When I was learning to drive, my cool, calm and collected drive instructor (a.k.a Dad) told me the most valuable piece of driving information. He informed me in no uncertain terms that he was in fact not worried about whether or not I would be a good driver, because (and I quote): “It’s the other idiots on the road you need to worry about!” And so began my illustrious first driving lesson that ended with me running over a snake sunning itself in the road, almost hitting a mailbox in my attempt to avoid the snake, and finally returning home with a solemn vow to enlist the aid of public transit to get anywhere I needed in life as I would almost certainly never again be behind the wheel of a car.
Of course I moved past that disastrous first attempt and went on to become a very conscientious driver, but the message of that day has stayed with me. Sometimes the things that cause the most trouble in your life (or day) are the other drivers – and unfortunately, there’s not much to be done about them.
Today was one of those days.
Without getting into specifics, I will say that the drama in our homeschooling adventures these past 2 days has had almost nothing to do with the students in my house (almost). Instead we have fallen victim to the distractions that present themselves in the form of frustrating phone calls that MUST be made during bankers (aka schooling) hours, frustrating letters that generate these phone calls, having to retell your tale more than once and receive multiple call backs with conflicting instructions on how to resolve the issues, and an overwhelming lack of SERVICE of any kind!
Now while I don’t allow my children to use the descriptive word in my title, I can honestly say that my vocabulary choices today are a reflection of the fact that I’ve had it. Plain and simple. I’ve had it with the lack of customer service in almost every area of my life. I’m just plain OVER it. Oh, and if I could go back in time and tell myself what I’ve learned over these past few weeks of homeschooling it would have nothing to do with school and everything to do with Home Management 101. You see, B.H. (Before Homeschooling) I was a fairly organized Home CEO. I menu planned, grocery shopped with coupons, kept a detailed budget spreadsheet, handled all Dr. appointments, service calls, mail and bills, made sure all the floors were cleaned, the tables and other surfaces regularly sanitized and the washing was done on time.
Now while I’ve managed to keep up with pretty much everything on this list, I’ll confess there is ONE set of recurring issues that I just can’t seem to manage. Because it can’t be done! And the reason it is literally impossible to manage, is because while I can anticipate needs and bills, thus budgeting my time and money accordingly, I cannot possibly anticipate the inane conversations between myself and the creditors, lenders, repair personnel, bankers, or customer service representatives I have to deal with nationwide. No. That is an impossible feat. However, if I could bottle and sell the secret to managing this enormous time-waster in my day, I’d be a wealthy homeschooling mom, because surely Every. Single. Homeschool Family on this PLANET has to be feeling my pain here?!
These things that used to be an annoying blip on the radar of my day, are now cataclysmic cyclones that blow through our time together, derailing schedules, lesson plans, and reading assignments, leaving a trail of frustration in their wake! They represent the tyranny of the urgent and I can’t get rid of them even if I wanted to. Why? Because do you have any idea at all how much research it takes to fire your bank? Turns out it’s HOURS and HOURS!
So tomorrow, I’ve vowed I’m not picking up the phone. If I can help it. Because the alternative is frankly too demoralizing to consider!!