Ok, it was not my finest moment. I was traveling in San Jose when my laptop crashed. Apple phone support said I needed in-person work, and directed me to a local Apple store., which unfortunately was totally packed. No tech support appointments were available, the store was crazy busy, I was stressed, –and they kindly said they’d do their best to squeeze me in—sit here, we’ll work with you when we can. Much appreciated.
Seated across from me was an old Geezer—actually the only thing standing between me & my chance to get the laptop fixed was Gramps. He had lugged in his home desktop computer with two computer speakers. He said he “couldn’t get the dang speakers” to work.
Sigh. You’re killin me, gramps….
The apple kid was 100% kind, respectful, no condescension, a model client care representative. Wished my attitude had been the same. I tried to be polite but my ears were red, my spirit was anxious, and I felt no tolerance for his ignorance.
While we sat there waiting (me seething), Gramps looked at me, somehow deemed me a friendly, and half-chuckled, “Ya know, these speakers have been such a headache. I have tried & tried to get these operational, and they just won’t work.” He paused and said, “I had an easier time hooking up radio comms with the first Shuttle.”
“Yes, that must be frustrati—wait, what? the shuttle?’
“The space shuttle? You worked on the first space shuttle?”
“Sure did, sonny.”
He had my attention, and noting such, his eyes shone as he monologued into an amused, reflective narration about working on the first shuttle, radio communications, Nasa Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, the thrill of innovation, his days with IBM, the US Airforce… and I was once again humbled by greatness disguised as an ordinary soul (if there is such a thing as an ‘ordinary’ soul), and my foolish propensity to make surface-based assumptions.
In my heart, I’d deemed him ignorant. Why do I judge? Wished I’d been like that Apple boy.