The Broken Doors
When I first moved to my flat, I had an electric door opener installed both at the front and back doors. I push a button on my remote key, much like a garage door opener, and ninety five percent of the time they open, stay open for about twenty seconds or so, and they shut. A modern marvel allowing me to leave the house by myself and know that I can be safely back home whenever I want. Now there is that one time in twenty where the execution isn’t quite perfect, the doors open slowly, or they aren’t timed well, or, on very rare cases, they don’t open at all. This is the situation that my abled bodied roommates choose to focus on.
“These damn doors! They never work right.” Never? Really? I’ve actually sat there and counted. They malfunction between five to ten percent of the time. Which means ninety to ninety five percent of the time they work great. Alright, so I wouldn’t get on an airplane which had those odds, but for a pair of mechanical doors I find this acceptable, even luxurious as without them, I wouldn’t be able to open the doors at all. I love my mechanical doors, I paid good money for them, and they give me the freedom to go out into the world whenever I want.
The people who complain about the doors not working are the same people who go into convulsions when they are put on hold for longer than ten minutes, or act as if it is a personal insult when they have to restart their MacBook Pro. I remember a few years ago, when I had to restart my laptop nearly everyday due to the unstable software I was running do to my disability. I once had to be on hold for over eight hours while a software team had to duplicate the conditions of a system crash and then figure out how to fix it so I could resume my homework.
I’m not about to pull the old “when I was your age” routine. I think it isn’t about people becoming less patient or getting older. After all, my roommates are essentially my age and I’m younger than just about anyone I know. Rather, this is about people being inherently impatient and thus expecting everything to work as it should the first time through. I guess I’ve never released before that when most people come to a door, they expect to be able to open it exactly when they like.
Of course, I recognize the precise irony of my complaint, I am impatient with impatient people. They wear on my temper and I would like nothing more than to dismiss their aggravation with my doors and ban them from my home. Thankfully, this is not the behaviour I’m known for. I’m known for being a bit more tolerant even if the reputation may not be warranted.
Somewhere, deep down, we all expect everything to work fresh out of the box. In many ways I can’t help but wonder, because the rest of my body doesn’t exactly work as advertised, perhaps I’m not as expectant for everything else to work in the way it is supposed to as well. And maybe, because my heart has been forced to learn some degree of humility and patience, I am aggravated by those who have none. Are we all tried by those who find difficult what is automatic to us? Are not the people who lack what we have precisely the folks who need our patience the most?
One of my roommates is back and I can hear her knocking on the door downstairs as it refuses to let her in. I swear that door knows exactly who to frustrate the best. Actually, what is more than likely the case is she forced the door shut manually when she left the flat out of her own frustration and now the gears are out of whack, I’ve warned her about this but she doesn’t listen. For the tinniest moment I’m tempted to just leave her there, squawking out of frustration outside my door. Then I see this would be just cruel so I rush downstairs, my rushing being the exact speed as my sauntering so its impossible to tell which is which.
Somehow, we all manage to try each other’s patience, its just part of living together in an imperfect world. Nothing, and for that matter no one, behaves as we ought. The best any of us can do is to take a deep breath and remember it.
As I reach downstairs, I can hear my roommate whimpering outside. This runs the risk of ruining her day, and if I was in her position I suppose it would frustrate me as well. I hit the button to open the door from the inside and it works perfectly as I see her slowly appear, looking as if she’s about to cry.
“Hey, welcome home,” is all I say