December 14, 2009

About odd feelings and familiar comforts.

I am an "odd" sort of person in the sense that certain situations will without fail produce an I-feel-awkward aura around me and k will most certainly point out why my feeling is unwarranted and I really out to just grow up and deal with it. I, you can guess by now, of course disagree. Certain situations demand that you feel odd.

Take for example one situation which always always makes me swallow and gulp and look all shifty-eyed and weird -- changing my provider, a provider being anyone who supplies certain items that I regularly need or provides services that I avail of when in need and hence shares a certain degree of familiarity with me. For eg: my doctor, my florist (if I had one), my beautician (Ok fine! I go to her once in six months to do my eyebrows). The problem arises when I try to switch from one to another or ask for a discount or just do something other than pay the cash and take the service.

To dive into the details, my current source of oddity is r's pediatrician. So, there was this dude who wasn't as adept as he should have been for her well visit check-up. As a result, he laboriously prodded her and she lost it and scream her head off. As a result of which, I lost it a bit too and k had two difficult girls to handle as the drama unfolded in the doctor's office. To give the doc some credit, he was very nice about calming me down and assuring me why the prodding was necessary to ensure dear lil' r~'s ears were healthy. And so, I nodded and sniffled as k carried poor diaper-clad r around the clinic to appease her. All this is fine but then due to a few other reasons, we decided to change r's pediatrician (3 hours for a well-visit appointment!) And now comes the awkward part. The new doc said we needed to contact our old doc and get all of her records from there so they can get her into their system (Don't get me started on the "In the system" protocol -- I can write a book about it). When k told me this, I hemmed and hawed and finally told him I couldn't do it and then you know we fell into our regular pattern which went like this:

"Why can't you call them and get the records?"

"Because, I feel odd to do it."

"Why should you feel odd? You are the patient, you have a right to see some other doc. For her last appointment tomorrow, I told the clinic we don't want to see this particular doc ." (The docs in her old clinic do a rotation sort of thing, so you don't really know which of the 5 docs you are going to get and the particular doc in question was our ear prodding dude.)

"What?" (I am mortified -- what if he walks in to check on her, should we like block his way or something?)

"What? I told the nurse we don't want to see Dr. a~ and she didn't care, she was like sure, if he walks in, just tell him you want to see someone else"

"Oh noooo! I can't do that. If Dr. a~ walks in, I'll just have r~ checked by him and then anyway we go to the new clinic next time!"

"Why? Why?" (At this point, k has the expression he gets on his face when he can't begin to imagine why I behave the way I do sometimes)

"Because it is ODD!"

Yes. O.D.D. And I have a right to feel odd in situations like this. The problem is I have more than a few of these that I find hard to handle -- bargaining for a used car purchase, bargaining with an Indian auto-rikshaw driver over the fare, asking for a some point in the past, I felt odd to go back to the Indian grocery store after a break of six months when we shopped at another store. I think s~ uncle actually had a oh-look-who-is-finally-back-look on his face when he saw us but if I tell k that, he would say I am imagining things.

Ok so maybe s~ uncle who owns the Indian grocery store may not care as much if one of his customers decided to go awol. But you know what? Sometimes people do care and notice a lot more than we give them credit for and that's why I like to stick to my service providers (even had a hard time convincing myself to switch to AT&T from Sprint) -- you never know, one day they may recognize you for being faithful and give you credit for it. I bet k won't complain because the Indian restaurant that's like two minutes away from our house gave him a permanent 10% off because we ordered take-outs so often (Yeah yeah, I do cook but I was in a homesick phase after folks left back to India and couldn't drag myself into the kitchen to cook).

So yeah. Cheers to everything familiar -- there is comfort even in getting your eyebrows threaded by the same hands (although it hurts like crazy no matter who does it).


kamal said...

The world of personal touch is losing its identity. Everything is a commodity. Everything is a corporation, everything is replaceable by the next guy in line.

I am just following the system, kudos to you for feeling Odd :)

sb said...

The initial premise is that your loyalty will be recognised, but you anyways dont know to cash on it because you feel ODD to cash on it. :-)
your hyposthesis is wrong whichever way you look at it. Sorry RS.
The thing is I feel odd too sometimes. Mainly if I know that I am going to use the service of the provider in the future. If you know for sure you care too less about this guy, then you should not have any odd moments.

RS said...

k - Don't agree. Human beings thankfully are not replaceable -- yet.

sb - Recognition can be a smile, a nod or even a hi when we happen to run into each other not necessarily $$-related.

I think I just have to learn to live with oddness for now :)

sb said...

So you want to pay $$ to stick with him to get a NOD or a SMILE?

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