Recession: #FAIL

18 Jan

I doubt I need to remind anyone that we’re in the throes of a recession. There are reminders everywhere you turn.

In my office, we used to celebrate birthdays or anniversaries with lunch for the team and a birthday cake from the German deli downstairs. This year, we buy one cupcake for the honoree and the rest of us circle like pack dogs, drooling enviously. Sometimes I go all-out and dedicate my Facebook Status to the person for the day because – hey, I’m generous like that!

I remember a day when I received bank statements by mail, in envelopes, printed on paper. Earlier this year, however, my bank requested my email address, informing me it was going paperless and would be delivering all statements electronically henceforth. And of course, if I *wanted* to receive my statement via snail mail I would be charged a monthly convenience fee. (If this were simply a green initiative, I’d be wholly supportive. But I *think* it has more to do with the cost of paper and postage than the environment.)

For friends who are in sales: once upon a time, I bet you schmoozed your clients. You probably took them to sporting events, treated them to nice dinners and plied them with gifts around the holidays. Sound familiar? Well, tell me what you did in 2009? I’m guessing that – if you were like many corporations – you took a page from George Costanza’s book and made contributions to various causes in your clients’ names, then sent them a card telling them about your noble gesture. Am I warm?

The point is: we’ve scaled back – and not just personally, but professionally. I’m fine with American citizens and American corporations adopting a more conservative approach to finances. In fact, we probably should’ve done that before our economy collapsed.

However, there is a difference between conservative and moronic.

I’m on a plane as I write this, and I’ve encountered what I think is a new low. I just went to the bathroom and someone had stuck a paper towel over the soap dispenser with the words, “Use SaniWipes,” scratched on it with a ballpoint, accompanied by an arrow pointing to the sink.

In the sink I found a pile of individually wrapped Wet Wipes.

Please tell me there’s a problem with the plumbing. Because really – if this recession is so bad that water is the next line item to get slashed – then it might be time for someone to start handing out the cyanide caplets.

Or wait – asking a germy cabin full of people to use the bathroom without providing soap and water is pretty much doing the same thing. Nevermind.

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