Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Where Rocking Horse People Eat Marshmallow Pies

This was my first day back to work after another COVID setback.  A case of sciatic back pain and Vertigo had taken me down for a week.  P was off to Indiana to begin shooting another film with his brother.  I would be heading back into what is becoming a slightly scary place for me.  The big retailer that is doing their best but in this new world, having some hard times.  Trying to operate safely in a poorly ventilated crowded space, with limited staff and a surprising wave of new customers is challenging.  Some of which had been living in a cave for 6 months.  They are not keen on keeping their masks above their noses or a safe distance.  While some of us have lived and breathed every detail of this virus, it's unfathomable that others are oblivious and are going about business as usual, especially in New York where it struck so hard.  The reality hasn't sunk in, that the world has changed and this is just the tip of the iceberg.  Even if you're just dealing in the immediate, not the big picture, people are not getting that not only have manufacturing plants been shut down, trucks to drive the product and the drivers are also experiencing major setbacks and delays.  People still want immediate convenience.  And they demand it at the expense of the retailer.  Well, we're in a no fault situation and its become like telling multiple people everyday that there is not a Santa Claus or that the Easter Bunny has fallen to his death.  The utter shock in their faces has become a curious fascination for me.  How can they exist in such a bubble to be so unaware of how all of these occurrences changed everything.  You can see their mind wheels spinning.  And yes, New York has been getting back on it's feet for some time but the rest of the country and other countries where supplies come from are still struggling.  And the Butterfly Effects of that many people dying in this city at once has not truly become apparent yet.  We haven't even mourned as a city in the least.  I for one, think it's very unhealthy and disrespectful to ignore or to move on without acknowledging it in some meaningful way.
I helped a lady yesterday.  She came in with an urgency to get her kitchen cabinets delivered ASAP by any means necessary.  After about 30 minutes of her insisting she must get the entire order, I finally intricately drew out the reality we are currently living in, one I could see she had NEVER even considered.  And one that in the end, she would leave without all her order.  Not only that but we had no idea when the missing sizes would be available to her.  No amount of fist pounding or entitlement was going to change those facts.  It was true, she may not get her remodel done this summer, I told her.  And I'm sure if you were very unprepared for glitches, that might shake your world but that moment suddenly became amplified and more profound to me than this silly woman.

I sat across from her with a plexiglass divider between us, double-masked, a retail coworker coming back to work after COVID Plus I'm calling it, frightened of getting it again, fearing I've not seen the worst of it's power.  She, a Manhattan home owner with a second home in Maine (where she thought we could magically drive her kitchen from Brooklyn for free).  She was redoing her summer home kitchen.  She is reliant upon people less fortunate but who've been hit very hard.  Those people who she along with many people in this country has not valued because there would always be someone hungrier to replace them.  So my thoughts went to the positive,  maybe this will prove to be good in some odd way.  Worth might finally be awarded to these jobs done by the lessers, the have nots in our communities after seeing just how much they are relied upon.  Delivery drivers, food service, market and produce workers, nurses, EMS drivers, manufacturing plants, health aides, and all the service industry.  The journey of this one cabinet is important to this good woman, as is each of the people that make it true for her.  But there is currently a disgraceful disconnect and we must not allow these jobs to continue to be devalued, many operating with no health insurance, low pay and impossible availability demands. 
I don't have much tolerance for privilege and this woman's ignorance helped me to see the difference,  But honestly, if you've not been paying attention to what's happened while living in this city then you just might deserve a huge slap of reality to the side of the head, gloved of course!
With P being gone and zapped energy levels, I ran to the store and picked up dinner.  Fresh ravioli, prepared pesto, zucchini, and already grated Parmesan.  A 10-minute meal I am super grateful exists in these handy quick preparations. 

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