A MIND FOREVER VOYAGING THROUGH STRANGE SEAS OF THOUGHT, ALONE


This is my second blog.

My first blog chronicled my experiences over three years caring for my dad as he lived through and finally died from Alzheimer's. That is the book that is for sale.

This second blog kind of chronicles of life, what it is like to start your life over in your late 50's. After caretaking, you are damaged, file bankruptcy, and the world doesn't care what you did. After 8 months of unemployment, you wake each day knowing the world doesn't want you. Finally you do find a job, 5 weeks before homelessness, but doing what you did 30 years ago and getting paid what you did 30 years ago. So this is starting over.



The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

STUCK ON THE STUTTER OF A DECIMAL POINT

Every once in a while, you come across a sentence that just grabs you.  Stuck on the stutter of a decimal point; what a great line to describe a point in life.

When I took care of my dad, there was something wonderful about the day in day out struggle; it was simple, it was real, it was important, and while you could look one way at the tapestry of day after day dealing with alzheimer's and claim it was the same, it was really new, different, though I'll never forget the feeling of hopelessness is like nothing I've ever felt, the knowledge that 'no matter how bad it is today, tomorrow will be worse'.

But, it was never boring.

Work is doing well, but slow.  It's like being a night security guard.  Read a novel for 20 minutes, do a 5 minute call, 20 minutes of reading.  Later, Rinse, Repeat.  However, my stats are great, surveys are great, and I only got in trouble once this week for breaking the rules, which is something I do often.

So many rules.  You grow up at a time when rules are written in Jello.  As long as you don't do anything that costs a company a ton of money, rules are bendable.  I remember working for ComputerLand and selling IBM computers, you were signed up for X computers per month, and the next month you got X and the next and the next.  So if suddenly they were not selling, you could end up with a lot of PC', XT's, and AT's in the warehouse.  And one sales rep had a contact to sell them in the grey market and unload the lot.  And it worked for a couple of years, till IBM figured it out, and then the sales rep who did all this with the blessing of management, was fired.

Growing up in the 70's, 80's 90's, I mean as an adult, rule breaking was expected.  Today, not so much, it's all verbal warnings, coaching, etc.  Doesn't matter what you did or why you did it, it is a violation, zero tolerance.

Ah, there it is.  Zero tolerance.  The Generation X and Generation Tweets were all brought up in school systems with zero tolerance.  The greaser or gang banger with a switch blade is suspended for having an knife, so the straight A student with a plastic knife in the lunch bag to spread peanut butter is suspended.  And now these generations have flooded the market and see this as being normal.

And we baby boomers are caught in the mess.  A lifetime of thinking, using discretion to make decisions, and now in the world it's a violation.  An entire paragraph and you get stuck on the stutter of a decimal point.  And when you try to explain this to a manager 20 years your junior, they just look at you with this blank stare, because to them, coming up in a zero tolerance school system and now zero tolerance work place, they don't understand what is the issue, a rule is a rule.

This must be how the cowboy felt when the horseless carriage was invented, the world is moving on, but we still have to earn a living in it.

But here is what I don't get.  Pick any TV show or movie, who is the protagonist?  Who is the hero?  Do they follow the rules or do they break the rules to 'get the bad guy' or 'solve the problem'?  Don't watch TV?  Pick a novel, pick a biography.  Who reads a biography of someone who always follows the rules?  Who watches a TV show of a hero who never breaks or bends a rule?

Where is the disconnect?  Why don't people see it?

Why do people insist on this blind obedience to rules, then watch Batman, and not connect that Batman is breaking the rules?  Does that mean I think I'm Batman by breaking rules, no, just that sometimes to get the job done right, certain rules take a backseat to others; the simile of the pond with No Swimming posted and a puppy or child is drowning, do you obey the No Swimming sign or ignore it to save a kid or puppy?

I am literally afraid to ask this question of Gen Tweet.  I fear greatly the answer will be, 'use your cell phone to call people of authority to save the puppy'.  Doesn't matter that by the time the authorities get there, the puppy will be dead, the rules were followed.

Just imagine the day the baby boomers are gone, an entire country raised and bred to follow the rules without question.  Just imagine what an evil man will be able to accomplish.

On the sidewalk the people are hustling and bustling,
They ain't got no time so they think on the thing
That will fill in the space in between birth and death.
Who're they kidding ?
On the TV the people are mumbling and grumbling,
They ain't got no hope so they give out the news
That the world's got the blues, S.O.S. S.O.S.
Bless my soul.
In the movies the people are identifying
They ain't got no season to split for no reason
And so they get by on the great community lie.
On the sidewalk the people are hustling and bustling,
They ain't got no time so they think on the thing
That will fill in the space in between birth and death.
Who're they kidding ?


Donovan