Showing posts from June, 2017


Instead of a traditional greeting, the teller at the bank welcomed me by saying in a rather curt tone: “Don’t you want to bank on your own terms?” “I don’t follow,” I replied. “Well, don’t you have an ATM card? You can make this deposit at the ATM. Do you have the mobile app? You can make this deposit at home. Don’t you want to bank on your own terms?” I said, “I suppose this is me banking on my own terms. I like going to the bank. It’s a part of my routine. It keeps me disciplined. Besides,” I threw in for good measure, “I tried your app and it doesn’t work.”   Zing . Unimpressed, she replied, “What if it snows? What if you don’t want to drive? What if you don’t have the time? Don’t you want the freedom to do everything on your own terms?” I said, “I guess not.”   This rather mundane interaction left me with a bad feeling. On the one hand, I couldn’t figure out why a teller was trying to work her way out of a job. On the other hand, I felt conflicted about

Seething and Sunburned

When I arrived at work on Tuesday, I found the grass at church unacceptably long. In the front of church it was bad. In the back of church it was terrible. Our lawn was over a foot high. The grass had gone to seed. And because we pay people to cut it, I was annoyed. No, actually, I was angry. And so, I grabbed my phone and called our landscape crew. When they didn't answer, I sent a text:  I need you to cut the grass. Get to St. John ASAP. When you arrive, find me. I’ll be the guy on the tractor doing your job.  After launching my text missile, I patted myself on the back, hopped on the John Deere and started mowing. As I mowed, I seethed.  I’ll show them , I thought to myself. And like a self-made martyr I carried out my task hoping my sacrifice would bring guilt-inspired change.  I hope they feel terrible that I’m out here doing this!  I expected relief to come in about an hour.  They’ll get my text and rush over , I said. They didn’t. In fact, help didn’t arrive unt