Opinion: Handy excuses


We all have our shortcomings. Perhaps our third-grade teacher inadvertently led us to believe that we weren’t very good at coloring, and it stuck. Now, we break out in a cold sweat each time we are in one of those restaurants that have placemats designed to be filled in as we await the service of our food. Any children along at the table will be given crayons and urge us to participate. Maybe our limitations are biological. We couldn’t tell the size of a parallel parking spot without the assistance of thousands of dollars of sensor gear installed in our automobiles. Expensively, we misjudge the distance from the front of our car to the garage wall. 

Whatever the origination, we learn to know and understand the bounds of what we can be expected to accomplish. Good. Over-commitment leads to stress in us and disappointment in others. Now, as all manner of plague seems to have ascended on us, we have more debilitations and handicaps in completing our routines than ever in recent memory. Streets are closed. Curfews and other government orders capture us in home detention. Even spring storms seem to urge us to hit the snooze button in the morning and pull the covers over our heads. What could we hope to accomplish, anyway? 

Having taken to online delivery and routine carryout, we have learned that some of us are able to adjust more handily than others. Many purveyors have stock delivered days before expected while some delay for weeks, then abruptly cancel. Most “help” desks now keep customers at bay for hours on end – all the while repeatedly lecturing us on their commitment to our health and popular social causes. What about customer service? Why do some overcome our legitimate challenges and others seem prone to hide behind any handy excuse? 


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