First Things First (the cult of slack)

As related in my last post, it looks like we have a place to build our boat. I saw the place last Sunday, and emailed the specifics to my insurance broker on Monday, she sent the info along to the underwriter, and by Tuesday we had a quote and about 12 pages of endorsements.

Mostly the endorsements are in something resembling plain English, something that I can decipher myself. But she wanted to go over them and make sure there wasn’t anything in them that might leave me in the lurch if we had a mishap.

Then life intervened.

My broker had to take an elderly relative for some fairly serious medical tests. “I’m so sorry,” she emailed, “I’ll get on this first thing this afternoon. And the day came and went and no news until the next day. More apologies from her for the delay.

This is something I kind of hate about this world that we’ve made for ourselves. My broker is apologizing to me for taking care of her family in a time of need. Apologizing that it might take a few days to finalize the quote; something that would have taken no less than a week not too long ago.

Something is wrong with that.

Fortunately for both of us, I’m a big believer in slack. We’re weeks away from crunch time. Another day or two two (or three or four) for my agent to do what she needs to for her family isn’t going to make a difference to us, and it’s going to make big difference to her and her family.

This feeling of being torn between our families and our jobs is a pervasive feature of modern life, a feature that, for all the abundance and convenience we enjoy, makes us poorer. I don’t know what to do about it, except create slack where I can; for myself, for my loved one, for my guests, and for the people with whom I do business.

If I sound self-congradulatory, I don’t mean to. I’m just thinking aloud about how we live, what we take for granted, and what’s really important.