Wednesday, December 29, 2010

planning ahead

We have lots of things to do.  Some are fun, some are not.  With 4 children in tow, planning ahead is essential.  3 times in the past 2 days, planning has saved me/us tons of time.

#3 and I had to have some blood drawn.  I found the lab online and they had a link for "make an appointment".  Well, duh, I clicked to make an appointment for both of us.  This was a pediatric savvy lab, which we needed.  I wasn't sure how to note that we both weren't ped patients, but the site took care of it.  We had 2 appointments booked, back to back.  When we showed up for our appointment, the waiting room was full.  There was only 1 person working and a room full of semi-patient people.  One woman was saying to another how she drove over 2 hours to come to this lab.  Who on earth drives 2 hours somewhere without an appointment?  How could there be a room full of people without appointments?  It made me nervous to think others had appointments and we would have to wait a long time.  After the 1 worker finished with a very long appointment and started to help the next, I went up to ask what our timing would be.  Having us hang out in the waiting room was not optimal.   If we needed to come back, it might be best.  She said since we had an appointment she'd see us next.  Boom, we were out of there, complete, in 10 minutes; only 15 minutes past our second appointment time.

The next day took us to a joint family playdate at a trampoline place.  Luckily our friend made reservations because they were booked solid for 6 hours.  They wouldn't even budge for an extra part of a group.  Yikes, who would bring their kids to a kid place that was sooo new and sooo popular without making a reservation?  Talk about setting them up for disappointment.

Plan ahead, plan ahead, plan ahead.  I can't say it enough because without it, it has the potential for disaster.

Our last appointment was at a local nail salon.  They are hard enough to book with for 1 adult appointment, let alone adding 3 little girl manis into the mix.  I must say that this place is not good about honoring appointments, but I feel without one I would have no room for questioning them.  Even though I had to wait, they worked nicely on each of my girls with each of their requests.  I think I even scored a free neck massage for being so patient.

In my head, the word patient does not describe me well.  I get irritated when people are trying to use the customer service line as a personal check-out just because they returned a bottle.  Part of it is the process of the store, but the other part makes me irritated when people are taking advantage at the expense of my time and patience.  Return your bottles on your way in and then go about your business and shop and check out like a normal person, please.

Having a larger than normal brood, I feel it is my duty to minimally disrupt those around us when we have to wait.  It may mean bringing activities, snacks or coming up with ad-hoc games.  Regardless, if someone gets antsy, I have to minimize the drama to save everyone around us.  For the most part, my guys are good in public.  They are way better with their choices and pestering than at home.  I think I'll take the credit and say it is because I try to anticipate problems and plan ahead.  When it goes wrong, I'll blame it on those that don't plan accordingly....or just run for the hills and regroup.

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