Posts Tagged ‘conflict



I am rather puzzled at one aspect of my job today. I have been consistently told that we are to enhance our image/role/visibility in the community by any means available. Our motto claims that we are raising the standards of our field. There are countless reasons why the following response: “Like I said, it was nice to do, but we cannot do this. Time, money but most of all policy of visiting providers directly. So in the future, please do not make the visits. Thanks.”, was so underwhelming, but the ultimate kick was how there was no inquiry made by the speaker of this quote as to the nature of my decision to execute this one breach of bureaucracy.  Let me break it down. has me rather baffled.

Time: 30 minutes, all off the clock.

Money: $4 in mileage reimbursement, which I would not have requested were it not a sort of emergency.

Policy…. here’s where I get confused V2.1. How is it possible that this is against policy? I will gladly give back the $4, but I would really like to understand how my personal visits (which have been received fondly and reflected well on the character of this organization) could in any way be a matter of policy. I tried for days to reach a provider by phone to notify them of a change of address for an important function to no avail. The phone number for the client we had listed was wrong and there were no listings in the white pages. I knew that I would not be able to mail anything to them in time, so after work that night I drove to the client’s house and provided them the information that would lead them to the correct location; where they would not show up to an empty parking lot, where they would not panic and worry they had the wrong night, where they would receive what they needed to keep their job.

Somehow. This. Is. Not. In. Accordance. With. Policy.

Employers that prefer the ease of trained drones over the challenge of apt, conscientious and innovative staff are always the ones who have have grown too big for their britches.  They are the ones where someone at the top is raking in some unconscionable figure per year and operates mainly out of fear of losing that wealth; this is usually to the detriment of the infrastructure of the company and its ability to operate efficiently.  Anyone who has more than their neighbor is comfortable for a time, but soon becomes obsessed with short sighted, material goals that wind up bankrupting them, such as weak mortgages, too-high car payments when you could have accepted the status blow and bought the car within your budget (for me, it’s audio equipment), etc, etc.  Whatever it is that fuels the need for excess, society is being eaten away by it, and getting that particular message out there in 2010 should not be a difficult thing, so the challenge is to figure out why it is.  Is it a lack of people speaking up?  Or is it an overabundance of people quite purposefully cutting off our air?


“Christmas” the oaf grunted

When boxed wine first hit the shelves of liquor retailers, it was met with guffaws.  “Where’s the romance?”  “Surely this can’t be proper wine!”

On the whole, as it was new, those offended had a point.  The stuff was wretched.  McWine, if you will.  Within a few years, more reputable wine makers, particularly in California and Australia, began to release higher quality boxed wine and the public responded, first with skeptical curiosity, and then with a conversion-experience type of approval, becoming often evangelical in the defense of their semi-faux pas.

More and more, consumers became convinced of the value of boxed wine.  You could pour a glass without worrying about spoilage, and most boxes equaled 4-6 bottles worth of wine for the cost of one midrange corked.  So the real idea behind it all (which was the ability to stay fresh once openned) caught on and people, begrudgningly or otherwise, began to purchase these rectangular casks en masse.

The side effect that the wine producers may or may not have foreseen, was the likelihood that, given how splendidly easy it is to ration over generous amounts of wine to oneself without the visual aid of watching a 750mL bottle rapidly empty, that people would consume immoral amounts of the juice in one sitting.

A. and I have discovered this ease of over-consumption with a particular brand and as such have coined a term for the absolutely hair brained points of mopey conflict that can arise from over-drinking:


I find it to be a particularly clever use of the wine maker’s name, and have often mused that the grin he sports on the side of his box is one of sinister mirth, knowing the trouble he will cause anyone involved in social interaction upon its indulgence.  A mixture of liquid courage, regression, and truth serum.

A. and I cannot afford the better tasting boxed wine and have been set to acquiring a taste for what can only be described as Red Liquid Nascar.  Why this devotion to drunkenness?  There were aspirations of drying out upon moving that were shrugged off with frightening ease.  There were elaborate discussion about the new personal daily habits we would acquire after moving to our first apartment together.  Yet, neither of us can easily see much fun in a summer evening, equipped with a three season porch and a bent towards conversation, without the slow stupefication of alcohol to lubricate the potential friction of our intercourse as it becomes braver still with each glass.

If only it didn’t lead to moments where, staring at a picture of a brick wall and sky and being asked “Where was that taken,” the inquirer would receive a dull grunt of “Christmas.”

Mind you, Velladrama is not the rule.  Exceptional as the exception has proven to be, most evenings of wino-esque activity yield results no more harmful than what amounts to a two person party.  Music, discussion, and alcohol fueled passion.  All relatively standard.  Some very funny and very dumb things have been born of it.  Chasing neighborhood kids through the park and screaming “ARE WE HAVING FUN!?”  Getting excited during an argument and breaking a knuckle on the door.  Having a who-can-give-the-other-a-bigger-bruise contest.  Destroying the kitchen to make something one wouldn’t eat sober.  Never ending rounds of Risk and Poker.  Driving to Missouri.

I dare say the question of drinking is high philosophy for A. and I at this point.  Something to be debated by the greeks.  Of course, the day to move on will come, and the biggest question will be then: can we?

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