“Hell hath no fury like an inconvenienced American.” Unknown
I laughed uproariously when Terry Hershey told me the quote above after about one year of Covid and the quarantines. The reason it is so funny is that it is so true. We Americans do not do well with being inconvenienced.
We just don’t seem to do well with anything that interrupts our schedule or our comfort. I think the airlines may be a significant example of many of our so-called inconveniences: lost luggage, delayed or cancelled flights, seating assignments, TSA, and never-ending lines. Yikes! I am glad I don’t work in customer service of any airline. THANK YOU to all who do!
So, what is it that makes us feel almost entitled to an uninterrupted life where all the stars align and coddle to our plans or desires or even whims? Sometimes “our stars” do, in fact, line up with our plans. But that is not the norm. At least not for me.
I guess, for me, life is more like one inconvenience after another. In fact, I might go as far as to suggest that inconvenience and interruption are more the norm than the exception.
Oops: Visa Required
For instance, last year I was at the airport check-in counter on a trip to Uganda only to discover that Uganda had changed its entry policy and now required a visa to get into the country. I didn’t have a visa, which meant I didn’t have a seat. I couldn’t get on the plane and had to drive one-hour back home, devote the next day to getting a visa, rebooking the flight, and then making my business trip to Kampala on the third day.
Was I inconvenienced? Yes. Was there anything I could do about it? No. I then had a choice: deal with it or whine incessantly. Fortunately, I opted for the former.
It Always Comes Back to Choice
Perhaps, like most issues in life, it comes back to “choice.” I think often of the words of Viktor Frankl when he wrote something like, “Although we can’t always choose our situation or circumstance, we CAN choose how we might deal with it.
Who knows? Maybe it is this Inconvenienced American that is so unpopular in Europe. We want what we want and we want it now.
Unfortunately, life doesn’t play that way.
You Can Choose: Whine or Deal with It
Photo courtesy of Chris Ryan at istockphoto