The Second

It’s all so small. Global warming, the new Supreme Court appointee, the separation of refugee families, rescuing Thai boys, the death of Steve Ditko. Where will Joseph be for the holidays, my dying dad, the new shoes I got. The span of my life is, rounding up, like 100 years, and in the vastness of it all that doesn’t really matter to anything else and if you think of that life as a set of events, they become just as insignificant.

Seems bleak. And now my stomach hurts. Unrelated.

We’ve got a woman in our office who is nasty to customers. That’s the simple explanation, though. What’s really happening is that she’s being put through a vise, doing a job that’s tough for anyone, but is especially tough for her and it comes out in how she talks to people. If you break it down percentage-wise, very little of that pie falls on her.

Part of it falls on me. I wonder what I should do. One of the effects of the situation is that it makes what we do meaningless. Why should anyone try to provide a customer with good service if a roll of the di could ensure them a bad experience? What’s the point of doing this job? And then what’s the point of doing anything if this job is the main thrust of your life? And what if you’re that woman and these questions come into your mind?

I’ve talked to my supervisor about this and he’s explained his plan and talked to me about how, essentially, nothing can be done, which I basically understood already. So what do I do? It’s not true that nothing can be done. Just what do I do?

There’s a hopelessness that comes with the pie if you ask these questions, “what’s the point?”, and wait for an answer. There isn’t one. Is there a god? What happens when you die? What’s the point? No one really knows.

People ardently, feverishly cling to faith, gripping tighter and tighter as they get older, evidence that they don’t really have the answer. It’s all they can do to convince themselves. It’ll be okay. There’s someone there. It’s not just me.

It is, though. You’re all you’ve really got. You can ask as much as you want, but no one’s answering.

I’d like to write. Just write. I don’t want to work in customer service for the rest of my life, but I’ll do it well while I’m here. All of it. I’ll do it honestly, how about that. I want to be a better dad. Fix a few things. Try to make people happy.

It’s all so small. There’s no big answers. Or little ones. And that’s actually comforting.


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