Oceans of Opportunity

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$5.03 please

'A New Life in the Sea' by Michael Lombardi

What a day! What a week I should say. While the bubble time has been a bit slow, there’s been no shortage of catch-up to play
with work in the office.

Today consisted of a few meetings, so I was mostly on the road, then in between meetings I had some time so figured it would be worth sitting at Starbucks for an hour to get caught up in my digital universe. So, I head to the counter and order something ‘grande’, albeit not that grand looking from the size of the cup. The kid at the register says “$5.03 please”.

Green logo used from 1987-2010, still being us...
Green logo used from 1987-2010, still being used as a secondary logo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I reach into my wallet and miraculously had a $5 bill, which is rare since I usually avoid paper money.  Anyway, as I had the $5 to the kid, he shoots me a hard look as if to say ‘what about the $.03’. He didn’t need to say it, so I reached in my wallet for another buck, and waited patiently for my 97 cents change. This is all while a coffee cup loaded with change sat there on the counter – a mix of tips, and the ole give a penny/take a penny pool.

The entire exchange lasted less than a minute, but I left aghast. Not only did I just pay more than five bucks for a cup of coffee, but I wasn’t afforded the slide on three cents.

As I sat down near a window and booted up, I looked around to see at least 30 people nose down into their various electronic devices. No one was outside working, no one was verbally communicating, everyone was drugged out on coffee, and no one seemed overly concerned about any of this.

Ten years ago – even five years ago – this was not the norm. Today, it IS the norm, and makes you wonder what is going on in every one’s virtual cyberworld that affords the luxury of five dollar cups of coffee and days upon days spent nose deep into an LCD screen? I don’t have the answer.

What I do know is that while this globalization business is indeed interesting, it makes me wonder how much we, here in the US, can handle while keeping up with a lifestyle that was built upon a lineage of very different work ethics. Our ‘wealth’ came from what we do (or did) here, which is putting people to work in the blue collar kind of way.With population rising in such a big way, the pressure in the job market is huge. Couple with that outsourcing overseas, and the depletion of at home skill sets – to me  it seems that our days sipping five dollar coffees are numbered.

Today was a gray, gray day in this world of blue. Tomorrow we’ll look to new horizons.

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