I want to record the shit I put up with around here. Four times yesterday, I was treated like a criminal:
- At 9:00 AM, I got notice that my dependents will lose their health insurance in 9 days if I don’t document that they are in fact my dependents. The state has launched an audit to hold down costs. Because I might be a cheater out to get health insurance for a bunch of children that don’t deserve it, I have to spend a bunch of time bowing and scraping before the auditor kings and hope they accept my papers. They set up a site where I can upload scanned images of the birth certificates, my marriage certificate, and my tax return. I hope they’ll enjoy looking at the extra images. How much are we paying for this audit?
- At 11:00 AM I got a reminder about harassment training. The state has mandated that every single state employee undergo harassment training. 30,000 people will sit in conference rooms across the state to be told that it is NOT OK to move their fist back in forth in front of their mouths while pressing out against their cheek with their tongues. I don’t need to be told not to slowly circle my lips with my tongue while looking over my cube wall at my co-worker or make suggestive motions with grocery items. If I DID, a two hour meeting would not cure me! I skipped the training. Because I have work to do. I expect dire consequences.
- When I got home after this long day of being bad, I was accused of eating a chocolate Gelato (whatever the THAT is) that someone gave my daughter for her birthday. This is fake drama about living with a male who can’t control his urges.
- Finally, that same evening, the clerk at Target took my $20.00 and held it up to the light. Because I might be trying to pass funny money. I was like, “I’m outta here. Keep your Archer farms Smoked Ham”. How big of a problem is counterfeiting, really? Big enough to train all cashiers to spot bad bills? Big enough to make it worth while to subject all customers to this kind of treatment? Well, if the cost of insulting your customers is zero, then maybe it is worth while. I’d like to raise this cost.
One: Do I get bent when I walk by a bike that is locked up? Isn’t that treating me like I might steal a bike? No. I’m not having a transaction with that bike owner. It also addresses a real problem. I know from personal experience that all unlocked bicycles will be immediately stolen by a supernaturally efficient bike theft underworld.
Two: Don’t all those measures help keep crime at bay and benefit society? I don’t think so. We, as a society, have smashed the living shit out of crime, relatively speaking. New crime prevention measures are reaching the point where cost exceeds benefit. These measures are not going to solve some kind of huge costly problem. Kind of like a runaway train of virtue, well meaning bureaucrats are trying to engineer all slack out of the system and make sure nobody is ever ripped off, injured or even upset. The ultimate effect is to control and harass ordinary citizens to the point where we can’t think of anything else except how not to look suspicious.
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