I had some dreams ... they were klowns in my koffee.

(With apologies to Carly Simon)

This is my journey through job transition from a toxic environment to a better life. Join me for a few thoughts and a few laughs along the way.
What are "klowns in my koffee"? They are the factors large and small that make you less than you are. A "klown" can be a grossly incompetent boss,
a short-sighted policy or a moronic coworker. They won't kill you, at least not immediately, but they abrade the soul
as you scrape past them to get through the day. Sometimes it's best to dump them out of the cup.


Day 287 - Not Fair

Daily Kup
There are some days when trying to be funny or delve into the minutia of domestic life simply are not appropriate.

Not Fair
When you have small children, you hear, “That’s not fair” as a constant refrain. “It’s not fair that my brother got a larger bowl of cereal” even if the difference is one Cheerio. It’s not fair to have to go to bed at this time or have to do homework now or to have chores when a pampered friend wallows in TV and video games.

It’s not fair when good people lose their jobs to sycophants and posers or when children are warehoused in a society too poor or troubled to care for them adequately.

And it’s certainly not fair when some nutjob shoots blameless children or the elderly or public officials.

None of these things are fair and they offend us because we are all grown-up small children who have a good sense of what justice is and what it isn’t.

It’s a common response to say, “Life’s not fair, kid” and end the conversation.

I believe that we do a disservice to ourselves and to others — particularly to children — when we state a shallow version of the obvious and shrug. Yep, the outcomes are often not what we want and don’t match the inputs. Harold Kushner famously wondered Why Bad Things Happen to Good People and found comfort in knowing that we can't know.

Some bad, or good, outcomes are just probability. Wrong place, wrong time. She missed the plane and it crashed. My kids made me two minutes late and the car that sped through the red light hit someone else.

My good friend left work on August 1, 2007, and drove home over the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis. A few minutes later, she heard many sirens and wondered what had happened. The bridge collapsed a few minutes after she had crossed, killing 13 people and injuring 145. The cause was later determined to be a perfect storm of original design defect plus contributing factors. One part shoddy work and two parts probability.

When we shrug away the vagaries of life’s unfairness, we miss the opportunity to tell children two things: First, that the cosmic coin flips and the results, both positive and negative, are random, largely incomprehensible and beyond our control. Second and most importantly, even when the world seems unfair, WE CAN BE FAIR in our dealings with others and in the quality of work that we do. Our efforts and the way we chose to live our lives are separate from any fluke of fate. "Life" may be unfair, but that doesn’t mean that we have to aid and abet.

On one level, it’s almost comforting to know that the Tucson perpetrator was a complete whackadoodle whose dysfunction was obvious to everyone in his orbit. It’s less personally threatening than the seemingly normal people, like those who surround us and our families, who suddenly commit incomprehensible acts.

On another level, why does a guy voted by his college as Most Likely to Fire into a Crowd continue wandering around? That’s not probability; that sounds like a failure of some people in a system to do the right thing.

That’s what’s really not fair.

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