I called the Apple Support line in a frenzied state of panic.  Things were on the fritz with my beloved MacBook Air, and that is first of all an occupational hazard and secondly the end of my voice which is the beginning of my unraveling.  The very nature of that sentence structure might show you the degree of my hysteria.

“Apple support, this is Dustin. May I help you?”  (His name may or may not have been Dustin.  I was not yet in a listening place.)Special Keyboard - Help

“I sure hope so because things are not good here, Dustin. Not good.”

“Well, that sounds frustrating for you.  Can you tell me more about the problem?”

I ranted in endless run-on sentences about ‘full disk’ and ‘no memory’ and ‘megabytes’ and ‘external hard drive’ and ‘can’t save’ and ‘deadlines’ and ‘I tried.’

“Tricia, I am so sorry this has happened.  I bet you’re really angry.”

I took a deep breath.  “I am, Dustin.  I am.”

I had played right into his hand.  He diffused the angry girl in just a few words.  It was textbook customer service in action.  He identified my emotions before he tried to fix anything.  Well played, Dustin. Well played.

I wonder if he tries that at home with his wife.  I wonder if he uses what he knows about crazy, angry irate people, and if he brings those skills to the kitchen.  (I could say his bedroom, but I don’t know anything about his bedroom.  And more fights happen in the kitchen.)

Or maybe he’s like me, when I realized that the skills I used for ‘the strong-willed child’ in my classroom were indeed transferrable skills I could use with ‘the strong-willed child’ in my home.  Apparently I had two separate filing cabinets in my mind, Teacher Skills and Parenting Skills, and never shall the two meet.  Let me tell you, it was an aha! moment when I realized my two filing systems are really one big arsenal.

Or, and this is likely, maybe he does utilize these strategies with his wife, and she wags a finger at him and says, “Oh, no-no-no.  Don’t you do your customer service on me, Mister.  I am your wife.”

Anyway, the computer is restored and therein my sanity. I shall live to see another day.

Dustin could teach conflict resolution classes.  I might keep him on speed dial.

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