I’m quite a happy bloke overall. I think most people that know me would hesitate to call me grumpy or bad-tempered and most of the time I’m irrritatingly upbeat but the other day I got irrationally angry.
I was in my local Tesco and about to pay on the self-service check out. I reached for my card and instinctively tapped it against the card bit awaiting the contactless ‘beep’. Nothing. The machine didn’t accept contactless payment.
Fury. Pure fury arose within me.
I sulked at having to move my card all the way to the slot just below, insert it and await the instructions. I huffed. I pressed each of the four digits of my pin in hard – as if to show the machine I wasn’t happy in just about the pettiest way possible. I waited for the transaction to complete, pulled out my card and left with my purchases.
By the time I’d left the shop reality struck and I started thinking about why I’d felt irritated, angry even. Not being able to simply tap contactless and instead resorting to pay by inserting my pin had probably delayed me by about thirty seconds tops.
I should probably state here that I am not the President of the United States, my schedule is not that tight, my time not that important. It was 6.13pm on a Thursday night and I had nothing on but the plan to eat an oven pizza and catch up on House of Cards. A thirty-second delay was really not the end of the world.
I think it was because I knew that the process could be better, could be quicker, that Tesco really should have contactless by now as it’s a national supermarket. That got me thinking that all these timesaving or comfort-bringing measures aren’t always good for us. I started thinking about comfort, convenience and how all these new fangdangled things don’t necessarily make you more comfortable, they just change your expectations. I don’t tap contactless payment and think ‘this is great it’s so fast’ anymore, I just expect to be able to pay like that everywhere now. Anytime the process is slower I get irked over something that really doesn’t matter at all.
Last year I bought a brand new TV- it was huge and I sat staring at its HD beauty for days. I loved it and I still appreciate it today but it’s just made me a snob. Now if I’m at a friend’s and we have to watch something on their average TV which is a bit smaller or poorer in definition I get a bit irked thinking I could enjoy this much more at my place. That’s an outrageously jerkish thing to think but I find it interesting that getting nicer, quicker, better things in my life could be bringing me more reasons to act like a bit of a shit.
Perhaps the more nice stuff you have the harder it is to enjoy normal things? I’m going to review all my things and make an effort to not let the nice stuff I have turn me into an arse.