Rolling with the punches

rolling punches comic

You gotta roll with life’s punches.

Today I woke up and my cell phone had a surprise message for me. It was from the service man who was going to reglaze the old tub that I have. I am not rich this is just part of the cost of the apartment where I live. He said to do a huge list of things and oh he would be there in 5 minutes. I jumped out of bed, took a quick shower and then started on the list that he made for me. I barely got the list done before he was knocking on the door.

If you have ever had your tub reglazed part of the process is making sure there is no drips. Since the faucet was still dripping from the shower I just took I got a swedish dishcloth and he stuffed it up the drain. That stopped what tiny bit of water was coming out and we could continue. I will hang a bucket on the faucet just in case there is any more water draining after he leaves.

For many people who have recently lost their jobs we are all in the same boat. We didn’t stop being talented and capable, and we know its not personal. Your worth isn’t what you can do, it is who you are. In a capitalist society many people self-esteem comes from their job instead of who they are. If you are a loving person, kind or have some gift that makes the world a better place your life isn’t wasted. It is dehumanizing that we have defined society in such a narrow way.

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More to the point, if the most valuable people are the most productive I would also say that they are the least human. Real people make mistakes and real people connect with others and take time and make time for the interpersonal aspects of our jobs. When we can automate much of the routine interaction of work, what remains is for us to act and be human not robots. A self-service economy might appeal to some people, but others still prefer the human touch and interaction with others. I think there is plenty of opportunity for all kinds of people and in time we might grow to not make money the bottom line.