i got standards

At the very start of our aforementioned vacation, we picked up a rental car. It was filthy. Vacuumed, yes, but all of the non-floors were gross. I think there were melted crayons in one cup holder, and spills of mysterious origin in the crevices of the seats.

I mentioned that the car wasn’t clean to the rental desk attendant and he said he’d like to see it for himself. He stuck his nose in and said “oh, this is clean.”

The car hadn’t been detailed in a while. Now, I’m starting to think that I’m the sole person on the planet who has expectations of cleanliness or hospitality. (See previous blog.)

Clearly I have different standards of cleanliness? Hospitality?

We drove home, a six pack of toilet paper my favorite souvenir, the mini van not any cleaner than it was when we left home the week previous. This has made me consider, are my expectations too high? Is a salt and pepper shaker in a condo rental with a full kitchen that much to ask? Should I reduce my standards so that I can comfortably sit in someone else’s spills for 14 hours?

I’ve read that in order to find peace, one ought to reduce expectations. Am I being gaslit? I say no, mother truckers, try and keep up. I recognize that quality seems to be something slipping by the wayside. “Good help is hard to find.” But wow, do I appreciate it when I find it.

I can’t possibly be the only human left in America with standards. Surely there are others who are equally revolted with a restaurant server wipes the sweat from their brow with their fingertips before then taking the stem of a glass to hand it to a patron?

Surely I’m not alone in expecting that a company would want their brand represented with cleanliness and attention to detail? Did the pandemic ruin us? Are there really a legion of humans who were good at their jobs just hiding out now, refusing to work?

Or is this debate about a live-able wage crippling our service industry? Is the demand for appropriate, adjusted pay really going to leave us in a deficit of standards? Or is this something else all together?

Whatever it is, it kind of stinks. Like a sticky, uncleaned rental minivan.

I love words. Words swirl and dance around in my head. I have many deep thoughts. Some thoughts plague me. In order to release them, I have to assign the words. Once the words are strung together, I feel free again.

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