Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Is Post-Election America Fraying at the Small Edges?

America, or at least my little corner of America, is making mistakes lately because businesses and people seem to be moving too fast, too frantically, especially since the elections.  Micro mistakes, I grant you, but mistakes that hint of new unreliability... 

Over the last couple days, I've experienced...

A medical office sending prescriptions three times to the incorrect pharmacy location, an inconvenient one, despite clear requests. (Turns out they were using an incorrect FAX number. Offices still FAX?)

Amazon losing an important package, then finding it, then losing it again, then delivering it to their own surprise. Beaten up.

Sporadic mail delivery in our neighborhood.  One recent night, our beleaguered, hard-working carrier was doling out mail at 11 pm.  The confused carrier yesterday confessed that he's a temporary import from another city because our post office is understaffed for mail volume.

Scrutiny of our cable bill revealed monthly charges of $15.99 for a movie channel we've hardly heard of, never used, and certainly never ordered. Have you tried to review your bill with cable TV customer service, much less demand a credit for back over-charges? Yeah, been there now...

Even El Pollo Loco asking me three times to come back for a small order I pre-placed earlier... 

All workers were consistently pleasant, kind, and helpful.  All workers seemed genuinely overwhelmed. 

This aggregate of mistakes could be the sign of a growing, vibrant neighborhood pacing ahead of service providers. Ours is, indeed, a growing, vibrant area with new local businesses and new housing. 

These could be signs of organizations deliberately under-staffed to meet year-end profit targets, a common management technique. 

This, of course, is God challenging and testing me on patience. You know, "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff." 

But it also feels subtly like something more. Like tiny details of my tidy American life are fraying at the edges. Like the assumed reliability of comfortable, trustworthy suburban life is suddenly a bit less reliable.   

I unconsciously equate these to the grand traditions of our great country fraying at the edges.  I unconsciously sense that life in these United States feels less stable than before the election.  

And I wonder about and pray for our American way of life, both at home and across the nation.