Even though we’ve been living in Latin America since 2006, I am still learning life lessons all the time. This week I learned, “you can not always assume that everyone sees the same problem that you see.” This will save you much irritation and annoyance if you can let go of the assumption that all problems are “obvious”. Let me give you an example.
Here in Latin America we don’t throw anything away unless it’s really trash. In the United States, people throw stuff away just because they get tired of it or maybe it’s a little broken and they don’t know how to fix it. But here, we have repair shops for everything! This makes me happy, particularly where shoes are concerned. Without the regular rotating of clothing in and out of the closets for the 4 seasons, we wear the same clothes all year long and they wear out way faster than in the States. Sometimes shoes will wear out before the kid is grown into the next size, and for this reason, the Shoe Repair Guy is important. Unfortunately, the success of a shoe repair is only about a 50-50 chance.
For example, I took my worn out running shoes… OK, it took me 10 years to wear them out... in for new soles. The Shoe Repair Guy put on some slippery rubber soles with no tread. I took them back and asked for tennis shoe treads and he glued on the chunkiest treads you’ve ever seen. So now I look like a nerd jogging in orthopedic platform tennis shoes. But it was cheaper than buying new shoes.
Over the summer I took my son’s tennis shoes in for a simple glue job on the side. The outside looks fine, but he says the glue feels clumpy on the inside. *sigh* They should last a little longer now, sorry Kid.
During this last trip to the Shoe Repair Guy, I got a little creeped out when the guy asked for my phone number in a very unprofessional sort of way, if you know what I mean. So I asked my husband to take over that errand for me. Recently I sent him over with a pair of sandals that were starting to pull away around the toe. I showed my husband where the glue should go, and then I mentioned that they could use a new sole too. A week later he picked up my sandals with a pair of brand new heels glues to the bottoms… Huh??
I was a bit dismayed by this, because “anyone with two eyes could see the problem,” I thought. (But maybe this guy only has one eye.) Obviously the top of the shoe needed gluing at one point and the soles are worn bare… who said anything about a new heel? I have now accepted the fact that what is obvious to me, is not always obvious to others. And I should never assume that we all see problems the same way… or that we all have two eyes.
So back to the Shoe Repair Guy my husband will go. Maybe I should have given the guy my phone number to assure better service.