Jan 192018

Last Saturday afternoon, as I was relaxing with my family, I got a call from one of the medical companies with whom I have a business relationship. I didn’t care for the timing of it, but it’s the first of the year, and the topic of the call was reasonable. I hung up after confirming twice that my understanding was accurate and that everything was handled satisfactorily.

Yesterday I got a voicemail from this same company, asking me to call them back. When I did this morning, the machine with which I spoke did not understand my multiple attempts to communicate and, rather than give me an opportunity to talk to a person, simply hung up on me.

(One day I shall write the definitive criticism of those godforsaken phonebots.)

So I called the customer service number, and I learned—guess what?—that, contrary to my twice-confirmed understanding on Saturday, everything was not handled satisfactorily.

The details are even more boring than this narrative so far, so I won’t share them. And the company doesn’t matter either. Both the nature of the details and the companies are all the same in this regard.

And you know what? I realize there is no malice here. No one sets out to do me harm, stress me out, or anything else. It just happens. It’s institutional. For many reasons—some good, some not; some accidental, some by design—the power, the intelligence, and the conscience required to handle these problems never converge in a single person.

I want to think about this stuff for one hour once a year and then have it fade into the background completely. (Gee, that’s my recollection of how it was 20 years ago.) I don’t want to have a “relationship” with you. I don’t want to think of you as a partner, or have your stupid app on my phone, or have to talk to another person on the phone who calls me William every single damned time s/he says anything.

I think a well-designed and highly secure (such that any information whatsoever could be exchanged) web site, staffed and supported by people with Asperger’s and a minimum IQ of 110, would suit me perfectly. Can we have that?

 Posted by at 11:00 am
Jan 012018

Last night was a quiet New Year’s Eve. During prime fireworks-lighting time, it was about 15 ºF with a 15-mph northern wind. That shuts folks down pretty hard. I didn’t complain.

I have goals for the new year, but nearly none of them are constrained to the calendar. It’s becoming clear to me that my Halloween decision is a significant turning point. Some of that is physical, but I think more of it is mental. It’s empowering. I’m excited on a fundamental level about again pursuing goals with vigor. Some are service-oriented. Some are professional. Some are spiritual. Many are aspirations that I’ve allowed to lie dormant for too long.

(And I think this is the second time I’ve posted vaguely about this. I promise I’ll share specifics here too, and I’m much closer to doing that.)

I have what I feel like is the prerequisite mental attitude. It’s an attitude I didn’t realize I was missing until I experienced it. It’s…smoother. It’s a tack that allows for life’s little tragedies without tanking my curve. It’s a perch that enables me to better see manageable chunks. It’s where I needed to be a long time ago.

But I’m not lamenting that. What was that about raging against the past? No. “I would prefer not to.”

Instead, I’m thankful that I’m here now.

Happy New Year.

 Posted by at 7:34 pm
Nov 152017

I was thinking on the drive home tonight about an old friend. (Well, maybe she’s “someone I used to know” now. We haven’t had any contact in 12 or so years.) She and her husband moved to Colorado a few years ago. I don’t know whether it was for a job, or for the excitement […]

 Posted by at 12:33 am
Oct 172017

Me too. Really. I actually have been sexually harassed, twice that I can remember. However, neither time caused me particular angst. I think that’s because when you’re a man, it’s entirely reasonable to believe it’s an isolated incident. I said “yeah, whatever” and that was it. Mostly, women don’t have that luxury. Women can reasonably expect […]

 Posted by at 12:42 pm