Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wednesday Wanderings

It's the little things.

I've had a lot of entertaining conversations at work lately about products we use.  We recently switched to new disposable gloves.  The new ones are disturbingly like medical gloves, actually:  it's exactly that color.  But they are so much easier to get on (especially if your fingers are even the slightest bit wet) and sturdier.  My old boss loves 'em, new boss immediately complimented them ...

... and then a captain from another location came in and recoiled.  "These are terrible!  Where are the old gloves?"

This isn't the only bone of contention.  I can't stand the thin towels used at other locations; they hardly soak up any moisture, but they also don't leave any fabric threads.  My new boss doesn't understand I love the wider roll of plastic wrap; it takes up too much space on the counter, but it makes it so much easier to securely wrap certain things.  (Me and plastic wrap have always had a contentious relationship.  I'm sure people who don't know me watch me struggling and wonder, wait, how long has this chick been in food service? but it's just a quirk of mine.)

Tiny acts of compromise every day, hardly noticed, hardly commented upon.  Minute quirks and preferences that add up to a person.  We can't agree on the little things, so why do we expect to agree on the big things?

In editing Scylla and Charybdis, I've been thinking a lot about the little things.  The novel centers on a drastic change, from one isolated space station to an entire, boisterous universe, and the big things are important, consuming ... but it's the little things that we focus on, that bring the changes into sharp focus.  So now I'm trying to mine those and reset them in a science fiction context, see the most mundane aspects of the unfamiliar.

Sometimes, it's no more grand than plastic gloves.

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