It Doesn't Matter
My wife, who's a very accomplished longarm quilter, author, and quilting teacher, came home from one of her trips to the local quilt stores to check out the latest fabrics, and to drop off some quilts she had finished for her customers. While she was there a lady walked up to the counterperson and asked if she knew anything about longarm machine quilting. “I don't have one in my store,” the counter lady told her, “But that lady over there (pointing to my wife) is one of the best longarm quilters in this area. You could ask her.” I’ve been married to my wife for a long time, and I’ve seen the type of work she can turn out on her big machine. It’s stunning to say the least, and to be recognized by fellow quilters is as important to her as it would be to any mechanic out there to be recognized by their peers as well. Her years of skilled artistry were showing through her story as she began to tell it. (Just like any other skilled job, when you meet a true professional… you know it.) It’s not the first time she’s been stopped to answers questions, and she’s more than prepared to answer any and all questions regarding the type of work she loves to do.
Oh, the tales she can tell! It wasn’t hard to relate her story to one of my situations, and I certainly could imagine the whole thing as if I was talking to someone about car repair. But, I'll let her tell her story first.
The lady approached her and said, “Yes, I'd like to
know what you do with those long poles.”
My wife answered, “Poles? Are you referring to
the long horizontal poles you attached the quilts to?”
“Yea, yea, whatever, but that doesn't matter.
Which one is the first one?”
“Which machine do you have?” “That doesn't matter, they're all the same.” “No, actually they’re not,” my wife told her. “Some have 3 and some have 4 poles.” “That doesn't matter. Where do you start?” “That would depend on which side of the machine you’re standing on,” my wife said, trying to make light of the situation. “Oh, that doesn't matter which side... so which is the first one?” There was no getting around the “doesn't matter”, and it was soon apparent that not one question could be answered without it in the answer. After a while the lady moved on through the store. She seemed a bit miffed that her questions weren’t answered by this so called “expert”. The lady found another patron just around the corner of a big display, and in a loud voice the lady told the other patron in the store. “As you can tell I’m obviously not going to get any help here. I asked another long arm operator at another store the same questions, and would you believe, she wouldn't tell me anything either. Do you know of any experts that would tell me a thing or two?”
Both the shop owner and my wife just bit their tongues at that point.
My wife, who definitely knows how to deliver a sarcastic come-back said to the shop owner in a whispered voice, “Whoever she asks, it doesn’t matter.” I find the same kind of situations at the repair shop. There are a lot of times someone will call or ask for some obscure part that I just don’t have a clue what they are trying to describe.
Maybe some people can’t grasp the concept that all cars and all parts are not alike.
Standing at the service counter while talking on the phone, and staring at the computer I’ve got to ask the questions that are in front of me on the screen. The first question is, “What kind of car is it?” If the response is, “That doesn't matter, they're all the same”, I know it’s going to be a long day at the counter for sure.
I wonder if this would work at a restaurant when ordering a glass of wine?
Just try telling the waiter it doesn't matter which bottle they bring. How about
when you’re at the doctor’s office, talking to the plumber, or let’s not forget…
talking to the judge?!?! I would think facts and information matter in
those cases. I can only imagine what the outcome would be if after you’re pulled
over and the police officer asks you, “How fast did you think you were going?”
If you answered, “You know, it really doesn’t matter how fast I was going”, you
might be looking at a long stay in a small cell for the evening.
Oh, and it doesn’t matter that the engine is covered in an inch of grease and grime. Heck, I’m a mechanic… I’m supposed to be covered in grime. Huh? Where did that notion spring from… does it matter? … You bet your spark plugs it matters! I prefer a clean work surface,… you… Mr. Unconcerned on the other hand… obviously… it just doesn’t matter to you.
It’s those perceptions of how something works, or is figured out by the professional, that is misconstrued by the novice. It all must look so easy from the other side of the wrench, or in the case of my wife’s little story… the longarm machine. I have to admit my wife had a smile from ear to ear, because she knew she had stumbled upon a situation and experience that I tend to write about. The smile was contagious, and soon I wanted to hear all the details of her adventure.
In rare cases, you know, it really doesn’t matter. But try ordering a part for a car and not have all the details that the counter person has to answer. Sometimes, the questions seem like they are way off in left field. Like, “Is it a 4 door or a 2 door?” or “Does it have 13 inch rotors or 12 inch rotors?” and to think all I wanted to order was a tie rod. Even though their questions seem so far-fetched, there's probably a good reason why they have to ask those questions. Just once I’d like to push things to the limit. You know, like when the wife asks me what I'd like for dinner, I'm going to try the “it doesn't matter” approach. (Just to see where that gets me.) I’m betting I’ll probably end up with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Well, I asked for it. Oh sure, I was thinking maybe meatloaf, or a nice Italian dinner... but “It doesn’t matter” got in the way of the decision making. So the next time I try to get more information, the right type of information mind you, and they say, “It doesn't matter” I'm going to ask them why? Just to see what they’ll say. Chances are they won’t know why… but I guess that doesn’t matter either.