"All words are symbols that represent unspeakable realities. Which is also why words are magical." (Donald Miller tweet)

Thursday, February 04, 2010


My loving husband, known as "Spike" in this space (due to the carpet glue which holds his hair in a vertical position for days on end) is a firm believer in systems. Except for himself.

We were at a seminar once where they identified different personality types, and the various groups had to stand. My group was asked to stand, and then they invited us to sit down, and we all instantly did, because that's what my personality type does. We fit the system. If we get to actually create the system, we get all weepy with joy.

Spike's personality group, on the other hand, was given opportunity to stand, but it was a short opportunity, because "if you don't sit this group down quickly, a party will break out, and the whole seminar will be shot. This group sincerely believes that systems are only relevant to other people."

We are quite a combination.

Recently, we switched internet providers. And of course, the "simple process" of switching involved 17 phone calls, 4 hours and 33 minutes on hold, and 22 retells of the same story that we were switching. Ironically, each phone call ended with the scripted, "Thank you for choosing ____" and I wanted to yell, "But I DIDN'T!!! I'm LEAVING you!!!!"

As part of the switch, we had to return the modem. (I will pause here and allow you to imagine the various complications and phone conversations that were involved in that statement.) Suffice it to say that despite our best efforts, today was the deadline to return that little modem, and it was still in our possession.

So today, it was Spike's job to package it up and drop it off at a UPS store. "Where's the UPS store?" he asked. "Dunno," was my brilliant answer. Pause. "I guess I'll find it," he said. (He'd rather just find it, than look it up, mapquest it, and phone for their hours of business. That's his personality.)

He grabbed the package and met me at the car, to drive me to work. On our way there, as he happily wondered aloud where the UPS store might be, he suddenly exclaimed, "OR.....! I could just give it to that guy!"

Pulled over. Right behind a UPS truck on the side of the road. Hopped out of the car. Knocked on the truck door, smiled and waved his package at the driver. Several seconds later, he was back in the car, sans package, with a receipt in his hand. Done. So much for systems.

He grinned.

"You would never do that, would you?"

"Not in a million years," was my reply. That's just my personality.


Anonymous said...

Absolutely hilarious!

pabbink@yahoo.ca said...

WOW can I relate to both - i would do both, I would plan to go to the UPS Store , get the directions, hours etc etc - but then in a burst of randomness I would given the opportunity flag the truck down..... Now would this make me a split personality? A man of 2 minds - orderly yet spontaneous?

chRistine said...

very funny - i can picture him doing that. i cannot imagine ME doing that.

Sheepdog said...

Wow. I didn't know such a thing COULD be done.


Well, way to go, Spike. Way to go Patti for not doing what I would have done - which would have been to say "Noooo you can't do that!", thereby stopping him and never finding out that it could indeed be done.

Patti said...

I've learned to use my "Noooo's" wisely, Sheepdog. I'm only allowed so many.

Anonymous said...

Carpet glue!?!?!?!?


Janer said...

I can also relate to the modem issue.
Have gone through similar epic with Primus, (I will name them and slam them...) and, though it has been sent, with THEIR lading bill, they STILL say I owe them 99 bucks, because, though they've received it, it won't SHOW that on my CLOSED account, until a particular day in the month...! Let's just say less than impressed.

On the personality note, I'm a bit split too. I'd check it all out beforehand, but also leap out the car if the opportunity arose. So I can relate to both. But I think on the whole, systems are for other people. (Must be genetic...though definitely from Dad's side...)