For the next week I am a client support representative for a software company. After that, hopefully, I’ll be an intern with the same company working on employee and client development procedures. I’m enrolled in a Master’s program in psychology with emphasis in industrial/organizational psychology. The internship will be a sandbox of sorts for me during my final classes. If the internship transition doesn’t work out, I’ll just sit on the back porch and play the spoons every day.
With that introduction, here’s the point of this post: I was on a support call with a client and I had a vision of how interconnected we all are. The client is a financial institution in the Midwest U.S. Their server was frozen so some of the programs they license from us weren’t working. There I was on the phone with my client, who asked me how long it would take, while she had a client of her own waiting for a service. She told her client that the technician she was working with said it would be about five minutes. It was then that I had one of those movie moments where I imagined I could see through the phone line across a few states to the client, out their phone into the lobby to where the second client was standing and waiting.
Now, I don’t know what the sub client was waiting for, but perhaps they had someone else waiting on them. It is possible that the sub client will go to their client and say “Sorry about the delay, there was a technician working on the server at the financial institution who said it’d be about five minutes…it was seven minutes.” It ended up being resolved in less than five minutes, that last part was a joke. Here we have a chain of events, or a chain of people’s actions that are geographically distant, but functionally close, dependent, even.
I realize that all people somehow interact with each other through separated degrees of contact. One of the most obvious ways is through food. I don’t grow, harvest, or slaughter the food I eat, someone else does, and there are a lot of people in between. It just isn’t something I think about regularly. For whatever reason this thought hit me today and it makes me think about how we operate in societies and cultures. If we do depend on each other, even remotely, then why don’t we behave more cooperatively? Rather than seeking to “do one better” than everyone else, why not work together?
What do you think? Is a cooperative world out of reach? Is “every man for himself” the best we can do?