Chapter 10: Done Being Patient

So I waited.

I waited for Chinese New Year to pass,

The day after Chinese New Year, I called the factory manager (the industrious sister, not the perpetually-over-it brother) reintroducing myself as the “diaper bag guy” and hoping she understood me over the din of demands and sewing machines in her background.

“Yes, yes, I remember,” she said.

“Do you think you’ll get started, soon?” I asked in my most charming tone.

“Yes. Soon. But today I have the flu.”

“Oh, OK. Um…get better soon?”

She hung up.

This went on for another month. She was always on the verge of getting started, but there were delays of this kind or the other. Nothing involved Carolina Herrera, to my knowledge, but there was always some excuse.

I stopped by to bring her the new nylon fabric I’d received over Chinese New Year.

“Great,” she said, “put it over there on your box.”

“Will you get started soon?”

“Yes, soon.”

(Her brother was on Facebook. I saw, it myself. She was in a flop sweat running around the entire factory floor.)

The next week she had strep.

The next week the factory was too busy.

At the end of that month, I stormed into the factory, spied my box of materials gathering dust, walked past the manager office, and saw the sister wasn’t there, but only the lazy brother. I announced, “I’m taking my materials. Thank you for wasting two months of my time.”

Having grabbed my box, the brother, suddenly more interested in keeping my business than looking bored behind his Facebook feed, followed me saying, “What’d I do?”

I replied, “You - well actually your sister - told me you’d get started as soon as possible on my project. I know it’s not a big one, but you’ve put me off for a month. I’m done.”

By that point, I was standing in front of the elevators that weren’t arriving to whisk me dramatically away from the scene of my outburst. I was quivering because I’d never spoken so sanctimoniously to anyone before.

I prayed the elevator would come before I lost my courage, apologized for feeling annoyed, and then handed my materials back over to the lazy sibling.

But I spied the stairs.

So I didn’t get to make a dramatic exit a la a powerful attorney having the elevator doors close perfecting in front of his face after declaring “I’ll see you in court!”

But I did see an ancient door to the stairwell on this, the 14th floor.

And as obnoxious as it was (by my Midwestern standards) it felt good to cumbersomely and clumsily exit the floor via the stairs while the door heavily slammed behind me.