On a Scale of 1-10

I was talking – or messaging as many conversations are had these days – with a friend who was asking for help in how to interpret that persnickety of all insults, an office slight. She told me about the incident and then listed all the reasons it made her furious.

WR - Dinner Theatre (MB)
WR – Dinner Theatre (MB) (Photo credit: vastateparksstaff)

Her reaction triggered an image of myself a few years ago, dealing with difficult people in a confined setting: the strident, self-righteous indignant tones were so familiar.

“Think of murder as the number 10 on a scale of 1 to 10,” I said. “Where does this rank?”

“Four,” she typed back.

“Four?” I asked.  Four was nearly halfway to murder. She explained the symbolic nature of the offending action and all the reasons her reaction was justified.

Our interaction reminded me of a talk I had in the first year I moved overseas.

“What is the worst thing that could happen?” Someone asked me in the middle of a rant about workplace antics.

“The worst thing?” I looked at her blankly.

“Yes, the worst.”

“Like losing being homeless?”

“No, the worst thing ever.”

“For everyone?” I had to think for a minute. “Nuclear annihilation?”

She had me describe it in detail. The flesh bubbling, then peeling off, having to live underground, the sudden scarcity of humanity.

“That’s your 10,” she said with a pat on my knee. “And compared to that, what’s this?”

In the 7 years or so since that conversation I have come a long way. The incident my friend was reporting was about a 2. But then again, it didn’t happen to me.

What’s your 10?




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Wordless Wednesday: Where You When the Building Started Moving?

Yesterday there were several earthquakes in Iran. Across the Arabian Gulf in Qatar at 3pm Doha time people felt the some of the aftershocks. Nothing like what they had in Iran, with over 80 deaths, 800 plus injuries, and many, many more after affects.

But our buildings in the business district were evacuated all the same. The mood in the elevators, parking garage, and on the street was somber. Here’s what I was looking at while the tremors were reverberating through our floor and the city.

What does it take for you to remember that well mapped ways of our days is an illusion of control? For me it took a 40+ story building shaking without my noticing.
42nd floor

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