I may be repeating myself (I know I am repeating many, many others), but:
Smith-style "invisible hand" economics sounds brilliant, but works solely in a world where people are by and large completely rational and cognitive bias does not exist, and assumes that crutches cause crippling. Since they aren't, it does, and they don't (unless you do them terribly wrong), I look at it more as a beautiful thought experiment than a means of determining policy.
I gave up soda for Lent. (We'll pause while someone shrills, "You're not Catholic!" so that xe may have the time to read the Wikipedia entry on Lent, the number of churches that practice it, including the Episcopalian church that I was baptized in, and maybe look up "40 days" and "Tammuz" while they're at it.) (Look, I know most of the people who associate the Easter festival with pagan symbolism are spittle-spraying Christite conspiracy theorists, but month-plus fasting festivals in cultures that developed in seasonal climates are such a widely-spread thing that it might just be a good idea in general. Besides, who are you to police my diet and the reason I'm making a slightly better choice for a couple of weeks? Don't you have better things to do? Fie!)
So I've been craving Pepsi for WEEKS. And they have to FREAKING taint their brand with that stupid tone-deaf commercial. Worse, I've seen no sops to, "Hey, here's a sizable-but-not-noticeable donation to the ACLU, here's what we did wrong, here's how we're going to prevent that in the future," for that. GRUMBLE.
This weekend's visit has, among other things, certainly brought home that I have not to any great purpose used the many, many blessings and advantages with which my creatrix/creator has seen fit to endow me. Yet I have also, in many ways, been able to slip the shackles upon me which S/He has also seen fit to place.
You may think I am being unnecessarily filled with the theist's woo, or, if you too believe in some guiding hand, completely egocentric to think that I have had enough attention from that thing. Surely, though, it is not a terrible thing to say that I have many privileges and head starts in life, that I have some things which I might do better and with more enjoyment than others might (due largely to the noble hearts, diligent care, and abundant resources of my family and culture, as well as their darker sides, and through no particular virtue of my own, to be sure), and that I am currently occupying a role to which I am ill-suited and badly-tempered.
While it is true that a person of real virtue makes enriches every soil to not only thrive but to create a place for others to thrive, I am not that person. I feel as if I am, with my learning disabilities, my small intellectual gifts, and weird passions, a draft horse in a stable of racing thoroughbreds, or perhaps, if I may flatter myself, a Bugatti on an unpaved road.
It is surely selfish and muddle-headed of me to think I might do something good at this age. I am forty-five. If I had something of worth to add to this world, in this culture where one must find a cheap new test for cancer in order or write a best-selling novel by the age of fifteen to enter a college considered halfway decent, I would have done it and been retired by now. It is arrogant to assume that I have the potential to become worthy of the resources spent upon me. On the other hand, it is perniciously and damnably lazy of me not to continue to try...
So today, someone called me regarding waiver of the cancellation fee. I said, "Sir, I'm sorry, since it's a same-day reservation, you are going to have to call the actual hotel. I'm the reservations department, and that's not my call." (True; however, there are at least six ways to weasel the cancellation fee that are pretty common knowledge, especially if you booked directly with the hotel and not a third party. Also, I know the way to make the weasels dance for you.) The guest said, "I did. They said to call you."
I called the desk, because huh?
Only it wasn't the desk. Somehow, the personal cell of the owner of the hotel (or someone who claimed to be him) ended in the place our direct contact number would normally go.
Owner was furious about being woken up, furious that anyone would consider waiving a cancellation fee for anything less than death. Furious that the reservations department would be contacting the hotel after nine p.m. for any reason. Took my name. Took my boss's name. Took my boss's boss's name. Took my boss's boss's boss's name. Berated me for a solid eighteen minutes.
After he let me hang up, I called back the guest and apologized, then wrote my boss's boss and cc'd my manager what I did; what I did wrong; and how I would prevent that in the future, if there was one for me.
I do get a vibe that this person was not, in fact, the actual owner of the hotel, and may have been trying to scare me and impress me. (He did not know any of the people that he should have known at our company as a [Brand] hotel owner; the names I gave were the head of the [Brand] department and the owner of our organization; he countered by dropping the name of a person who is basically the secretary for the corporate ombudsman, the "we apologize for the inconvenience and our office will get back to your hotel within five to ten business days" guy.)
And this JUST came on the heels of learning that you don't get your back vacation pay unless you give two weeks' notice and have perfect attendance for the last two weeks, and you CAN'T work from home on that. I, of the seven-hour-each-way commute, am screwed on that. So no three weeks of salary.
So. Anyone know someone who is hiring?
[UPDATE] Boss's boss wrote me back. "Thank you for letting me know, but you should not call the managers or owners." No mention of the possibility that we should not put the owner's phone number where the hotel's ought to be, no change of this number placement. General memo: the entire company now needs supervisor approval to call out, despite the fact that it can take up to twenty to twenty-five minutes to track down a supervisor (on my shift, there is one per shift. They smoke, they get a lunch, they have up to 160 other employees to cover). I feel, although that I did indubitably screw up, that the people who make our info sheets are outside our purlieu (we have been giggling at the room that states it's outside, in a public park, for literally years; in other places, we have to warn people about not quoting outdated policies and amenities; we get disciplined/ written up for creating homebrew info sheets), so we're blaming the people who care.
My heartbeat is about the size of a uterus or a fist, But when I bring my hands to my chest, It feels more like a dinner plate, Ignoring that the pulse I feel is a direct result of the push in my fingertips, and if we bring fingertips into it, why, when I lay down and really stretch, my heart has a wingspan of more than six feet; and if we bring push into it, well, The baby that my heart brought about and pushed out into the world (twenty five years and some change ago) Is 34.2 miles away right this second. And if that counts, well, reader, We could say that my heart beats in your eyes this very instant, Even if (statistically speaking) it no longer beats in my dinnerplate chest.
..."Thank you for keeping yourself up," (they had even said this to me, in the Time Before the Health Crisis), I hear, "Thank you for keeping other women down."
I realize this is not the intent, but... damn. It's hard to be a woman and be constantly told that a. your visual appeal to men should be your primary concern; and b. you are inferior to men because you care about your visual appeal.
You want to compliment a woman? Say, "Thank you for keeping up your corner of the sky."
When I think of you, I think water. I think of your eyes, blue as the sea reflecting the sky. I think of Sammy Davis, Junior, crooning in the pale desert. I think of my thirst for your cool voice, a little throaty. I think of you surging over me, cresting like a legend of white-foam horses airbrushed on the side of some metalhead's rusting cinder-blocked van. I think of things, like longing, that expand when they freeze. I think how we were always 70% of an us. I think of fog on a mirror. Condensation. Steamed windows in an '84 hatchback 'Stang. I talk to you, and my hair curls. I carry you deep under my skin like permafrost. Your sentences unrepeating like snowflakes, yet somehow all the same. I think of the flautist and the dames, their skirts like hovercrafts. (Do you remember the night we met?)
"The largest hydroelectric plant in the United States is at Grand Coulee Dam. Its three powerplants have a capacity of 6,809 MW, and it generates, on average, about 21 billion KWh, while Hoover Dam's powerplant has a capacity of 2,074 MW and generates approximately 4 billion KWh a year." Which is not to say that you were anywhere near these places. Or me.
I think of sweat, pooling in the hollow of your back and lifting under the merciless leaving crystal hieroglyphs and the scent of you on your soft brown undershirt.
I think of water. I think of the bridge, how long it's been since water passed under it. I think of you, and I think
The enormous ginger tomcat I call "Howl" (and should call "Crookshanks," if I'm going literary, dear God that cat is huge) and I have figured out that if I pet him, he feels no need to spray. My real cat prouts and puts her tail up when she sees him.
The neighbors say he has a home, but he is painfully skinny and very, very matted. I think he may have a garage that people let him into when it's cold, and who put food out for him.