Friday, January 28, 2011

Instrument of the Devil, Impatience, Saintly Clerks and Me

AT THE DENTIST. I am not a patient man, but there is however one situation where I am not just patient, literally I am PATIENCE itself. As a paragon of consideration and compromise, I turn into a statue of perseverance at my dentist. Every atom of my being suddenly patient, transforming me into an inert life form – a barely sentient glob of flesh and blood in the dental dungeon. I am NEVER IN A HURRY when I am at the dental clinic. In fact I am never in a hurry to get to a dental clinic. You know… all those contretemps and happenstances that causes you to delay or postpone your dental appointment. Suddenly, you have to paint your room, suddenly, you have to reorganize your shoe rack. You know, riiiight? And in such cases, I never bitch or complain about having to postpone seeing my dentist – “Not available this week? Gee whiz! Never mind, maybe in 3 month’s time? No? Dr. Rachel can see me sooner? But WHY? Really I don’t mind at all, I know she has a busy practice… Perhaps sometime next year? Hello? Hello?”
RED MIST. Despite my numerous postings about patience, I am probably the most impatient man in Malaysia. I can become an ogre when the red mist of rage washes over my eyes - Especially when I am alone and there is no company to calm me down.
INSTRUMENT OF THE DEVIL. I remember when I first started practicing as a lawyer in 2000. In those days, me and my partner did mostly conveyancing work (real estate sale and transfer), which inevitably requires dealings with the Land Office. And in those days we were still typing on Land Office forms, as not many departments have digitized their documents. I remember coming to the office one Saturday, with 24 (yes, Twenty Four!) blank Memorandum of Transfer Form to be typed out for a conveyancing file. Of course, I just need one form to be typed, but knowing my very limited typing skill, I thought 2 dozen is a good back-up in case I mess-up typing a form. For you see, in those days you are not permitted to use correction ink. And no rubbing with the eraser too. Surely, I was being over-cautious, I thought.
Well, as it turned out, I managed (barely) to type the 24th form correctly, after 2 hours of bedlam and 23 copies of typing failures. If you walked into the office at that time, you would see a sea of torn crumpled papers strewn around the feet of a mad lawyer, his hair disheveled, his eyes probably cross-eyed and crazy-looking. To be honest, if it weren’t for the busy road under my office (which was on the 3rd floor), I would have thrown the typewriter out of the window.
I don't go crazy with typewriters anymore. Now I leave it to the infinite patience of my clerks. The girls are amazing, and I am ever in awe of their patience - So young, yet so wise. What I write about, they live...
7. Patience, that Beautiful Steed!
Patience! O’ Lord,
Of such things that will help me,
Help me attain this!
Patience in happiness and sorrow,
Patience in wealth and poverty,

Graceful and most loved,
That beautiful steed ridden
By Your Prophet and Friends!
Have a nice day, sunshine! May you find patience however you may be tested.
Pax Taufiqa.

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