I have a lot of patience for a lot of things.
I don’t get angry in traffic jams, I don’t mind queuing for things, I’m happy with rain, and generally I am very tolerant, possibly a little too tolerant, of rude and selfish men.
(I’m not referring here of course to New Boyfriend. He is lovely and not at all selfish. Rude about my cooking sometimes maybe, but only because he is jealous of my outstanding culinary abilities.)
One thing though, one thing I cannot abide, is stupidity. It may be cruel, but I can’t help it, I have no patience for idiocy. “I do not suffer fools gladly” as my Gran used to say, as she cracked open her thermos of gin. (My Gran did actually take me as a child on an outing to the beach and take a thermos of gin and tonic. She also once drove up and along the pavement for quite some time, narrowly missing several pedestrians, but I can’t remember if these two incidents were related.)
This week I had an ‘engineer’* come out to fix my fridge, which was distinctly underperforming in the cooling stakes.
“It says three degrees on the front,” I told him, “but the thermometer I bought and put inside says twelve.”
“Well,” he said, making the word last about eight seconds, “the thermometer on the door isn’t always completely accurate, and the temperature does vary. We have to make them say a constant temperature otherwise we’d get loads of calls from people saying the temperature was going up and down too much.”
(Really? Would they really? Are all people this stupid?)
“I appreciate that,” I said, “but if you notice, items in the fridge are distinctly warm…”
Well, he did his bit, taking things apart, frowning at them, and putting them back together, and I stayed out of the way, not wanting to get frustrated at the amount of time it was taking him to open and close his tool box.
“I’m all done,” he said, three weeks later. “I had to change a part, but we’re not allowed to take the old parts away with us, so you’ll have to dispose of them.”
“I’ve left all the bits for you in that cardboard box on the kitchen table. You can just take them to the tip sometime.”
“Ok,” I say, thinking I could just pop the box under the table for a week or so. Being the nosy parker that I am though, I thought I’d have a rummage in the box first, see what was in there.
That’s what was in there.
Sure, there were a few fridge parts too, but mainly it was ice.
“Hmmm…” I began, wondering if I was missing something. “This looks like mainly ice, do you not think it might melt, and maybe leak through the cardboard?”
“Oh right,” he replied, looking genuinely like the thought had not occurred to him, “I suppose it might. Maybe you should put it outside?”
*Note heavy sarcasm