The other day at the grocery store the checker remarked that he had gotten recognition for being the fastest checker that week. Did he get an award? He didn’t say, but he seemed proud of his accomplishment.
“Are they timing you?’ I asked.
At the grocery store?! Not them too.
I already know about emails from a large corporation. The respondents have eight minutes to answer an email, and one must go down the list in order of first written, even if the ship has already sailed. Sometimes to answer the question requires doing research. Whoops, no time for that. Sometimes the system breaks down or is slow. Too bad, you are still on the clock.
One solution is to shuffle that email off to another department. Clearing your docket is paramount, not answering the question.
Why all the rush? Why put people on a clock? It demoralizes them—except maybe the checker at the grocery store. It turns them into an assembly line mentality. Have happy customers? What a concept. Those grocery store checkers are so fast I hardly have time to unload my cart, slide the credit card, give them my reward card, and scribble my signature. That’s after I stood in line of course.
Do the efficiency experts go to school to learn how to drive employees insane? Faster makes more money--so it is believed. No wonder some people hate their jobs.
I understand we are a technologically based culture, and I remember when a computer needed an entire room for all its bells and whistles, and that computer had less memory that the lap top I am currently typing on. Let's not forget, however, that there are people attached to that computer, or standing in front of us waiting for eye contact. Have you ever stood in front of a clerk while behind a computer screen you heard, "Click, click, clicky, click, click?"
Oh yes, and televisions in restaurants. Why? Didn’t we go out to escape the box or to visit with friends or to enjoy our meal in luxury?
Remember, some genius created a device to record television shows enabling them to be watched later.
I was wondering the other day if painting was out. You know, a brush, paints on canvas, sketching. Well, I watch Face Off on television and those people know how to sketch and sculpt, and fabricate in a day or two what it would normally take months to create so I know there are talented, skilled, creative people out there, but when I see something like a Bionocle, a toy so complex you know a computer created it, it makes me wonder if a person with their simple little hands on materials has a chance anymore. CGI has replaced glass backgrounds movie backdrop painters used to paint by hand. Remember when the Disney corporation hand- painted all those cells used in their animated films? And the art of Bambi is so exquisite it should never be lost, although the sadness of Bambi could. It was my first movie and it scared me forever.
Those who have read me for a time know that I am conflicted. I want to be uplifting, encouraging and motivational, yet I feel that my years have given me a perspective that ought not to be lost. Again I ask, where is the medium? (I know, finding it “takes some share of wit, so tis a mark fools seldom hit”--Cooper.)
And I have noticed that the sweet by and by might get a nod, “That’s nice.” Ho hum. We do like something we can sink out teeth into. (Gosh isn’t blogging fun, we can throw out cliché’s. on a regular basis.)
We ought to look at what's important in our lives and what's not. What do we want to accomplish? Has happiness eluded us? Let's get it back.
I had an epiphany the other day driving home from Portland. Earlier I printed my mother’s Letters and interspersed mine among hers telling the family secret. Well, that’s over. I decided my mother deserves her own voice without being colored by mine, so I expunged all my commentary within the book. I did write a Foreword and Afterward, and I’m back to my water-color cover. I guess with winter coming I like the snow. And the book ends with snow falling in crystalline stars on my sister and my lapels.