It’s been a rotten week.
At work, I got into a pointless argument: pointless because I should have known that I couldn’t win, regardless of the merits of my position. But I persevered anyway, and lost. And I wasted another week on a project that’s already horrendously late.
A few weeks ago, my office sent out a pile of drawings. I spent a day and a half checking the technical details of the drawings, making sure everything was correct. This week, the client noted that half the drawings identified the wrong location in the drawing title. It’s not a real problem: the drawings are a work in progress anyway, and everyone understood what the correct location was, but it’s still just stupid.
I’ve been so busy with real engineering issues that I haven’t had time for the more routine items, like… sending out invoices. But if I don’t do that, I won’t get paid.
The other night, I was watching the evening news when a commercial for Chase Private Client came on. The happy couple invited their banker to their retirement party, and the banker said he’d be ‘honored’ to join them. I fought the urge to throw my remote control through the TV screen: I bank at Chase; they’re falling-all-over-themselves polite when I go there, but are practically useless; I fully expect to retire in a coffin.
And last night, I found myself watching the recent James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace. One of the things that makes James Bond stories work is that Bond’s bosses are always on the side of rightness and justice. But in Quantum, we learn that the corruption goes all the way to the top. What is the point of serving Queen and country, when Queen and country are in bed with the villains?
It seems the entire country is becoming unglued. We’re trying to make Ukraine and Syria safe for democracy while neglecting our own borders. After fussing for years about the deficit, Congress has abdicated its Constitutional responsibility to manage the nation’s debt, by abandoning the debt ceiling and authorizing the Treasury to borrow whatever it needs for a set time period.
And someday soon, perhaps within the next two years, the hammer will drop, and my family and I will be trundled off to a FEMA camp, or be killed by marauding street gangs, or starve to death in our apartment. Or maybe New York will be obliterated by an errant atomic bomb. (Growing up in the 1960s, with the notion that the Russians could toast us with scarcely a moment’s warning, was nowhere near as bad: I had the sense that both the US and the USSR were run by responsible adults. Today, I’m not so sure.)
Meanwhile, I’m running myself ragged, scrambling to meet deadlines, and having less and less to show for it. Maybe I could prepare for the oncoming disaster, but I don’t have the time or the money or the energy.