminds me of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings:" The man should not exist, yet there he is, and he is the problem of the people looking at him. So this dispute is my problem and the merchant's tone does not lack in accusations snapping just below the surface of their words. The credit card company is belligerent at best and suspicious at worst. I cannot believe I beg strangers I cannot even see to take money from me, right away! The nightmarish, Kafkaesque situation is not lost on me.

Tonight, I have needed the solace of this blank space to vent, and my sincere apology to my patient reader; I am usually not thus darkling, I like to think. However, be that as it may, tomorrow, I pick up my sword again, rise with the sun, and hopefully, when the sun sets, my trip becomes more real, more possible, more manageable.

For tonight, I shall put away my tea cup and get some rest. Perhaps a few cats might come and commiserate with me. If they do not, I humbly and completely understand about the insurmountable problems facing them and their scriveners.


1 comment:

  1. Oh my poor scrivener! You deserve a better year in 2015--we all do. I shall light my candle in the hopes that I can summon it for us.