Tag Archives: apathy

Groaning Pains

For years, I felt a mounting, suffocating disillusionment with the future direction of this country and the transparent apathy that seemed to only fuel a fire of hatred and inequality. Trapped in a plummeting elevator—destined to crash without an emergency brake—we stood stuck in some debilitating glue of inaction, waiting for someone to pull it.

Maybe it took thousands of deaths a day for us to realize that something had to change. Maybe the volatility of our quotidian safety or the cognizance that the greatest country on the planet was nothing but a fallacy built on tired, outdated notions of some unattainable dream was enough to snap us out of our opiate-induced haze and finally feel some pain. Maybe we simply grew tired of watching facts wobble and shake, forced to stand on cracked foundations in desperate need of some concrete. Or maybe being forced to wear the pawn’s high-collared uniform, made of aging wool, too brutally tested our tolerance for the itch.

As a self-described radical Socialist who thinks even Bernie is too far to the right, I had hoped we were ready to hit some detonators on this broken system and start fresh in every facet. But I’m willing to accept progress over regression, in any form I can get it. 

We have a population tattered, torn, and divided. Those wounds (imaginary or real) are not healed overnight. Anger and pain will persistently propel action. Information will be relentlessly manipulated and propagated.

There are always winners. There are certainly always losers. But I will continue to adamantly support whatever ultimately benefits the greater good.

When eggs are sacrificed for omelets, there’s no use spending time lamenting the splintered shells.

Adolescence Interrupted


Giving Doubt and Taking Back the Benefit

phoneThe regular ridicule I’ve gotten in my life for keeping records, taking notes, and tracking telephone interactions is all just extra paint on the big colorful canvas I call an organized existence. Jab me about my checklists and poke fun about my calendars, but the self-satisfaction I’ve gotten the last few months from flawless follow-ups to customer service representatives makes all that fun-making fade into the distance.

It’s easy to call it compulsive. Marking down the dates a letter is received or when an initial phone call is placed might seem excessive or unnecessary. But, it’s pretty effortless and it saves a mountain of frustration in the end.

My “key theory” falls into the same category. How often do people run around the house at the last minute, searching for their elusive keys, with each tick of the clock exacerbating their tardiness? If they were kept in a designated key area, there would be no reason to alert the bloodhounds to join you in the hunt or create false scenarios about bad traffic and road closures when you walk past disapproving scowls, stumbling into the morning meeting 20 minutes after donut distribution.

Preparation and order rewards those who allow them in their lives. To be reliable and informed—as opposed to a scatterbrained flake—is something to be praised, not punished.

So, back to my telephone tag/faulty case number/taciturn supervisor juggling routine. The universe happened to unload multiple situations requiring boundless patience for bottomless hold times and the kind of diligent record-keeping rarely seen outside of IRS offices. If I were Johnny Casual, I would take those people at their word, thank them for all their helpful information, and wait for those guaranteed returned phone calls and speedy case resolutions.

But, we live in a world where almost no one does what they’re supposed to do—or even makes an attempt at punctuality. These are simply the realities of our modern society, as we make the sluggish transition from humans to computers. We are wrought with growing pains and this spreading plague of unrestrained apathy isn’t making things any easier. I can’t even begin to talk about the post office. I don’t have the strength.

The best we can do is take a stand. We can strive to be as efficient and organized as a machine, thus elevating ourselves above the sluggish drones and into a space where the air is fresh and the flickering fluorescent lights aren’t melting our brains.

But, I have to admit, rattling off the names of each supervisor, the dates I called, each digit of my assigned case numbers, and the particulars of the discussions not only ironed the wrinkles of what should have been unbearable transactions, it felt damn good.

You can retain your unintelligible reminders, unwieldy paper trails, and shoebox receipt shenanigans. I’ll be here with my alphabetized file folders and a bold, almost laughable level of record-keeping confidence.