In the age of digital shopping and same-day delivery, America has developed glaring overconsumption habits that cloud our expectations for convenience. Because of the pandemic’s colossal effect on the supply chain and worker shortages, journalist Micheline Maynard suggests we all slow down and reconsider our demands.
“Americans have gotten very used to getting what they want, when they want it, and then move on to the next thing.” —Micheline Maynard, The Washington Post
Listen: Micheline Maynard on America’s unrealistic expectations for convenience.
Micheline Maynard is a columnist for The Washington Post with a focus on Detroit and the Midwest. Her recent column is titled, “Don’t rant about short-staffed stores and supply chain woes.” She says companies had already been under constant pressure to speed things up when the internet exacerbated our demand.
“Americans have gotten very used to getting what they want, when they want it, and then move on to the next thing,” she says .
Maynard says short-staffing and supply chain issues sparked by the pandemic brought these unrealistic expectations to light. “I think we are spoiled. And I don’t blame anybody for wanting to be more efficient, and I don’t blame any of these companies … because people love it … they can get right on with their lives … but people don’t do very well with change.”
Even before the “Great Resignation,” Maynard says workers have been re-examining the work environment for at least a decade. “I’ve worked retail … You encounter a couple of really bad customers in a day and you go home and wonder, is this what I want to do with the rest of my life — or even for the next month?” Maynard suggests Americans be more flexible and ask what speed is really necessary in our lives. “Life may never get back to the speed that we experienced, so what can we personally adjust to get used to that?”