What I learned About Boundaries From Larry, the Cable Guy


Yesterday evening I picked up my phone poised to dial out and there was dead silence…no dial tone, no static…nothing…

My first thought was I had inadvertently disconnected one of the many tangled cords underneath my desk. If you’ve ever had to crawl around into the abyss under your desk on your hands and knees, you know this is no small feat.

With flashlight in hand, I checked each of the sundry connections making sure they were all housed in their respective homes.  From my non-techy vantage point, everything looked to be in order.

Time to place a call to the provider of my phone service, which is also my cable company.

With cell phone in had, I make the call.  Little did I know this was just the beginning of my saga into the world of techno phone land.  After three attempts, I finally get a “live” person and tell my story to numerous “technical support” people, including “supervisors”.  No one could troubleshoot the problem from his or her end. And they couldn’t restore my service that night.

Eventually, I was told that a technician would have to come out to investigate since they couldn’t detect any problems.  I reluntantly made an appoinment for the next morning.

To say I was upset is putting it mildly…

Promptly, at the appointed time, the cable guy arrived.

Once he made the required checks and counterchecks, he was able to discover the problem.

I had connected the phone line to the wrong opening on the modem!

Egg all over my face…

So what did my experience with Larry, the cable guy teach me about boundaries?

  • I learned to pay close attention to where I plug in cords. It could have saved me a $30 service call!  I was also reminded of  the things we plug into – like time takers – rushing, holding on to clutter and disorganization.    Had I used those fancy doodads that keeps cords tangle free, I might have saved myself some precious time. Pay attention to what you plug into your life. Make sure you have your boundaries established and enforce them before you get tangled up in situations that will cost you in time, energy and resources.
  • I learned to ask for help even if I have to wear egg on my face, Technology is not my area of expertise I can’t do everything in all situations.   Know your limitations and seek expert help when you need it.  Asking for help from the people who are good at what they do means that you give yourself permission to do the things that make you an expert and the freedom to pursue your passions.
  • I learned to practice patience. I confess, I’m still learning this lesson… Waiting on hold and explaining the same problem to several people gives me lots of practice. I keep the stress bunnies at bay when I practice patience.  When life hands you lemons – make lemonade. Use waiting time like a breath of fresh air.  Inhale deeply and relax for a few minutes to clear away the nasty little irritations, and relieve stress.
  • You can learn something in almost any situation when you take the time to process it.  When you are in the midst of chaos, anxious and stressful situations, stop just long enough to see if there might be a lesson in there for you.

The next time you’re on hold long enough to go make a sandwich, eat it and have some dessert. Remember you’re learning a lesson and once you learn it well you won’t have to repeat it.

What lesson have you learned today?  Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below and share this post with your friends.

Gladys Anderson - Life Coach, Therapist, Author



About the Author:

Gladys M. Anderson is a certified group coach, personal life coach and a licensed marriage & family therapist.  Gladys helps nurses, therapists, teachers and other caregivers establish boundaries, build balance and create breathing space into their busy lives.

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