Saturday, November 12, 2022

Postscript and a Parting Shot


About yesterday. I’m grateful to those who offered thoughtful comments about the piece I had written and were willing to engage in dialogue about the issues it raised. A few others showed up with arguments and accusations which were only tangentially related to the topic at hand. That’s not a crime. But I’m not going to provide people with an unlimited platform to make unrelated accusations. 

I was once waiting to be treated at the ER at Yale New Haven on Memorial Day weekend. Suddenly all hell broke loose. It seems that some injured victims from a drunken brawl at a holiday picnic had been brought in as a group and had restarted the fight as soon as they arrived at the emergency room.

That’s pretty much what the comments section looked like by the end of the day. I didn’t want to, but I turned off commenting for that post. My reasoning is this: while I am willing to facilitate conversation that includes disagreement and multiple points of view, I am not obligated to host a brawl that will make a local situation worse by simply riling people up and muddying the waters. 

Ironically, that’s exactly my issue with the Fishbowl piece.


I missed out on having a Free Form Friday yesterday. I’m not sure anyone noticed, but I have a few odds and ends lying around here anyway.

On Thursday I had to call AAA because my car battery was dead. Again. They’d already come out Sunday, assured my husband I didn’t need a new battery, zapped it and told us to keep it running for 45 minutes to charge it. We did.

Next day? Dead car.

As helpful as AAA has been over the years I always feel awkward dealing with the guy who comes out and does the work, because I’m not a car person. No matter how friendly they are I stand there feeling ignorant and afraid I’m being judged: a dumb woman who doesn’t know the first thing about cars. This holds true with encounters with auto mechanics as well.

My mind was blown when the roadside assistance technician showed up and it was a woman. Alison (not her real name) listened to me explain what happened, asked me a few follow-up questions, and suggested I probably needed a new battery. She gave me room to ask more questions if I needed to. She gave me room to make my own decision. 

Frankly I could write an entire blog post about what happened Thursday. But it occurred to me that it might be a violation of Alison’s privacy. So I won’t. But when I fill out my post-service survey for AAA, I’m going to suggest they hire more women in roadside assistance.

Parting shot: I ended up needing to go to Glen Burnie yesterday for a doctor’s appointment. It is not my neck of the woods and I was driving around afterwards looking for a place to grab a late lunch. I ended up at WaWa. I haven’t been to a WaWa since I lived in New Haven back in the last century. Recently I’ve seen people rave about them online.I wondered what the big deal was.

For this particular WaWa in Glen Burnie, it was customer service. It was the Minimart You Will Find in Heaven. (The sub was pretty tasty, too.)  It underscored to me how awful my recent visits to Royal Farms in Columbia/HoCo have been. More like A Taste of Eternal Damnation.

I told the clerk I didn’t think we had any WaWa’s where I lived and how much I liked her store. “Everyone was so helpful. It really makes a difference.”

She smiled as she rang up my order. “We hire nice people,” she said.

Could it be as simple as that?

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