When did we become such a litigation nation?

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My trips to the Post Office are more frequent in the summer months. Most of my time spent in that small building revolves around sending back items guests have left behind at the lodge and yesterday was no exception. Usually, my visits are perfunctory and painless but yesterday I walked in and witnessed the exchange between the Post Master and a cottager determined to have a post office box to receive her summer packages.

I live in a small town and the number of mailboxes we have available is very limited. As our Post Master attempted to explain the boxes are reserved for year-round residents, the cottager was clearly becoming more agitated. She was told by the Post Master she could have her packages mailed to general delivery and, as long as she picked the parcels up within two weeks of their delivery date, the post office would be able to accept and hold them. This resolution was not well-received.

I could feel my eyes rolling but thankfully the woman in question had her back to me and could not see my look of disdain. She was offered an easy fix but would not accept that solution as one that would satisfy her delivery requirements. Her histrionic behavior then turned from a one-on-one discussion to the threat of getting her lawyer involved.

I’m not sure which part of the situation was more disturbing – the fact that a feasible solution was rejected by her or the fact that she was so quick to present the threat of seeking legal representation for something she was unwilling to easily attain. She was offered a free service to have her online orders delivered to the same building in which she was standing and yet she was willing to pay a ridiculous hourly wage to a well-educated lawyer who would garner the same result.

The life I remember as a child is unrecognizable. We used to be able to solve differences without the threat of litigation, but that life has changed. I can only hope this woman has gone home to her summer residence and realized what a mountain she created from a simple molehill.

 

 

If you can’t handle Amber, you’re not ready for RED!

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This post may be more of a rant than anything else and, for that, I apologize. In the wee hours of Thursday morning, my phone blasted with the warning sound of an Amber alert shortly after 3:00 a.m. I struggled to find my reading glasses to see where the story was coming from and read the details of the alert. The alleged abduction was not anywhere close to me so I settled in to drift back into sleep. The alert went off one more time and I wished for nothing more than the safe recovery for the two children who were reported missing.

Fast forward to the next morning on social media. Once again, a shameless number of people were complaining about having their sleep interrupted by the crass sound of the amber alert through their phones while they were snuggled comfortably in their beds. Countless other idiots actually called 9-11 to complain about their precious sleep being hindered by the obtrusive tone of the alert that two young children were missing.

I continue to struggle with the audacity of people when responding to Amber alerts. This siren, this loud cry in the middle of the night, is hoping to find one person in a sea of tens-of-thousands of people who may be able to bring these children back to a safe haven, one person who may have a clue as to what happened, one person who may be the key to finding the children who have been taken against their will. Why is this a difficult concept and why are people so obtuse?

I really don’t care if your sleep is interrupted. I abhor the fact that selfish and self-absorbed people feel it necessary to complain about Amber alerts on social media and I have already unfriended those who have done this. I cannot even fathom calling 9-11 to complain about my life being interrupted by an Amber alert and can only hope, one day, this type of asinine behavior is mitigated by a hefty fine for those who feel their sleep is more important than the life of a missing loved-one.

I’m not sure when they started knocking, but they’re back

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The voices in my head, those distant sounds of characters waiting to develop themselves, have returned. They had been quelled by the busy season at work but they have since insinuated themselves back into my daily life and to say I have missed them would be a gross understatement.

Summer is my busiest time and there have not been many days through any period of June through September I have been able to harness that creativity. I got home from work after a busy Saturday changeover and there they were, ready to speak, and I was ready to listen. God, how I have missed this feeling. I have longed for those voices to speak loudly enough that I could not ignore their persistence. And now here they are, summoning me to join them on the journey they want me to document for them as I write my second book.

And, as much as I love them, my fear of them is what makes this journey so invigorating. They are bold, they have depth and sometimes they scare me. But they are speaking for themselves, willing me to open myself enough to understand their passion and apprehension and have me follow them on their pilgrimage.

This is writing. This is giving in to a force bigger than yourself and allowing the voices to tell you what they want to say. It is not creating a story, it is listening to their story and telling it, for them, in the best way you can.