These days, most of us spend an inordinary amount of time on the phone talking to a recording. Sometimes the recording is useful, but often it is not, just contributing to a mounting frustration. We tend to blame the company we are calling, the government, COVID, and probably the Easter Bunny. What we perceive as the lack of resolution of the current health crisis doesn't help...But things can be a LOT worse than what we go through in this country.
Did you know that in Argentina the few (Russian) COVID vaccines the country got were earmarked for government officials and their cronies? No list of priorities was ever developed, and the vaccines went to political supporters of the governing party. My parents, ages 92 and 94, do not yet qualify for a vaccine!. People took to the street in mass anti government demonstrations over the nepotistic distribution, and many of those participating were jailed for "breaking the quarantine"!
In Israel, while everybody over 18 is now qualified to be vaccinated, the government is hesitating about enforcing the rules of social distancing in the Ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) community. As a result, while many in that community have chosen to be vaccinated, many still refuse based on their Rabbis' advice - and still get together in large numbers at the funerals of sages who died of COVID because they did not take the vaccine (???!!!)
Palestinians apparently took a page from the Argentinean government and they are also distributing the vaccines based on political allegiance, while blasting Israel for not vaccinating the rest of their population. Israel is, indeed, vaccinating Palestinians that work in Israel (it only makes sense) - but the Palestinian Authority is accusing Israel of "Ethnic Cleansing" for not vaccinating the rank and file of the Palestinian population. Keep in mind that the PA had been in charge of Health Services for Palestinians since 1996.
This is just one element that contributes to our frustrations. How about Banks? These days you have to generally deal with them on the phone - many times being given the merry-go-round of the automated systems. While this is frustrating, the situation reminds me of my grandfather...
My grandfather was a great fan of Yiddish record (the old, vynil, ones), especially the ones recorded by Jewish comedians. In one such record (don't ask me to remember the name of the comedian... I am not THAT good), the spiel started by a person calling on the phone and getting an answering machine (that was the bane in the olden days). "Hello, this is Mister Simon - I want to speak with Chapin"; which of course was responded by the answering machine "We are not here to take your call - leave a message at the beep. Thank you"; to what Mr Simon responded "Your Welcome" and then repeated "Hello, this is..." and so it went three or four times; each time Mr Simon spoke louder because his frustration was mounting... finally, when he hears again "leave a message at the beep", he yells "THANK YOU", and of course the answering machine answers "Your welcome".
Modern life is not short of reason to get frustrated - more these COVID Days than before. But remember, that with all the warts, we live in a society that functions and whose leaders do care for the citizens (if nothing else because they want to be reelected). Next time you feel frustrated, don't yell - Celebrate it!! You're living in America!!
STAY SAFE - STAY HEALTHY - STAY CONNECTED