So tonight I was literally locked IN my hotel room. I couldn't get out for anything!! The steel door handle wouldn't turn far enough for me to unlock the door. After attempting to open the door for several minutes and ruining a good pair of shoes in a desperate attempt to kick the handle downward, I decided to call the front desk. To be honest, I was worried that I wasn't able to open the door because of my wussy muscles, or at least a poor grip. So when I called the front desk and the young, buff guy said he'd come right over, I expected to be embarrassed. I couldn't decide whether to be happy or freaked out that the young kid couldn't get the door open either--and he was banging, kicking, rattling...everything.
"Are you here to rescue me?" I asked through the door, in my best Rapunzel voice.
"If I am, I'm the worst Prince Charming EVER!", he replied.
After two minutes of this unsuccessful jousting with the door, the room phone rings.
"Cell Block B", I answered.
After a brief chuckle (I think he was relieved I wasn't freaking out) he informed me that the owner would be over soon with his power tools and not to worry.
So I settled into the copy of USA Today that they provided me upon check-in, hoping that a little nonsense would distract me from thinking too much. But I found my reading interrupted after only a few minutes. Perhaps it's an occupational hazard, but I couldn't help but start to wonder about all of the "what ifs" of the situation. You know, scenarios such as "What if there was a fire? How would I get out? (Answer, throw the chair through the window; yet another reason why I ask for a ground floor room all the time) Cause that's what rational people think about in times like this, right? *grin*
Eventually power tools started whirring. (Seriously, it sounded like the "jaws of life".)
Oh, did I mention I'm a bit claustrophobic? Thank goodness it was a king-sized room?
After no progress for several minutes, I find myself wondering how many days could I live off of my left over moo shoo pork along with my 2 quarts of water. I have a 30 day supply of my vitamins at least.
After pounding, drilling, kicking, rattling, and a few choice words spoken on the other side of the door, it finally opened--along with a sincere, emphatic apology, an offer to move me to a suite, and a thank you "for being SO nice and understanding." It was at that point that I was reminded once again that there's simply no substitute for Mental Preparedness. Anyone can have a meltdown when things don't go well. And I admit, I have my share of them, but for some reason, I found this situation to be somewhat comical. (Even more so when the door to the new suite would NOT lock and I then had to be moved AGAIN. Yep, you can't make this stuff up, folks. *grin*)
In the midst of a crisis, regardless of how serious it may be, those of us who will focus on the solutions and what CAN be done, will be a a real blessing to those around them. When we freak out, fret, worry, or fear, we literally lose the mental capacity to solve problems, recognize real dangers, and even physically function. And the truth is that nothing good would have come from me hollering or being grumpy or freaking out in this situation. The same is true for any other crisis? Grant it, folks may look at you like you've got three heads when you're being positive and upbeat amidst a "crisis", they will also come to trust you and allow you to help them quickly. Car wreck, earthquake, flood, or losing 70% of your retirement fund overnight--it doesn't matter what the scenario is, Mental Preparedness will be significantly more valuable than any "stuffs" you may have on hand. And that, my friends, is what you call Peaceful Preparedness.
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Hi, Kellene. It is a good
Hi, Kellene. It is a good thing you were on the first floor incase you needed to "jump".
Here is another story of attitude from this November.
Our furnace died. Well, actually the heat exchanger died. No local carrier in our small town, the part needed to be ordered. It would take “10 days” since it was over the Thanksgiving Holiday. When it was sent - in pieces, it was not complete.
Fortunately we have a Hearthstone wood stove, the electricity was working, and the furnace's fan was functional. By turning on the fan, we were able to circulate the warmth from the wood-stove through more of the house. We slept in the "hearth-room" with our sleeping bags, and put an electric heater in the bathroom. There was enough cooking and baking in the kitchen on the opposite side of the house to add the additional heat we needed. Temperatures outside fluctuated from 40F one day to 8F below zero on another, but most of the time it was around 6 degrees. With the furnace fan circulating air, the rest of the house, which we had closed off, dropped to 50 degrees F and held. We were chilly, but comfortable bundled up in our woolens.
Upon the initial visit, the (only local) repairman was apologizing for needing to order a part from a company he did not service. We said, “No problem, we have a wood stove.” He called a week later to say he expected the part soon, but it was the Thanksgiving Weekend and he had other emergency repairs to do. Could we wait? Again, “No problem. We have a wood stove.” [Cooking our Thanksgiving dinner, and adding the heat of our 14 guests, brought the hearth-room and kitchen to 80 degrees.]
The parts came in, but not all of them, so my husband offered to drive the 100 miles round-trip to get them. When the repairman returned, he found out that my husband’s trip had been for naught. The supplier had given up parts for a different model; they were the wrong size. The company then had the parts couriered to us. No problem, we have a wood stove? Right? But, now with the furnace completely out of commission we were missing that whole house fan for two nights. The warm air from the wood-stove could not be circulated and now the outside temperatures fell to below zero. Parts of the house dropped to 42 degrees. We had now been without furnace heat for two weeks.
Here is the attitude part: We added clothing – wool, slept near the wood stove; gathered more wood from our forest and split it for immediate use. (We have several cords stored, but with the colder temperatures we were burning more and wanted to stay ahead before deep snows fell.)
During the final furnace assembly, my husband gave the repairman a slice of warm bread fresh from the oven. When the repairman came up from the basement to discuss the completed repair, furnace set-up and incorrect vent positions, he was given more homemade bread with homemade jam, along with a couple of freshly baked cookies. We then sent him on his way with the newly opened jar of our wild raspberry jam.
Missing parts over a holiday season? Things happen. Since we kept saying, “No problem. We have a wood stove,” that attitude helped the repairman with his scheduling. When our time came, he worked diligently to make our situation right. You could say that was his job. But, since there was no haranguing or finger pointing, he is going to fight with the furnace maker to pay for the extra labor involved. At 75 and 65 years of age, every little thing helps.
Attitude matters. My husband thanked me this morning, the first day of heat after two weeks, about being such a good sport. "Why," I asked? We do what we must. It was an adventure. We learned a lot about how to manage without heat. The time was used to come up with plans for how to keep the house warm in the future.
A positive-attitude always pays off.
Love it!! Thanks so much for
I always remember Rudyard
I always remember Rudyard Kipling, "If you can keep your head while all about you are losing theirs..." This probably dates me. Common sense isn't taught anymore. Appreciate your site and insight.
I love that quote of his too!
Thanks for the great and
Thanks for the great and timely article. I have just gotten a new job taking reservations at a shuttle bus/taxi business. Mental preparedness and patience are important qualifications!
I'm a tech. Curiosity demands
I'm a tech. Curiosity demands that I ask: what was the cause of the locking system? A properly designed system SHOULD default in case of failure to UNLOCKED.
Sorry, no clue. ;-)