Writing on Wednesday: Distractions
I spent a good bit of yesterday writing. I really did. Several hours with butt in chair working on novel revisions.
Except for a few distractions.
Like when the repairman came back (for the 7th visit in three months from a repairman) to fix our oven door, which finally does seem to be working now. But the house smelled like something was burning for the rest of the afternoon because I decided to run the automatic clean cycle once the door would finally stay closed.
And then the nursing home called for our quarterly “care team” conference call about my mother. These are good people, and I’m so thankful for their watchful and compassionate care of my mother. The call usually includes a social worker, nurse, physical or occupational therapist, and activities director. One of the comments made by the nurse during our call today was this:
We have taken her off the Haldol. If she becomes agitated, we just leave her alone and approach her again later.
I laughed when they told me this, since this has been my MO with my mother for most of my life. But I also thanked them for taking her off the Haldol, even though doing so makes it a bit harder for them to deal with her at times. (I had requested this a few weeks ago after observing that she was overly drugged and not interacting much socially.) She is much more like her “old self,” even as the plaques and tangles continue to spread through the cortex of her brain.
After the conference call I walked outside to stretch my legs and get the mail. Of course there were two new catalogs waiting for me. (Amazing how easy it is to get distracted when you’re writing or editing.) I immediately ordered two of these cuff-sleeved tunics from Victoria’s Secret—on sale for $9.99 each.
But then I called The Company Store to inquire about a product in their catalog, and that’s when the shopping distraction became an emotional energy-sucker. I’ve been considering getting some curtains for our breakfast room because the sun is so bright in there that it’s uncomfortably warm in the summer. But I don’t want to spend too much since we’re just renting this house. So, The Company Store has these “outdoor sheer panels” on sale for $49/each. They filter sunlight and they’re fade and water-resistant. The water-resistant part doesn’t matter, since I was going to use them inside, but the fade-resistant part sounds cool. And from the picture, the grommets look like they might be large enough to fit over the (probably expensive) large wooden rods that are installed above the windows.
So, I called to ask one of their “comfort representatives”—as their automatic phone recording calls them—a simple question: how large are the grommets? My rods are 2 ½ inches in diameter, so I need to be sure the curtains will fit. This information isn’t included in the product overview. When the comfort rep comes on the line and I ask my question, she asks if I would like for her to do a “product inquiry” to find out this information for me and I say yes, please. She asks for my name, and then proceeds to say,
“Oh, I see you are NOT A CUSTOMER. I need to ask you a few questions to enroll you as a customer first.”
“What? You want personal information from me, a potential customer, before you will answer a question about one of the products you would like to sell to me?”
“Yes, ma’am. We can’t do a product inquiry until you are enrolled as a customer.”
“I’m sorry, but that’s really sucky customer service.”
“Well, that’s our policy.”
“Well, you just lost me as a potential customer.” Click.
The Company Store catalog goes into the trash.
Unless I’m willing to go against my principles and order this cool, “cloud quilt” (love the pear color) that’s usually $179 and is on sale for $139. Maybe I’ll order it online. You can bet I won’t be calling one of their comfort representatives to help me with the purchase. Hmmm, but if I buy the quilt, I guess that will make me a customer.
Today? It’s NO DISTRACTIONS THURSDAY. Back to work on novel revisions. Right after I walk to the coffee shop for a cappuccino….