Long lines at the gas station

We categorize things and events.  Today I am reminded of the great gasoline shortages America experienced in the early, mid, and late seventies. 

The long lines of cars stacked up on the main roads were sometimes places of mayhem.  The evening news was all agog.  Mistrust abounded and greed mixed with chastisement ruled the public square.

People went all out for themselves at first.

Then we learned the plain fact; there would be gas but we were going to pay high for it.

You create a shortage and simultaneously you create a price hike.

Phones didn’t have cameras so we missed much of the action.

Replace the old gas tank with a postmodern freezer stuffed with a dozen loaves of bread and you watch the events of today strangely replicate.  People bought locking gas filler caps; they had to because thieves always lurk.  Are locking freezers in our future?

I work for a small company of fewer than twenty employees.  We adapted fast and while the office is empty the IPads are facetiming away.  I was the last to adapt, but I caught up in a week.  My wife works for one of those hospital conglomerates, the type that always says it is going to promote working from home to save the environment but never gets around to it.  After all, what’s an office with no minions to gaze upon?

They always get around to granting the honchos spacious bonuses upon acres of salary and then hire herds of fat-cat friends to graze upon the fertile medical administrator ranchland. 

Support staff toils in a petri-dish of muck while turning out bricks.  The bricks are used to build a financial monument to the pharaohs who call the shots and then top-off by pumping every last drop of insider information into their own tank.

And at the bottom lies fear.  It did so forty years ago, it does so today. 

Today, when I speak to clients, the fear is sometimes audible.  You can hear it when they answer the phone.  They speak quietly as if afraid to draw attention to themselves.

Maybe if the bug doesn’t know where they are it will pass them over.

Spooked.

And I don’t blame them.  They’ve never seen anything like this before.

But others have.  Some of us reside in what my mother used to call “the checkout lane.”  From here we watch the craziness develop and hope it doesn’t explode into mass madness.

So put five of those loaves back.  What are you trying to do, cause a panic?

We categorize things and events.  Today I am reminded of the great gasoline shortages America experienced in the early, mid, and late seventies. 

The long lines of cars stacked up on the main roads were sometimes places of mayhem.  The evening news was all agog.  Mistrust abounded and greed mixed with chastisement ruled the public square.

People went all out for themselves at first.

Then we learned the plain fact; there would be gas but we were going to pay high for it.

You create a shortage and simultaneously you create a price hike.

Phones didn’t have cameras so we missed much of the action.

Replace the old gas tank with a postmodern freezer stuffed with a dozen loaves of bread and you watch the events of today strangely replicate.  People bought locking gas filler caps; they had to because thieves always lurk.  Are locking freezers in our future?

I work for a small company of fewer than twenty employees.  We adapted fast and while the office is empty the IPads are facetiming away.  I was the last to adapt, but I caught up in a week.  My wife works for one of those hospital conglomerates, the type that always says it is going to promote working from home to save the environment but never gets around to it.  After all, what’s an office with no minions to gaze upon?

They always get around to granting the honchos spacious bonuses upon acres of salary and then hire herds of fat-cat friends to graze upon the fertile medical administrator ranchland. 

Support staff toils in a petri-dish of muck while turning out bricks.  The bricks are used to build a financial monument to the pharaohs who call the shots and then top-off by pumping every last drop of insider information into their own tank.

And at the bottom lies fear.  It did so forty years ago, it does so today. 

Today, when I speak to clients, the fear is sometimes audible.  You can hear it when they answer the phone.  They speak quietly as if afraid to draw attention to themselves.

Maybe if the bug doesn’t know where they are it will pass them over.

Spooked.

And I don’t blame them.  They’ve never seen anything like this before.

But others have.  Some of us reside in what my mother used to call “the checkout lane.”  From here we watch the craziness develop and hope it doesn’t explode into mass madness.

So put five of those loaves back.  What are you trying to do, cause a panic?