I just passed on an opportunity for a meeting with other professionals in my field. I know many of these people, we are like minded; we are friends.
But I ain’t going.
The flu is going around, there’s a new variant of Covid circulating and I have a ski vacation planned in 3 weeks. I hate missing these meetings and used to go to every one I could. But now? Indoors in the winter? It’s a meal event so I can’t mask up…besides who wants to mask up? I have a family at home; they’ve had to deal with two bouts of Covid, hernia surgery and recovery, a monster flu and a blown out knee from me. All of this in the past 16 months. I thought I was being careful but apparently, that’s not enough. It’s about more than me.
And then there’s virtual meetings. I’m zoomed out. Forget that shit.
There are people that say you can establish meaningful connections on video conferences. Bullshit. It’s a nice way to keep in touch if it’s all you have. Otherwise, It’s just the opposite, vision and visualizing deal with three dimensional inputs. When you are operating in two dimensions your brain has to work to fill in the blank spots. Body language cues are critical for communication; how much body can you see? That’s one of the reasons it’s so exhausting. You are far better off with your camera off or even just working in Slack or Teams.
Where is your mind when you and everyone else are on camera? Wondering how you look, what you can see in their homes and what they can see in your home. If deciding what to wear in the morning, puts a load on our brain you don’t need, then video calls are like carrying around a log in the snow like Rocky. Except not as fun.
Surely, we have reached the new normal by now. I was thinking about this at the supermarket the other day. I wanted Premium Saltines. You know, the good kind. But they are out.
How the fuck did we get to the point where we are running out of Saltines? Our stores are chock full of stuff, what they are not full of is a sense that we can get whatever we want whenever we want it. It could be supply chain issues or it could be labor shortages.
I can’t think of anything less important than a store being out of Saltines. At the same time I can’t think of a better harbinger of change. Cataclysmic changes are often presaged by the mundane. The final straw on the camel or the trickle of water under the dam.
Maybe the Saltines are in the back room. Maybe there’s no one to restock the shelves. Labor shortages you know. They say people don’t want to work. They just don’t want to work for minimum pay to help put maximum money in someone else’s pocket. This is a good thing. People are waking up to the idea that if you can’t afford to pay them a decent wage, you really don’t have a viable business.
So is this the end of the world? The end of democracy? Maybe it’s the end of getting whatever we want, whenever we want it because there is an inexhaustible supply of cheap labor and enough resources to make the same product in eight different variations.
WE WILL SURVIVE.
Meanwhile, I can’t find the frozen stuffed peppers. Dammit.
© Glenn R Keller 2023, All Rights Reserved
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