[Febr 2013] A Horrible Saturday

It is Saturday afternoon, I am home at my parents, we are just after lunch, and we are setting out with my mother for the neighbour city to settle the phone-subscription of the family. I am already tense and nervous enough, even the crowd is frustrating to me at the plaza. Getting closer to the store, I am getting steamed up, but I restrain myself, and tell the slightly complicated story about what we want to arrange here. I also show the authorization paper, that we wrote so that my poor sick and weak father can stay at home. The girl interrupts me immediately, claiming that they only accept authorizations signed by a public notary. We didn’t have that of course, because getting that is far more complicated and troublesome than coming here with my father. This was the point where something broke in me. I turned back to ask if I can sign the papers in the name of my father, but they refused it, because it is too risky for them to let that happen. My mind went blank, I knew that I can’t think and cope any more. We went back home with my mother, and told the bad news to father. Then we decided (actually they decided because I wasn’t in the state of making decisions) that we don’t have a choice but to go back together, with my father.

I went outside and sat into the car, because I wasn’t in the mood of talking or anything else. In the plaza’s parking lot I looked for the nearest possible place to the store and the elevator, in order to my father had to walk less. We went into the store, this time to a young guy. I wanted to suggest to my parents to sit down inside or outside the store, so that I can manage everything, they should only wait and sign the papers. But my father of course turned it into a matter of prestige, just to prove that he is alright and he is still capable of standing and waiting and managing things on behalf of his family. As soon as we entered the store, he rushed to the desk, taking control out of my hands, and started speaking disconnectedly and confused, in his usual style, talking about irrelevant precedents, then wandering between different subjects and things. Even I could hardly understand him, although I knew why we came here, let alone the customer service guy. I was thinking about taking back control, but I knew I risk an angry outburst from him. These are the last moments and opportunities for him, when he can still feel and show that he is still alive, he is not dead yet, and he is able to accomplish certain things. So I kept my mouth shut, feeling that I was getting steamed up, and my stomach was slowly climbing up to my throat. The guy started to look up for things in his computer, meanwhile my mother started nagging father to let me do things, so they can sit down somewhere. Just like I had foreseen it, my father blew up, and told my mother angrily that he was still capable of standing on his own feet. My mother’s eyes filled with tears, she turned around and went out of the store crying. My father’s eyes were starting to fill with tears as well, but he stayed there, standing unstable, leaning against the desk, continuing his obscure speech. Then he silenced himself after a while, and turned down his head. He surrendered, he gave it up. I slowly, gently, kindly, silently continued his talk, and briefly summarized what he said in the previous couple of minutes, and took out the necessary papers. The guy didn’t seem to be in control of the situation. I felt here, that it was going to remain a dream to finish quickly so we can spend the afternoon together.

The guy constantly disappeared somewhere to ask for help. My heart was still pounding, I could hardly stand on my feet. Then my father told me all of a sudden that he decided to go out and sit down there. I was left alone, just standing and waiting. The guy came back again and again with one, two or three colleagues. They were watching the monitor, arguing with each other. They didn’t seem to understand the problem or know what to do. Sometimes they asked me something. I wanted to help them, but I didn’t have the energy to do it. I had nausea. There were people talking all around me at the desks, my head was rumbling with all that dialogues, noises, and insolvable problems. I started walking up and down the store to regain my balance. Looking outside, I saw my mother and father sitting on a bench, looking at each other. My mother was crying, my father was sitting hanging his head, grasping his little plastic water bottle. I decided to sit down in the store on a huge leather armchair. Then the guy was asking me something again, but I couldn’t hear it because I was too far. I stood up and went there. There was a girl with him, who told me that I had to pay a penalty fee somehow. I had the stength to ask why, but I couldn’t really hear her answer, because I was unable to listen and think any longer. The same thing happened two weeks ago, when I was doing the same thing with my brother, with his subscription. They wanted to make us pay this penalty for some reason, but I told them then that I hadn’t had to pay it before, so they just changed their mind, so I didn’t have to pay. But this time, I didn’t have any energy to talk, to argue, to fight, against two people all alone, while my mother was crying outside. In this moment, all the frustration, anger and tiredness of my last year culminated in me. I couldn’t do anything, but to say: “Okay, no problem, I pay it”. That was the last straw. I quickly left the desk and sat back on the comfortable chair. My head was buzzing, I felt the tension peaking inside me, to the level of unbearable. The dialogues around me turned into distant background noise, and the room started spinning around me. This was an all too familiar feeling. I knew I had to get up and get out right in that moment, if I didn’t want to pass out. I stood up and left the store. It was a difficult decision, because I knew my family really needed me, but I couldn’t risk that they had to wash me up of the floor, because that would have been the worse for them. I walked up to my mother and told her: “I had enough, I can’t spend another minute with these idiots inside.” I asked her to go in and keep doing whatever needs to be done, just let me know when I have something to sign. My mother didn’t ask anything, just went inside silently.

I sat down next to my father, who was looking at me desperately. He started talking to me, but I couldn’t really hear it, I could only force myself to give one-word answers at least. I rather stood up again, and started walking around in circles. My head was still buzzing crazily. The crowd disturbed me very much, I couldn’t find the nice silent little corner I was looking for, to be left alone in peace. I returned to my father again and again. I tried to calm him not to worry about me, but I couldn’t really. He couldn’t understand what was happening to me, he had never seen me like this before. I tried to explain it to him, that it was not a big deal, it was only that I couldn’t take certaing things any more, it was just too much, everything. I don’t know if he understood it, but maybe he calmed down a bit. Then, after like another hour, my mother came out with the papers, and she told me that we were finished. First I was surprised, then I was happy, then I was thinking: “Wait a minute, I am the only representative of the company here, and I didn’t have to sign anything at all. This must be a mistake, again…” I pulled myself together, and went back in to the lion’s cave. The guy was already serving another customer, but I didn’t care, I just interrupted them without any introduction: “I as the representative of the company don’t have to sign anything at all? I shouldn’t be here at all? How is this possible, when at the last occasion I had to sign a whole bunch of papers?” He sent his customer away immediately, he disappeared again asking for help, and the whole procedure started all over again. They asked me for other papers, and long waiting started again. I sent my mother back in, and I was walking around like a maniac outside. After another half an hour my mother asked me to go sign the papers. Then a girl asked me why we separated the subscriptions of mother and father first, when we wanted to put them to the same fleet after. I was frozen and couldn’t answer, because my brain was completely shut down. Only later could I realize that I didn’t want to separate them at all, the guy did that, without asking me. Before leaving I asked about the problem of number display, because after we joined the fleet with my brother, our phones didn’t display the number of the caller. They told us it was going to be alright, we just had to restart the phones. We did that right then and there. My mother’s phone was asking for a security code after restart, of what she had never heard before. They sent us to hell, saying that it is a phone setting, not related to the subscription. I calmed my mother, and told them to get the fuck out of here, before my head explodes.

At home, after talking with my brother, it turned out that in the service, where they made my mother’s phone service-independent (by destroying her complete phone-book), they told us, that the phone might ask for some code after restart. In that case we should try entering 0000 or 00000000 or 1234 or 12345. Of course. I could have figured that out myself. My brother forgot about that completely, but finally we solved this as well, just 4 hours after leaving home after lunch. And then, when I felt I was over everything, the number display was still not working. So I had to leave the armchair again, I searched the number of the store, checked up the name of the guy from the papers, and told him that after 4 hours, the number display was still not working. He called me back after half an hour, and started to explain that someone did something he didn’t really understand, and now it should be working. And it was, believe it or not…

Then I went outside with my mother to feed the dogs, but by that time my tears were running in streams. My mother just realized that no matter how strong I kept myself, no matter what I showed them, it wasn’t easy to me either.

After crying for half an hour, I drove off home, because I had to reach the phone service before closing, where I had left my phone in the morning. Entering a plaza again, to the crowd, to a store, where only God knows what kind of challenges I meet. First I couldn’t unlock the SIM lock on my phone, but the guy told me to restart the device. After that everything went fine, I paid, I signed the papers, then I could go home, to my flat, where nobody will disturb me or give me new burdens. On the way home I tried to make a call, but I saw that there was no sign of service on my phone. I stopped for a minute, restarted my phone again, then it said there was no SIM card in it. I felt it was all over. I gave it up.

I drove home silently, trying to breathe deeply. I decided meanwhile, that if it was not going to work, I just throw it away, buy a new phone for a lot of money tomorrow, but I won’t be upset, I won’t bring it back, I won’t argue, I won’t explain, I won’t fight. I will just accept that this is the world I live in. At home I turned off the phone, took out the SIM card, cleaned it a bit, then put it back in. I turned on the phone, and it recognized the SIM. It has been working since then…

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