Catherine Mortensen / October 26, 2021

Biden’s America: Lowered Expectations

We are living in Biden’s America, and in it, nothing works as expected.

I recently dropped into a national chain’s diagnostic lab near my office in Northern Virginia for some routine lab work. (As a Type I diabetic, I get blood drawn several times each year.) What in the past would have taken 10-15 minutes turned into a nearly three-hour ordeal.

In the past, the clinic was staffed by someone in the lobby who checked you in. Now there is just a computer in the lobby on which clients are supposed to check in. After checking in, I waited about an hour before a technician informed me that as a walk-in client, my wait could be two hours or longer (she couldn’t give me a definite time). She explained that because of COVID, clients need to make an appointment online.

Without getting overly detailed, the blood work I needed had to be done that day. I couldn’t come back another day. A woman next to me in the lobby suggested I go check out another clinic a few miles away. I hopped in my car and drove there, only to discover that location was closed. An employee next door told me the clinic closed due to lack of staff. I can’t say for certain, but my guess is the clinic couldn’t find enough workers because of COVID.

At this point, nearly two hours had gone by and I had blown an important work deadline. I still hadn’t eaten anything because the lab work needed to be done while fasting. I was losing my mind. Recognizing that this was just a small inconvenience that didn’t warrant my outrage, I tried to calm down. I called my boss and explained what was wrong and why I wasn’t at work yet. I candidly told him I was on the verge of a breakdown over the situation. He shared that others close to him had similarly experienced what he called “COVID meltdowns” recently and that it was a “thing.”

I think these COVID meltdowns are the manifestations of 18 months of nothing working right, of everything being just a little off. And now with rising inflation and growing supply chain problems, it seems life won’t be going back to normal anytime soon.

The Left is now telling America to “lower your expectations.” It wants all this mediocrity to become the norm.

The Washington Post just ran this headline: “Don’t rant about short-staffed stores and supply chain woes.” In the piece, the columnist states, “Rather than living constantly on the verge of throwing a fit … we’d do ourselves a favor by consciously lowering expectations.”

Excerpt from the Post guest column:

Across the country, Americans’ expectations of speedy service and easy access to consumer products have been crushed like a Styrofoam container in a trash compactor. Time for some new, more realistic expectations.

Fast food is less fast. A huge flotilla of container ships is stuck offshore in California, waiting to unload. Shelves normally stocked with Halloween candy this time of year are empty, as I saw the other day at a Target here in Ann Arbor, Mich.

American consumers, their expectations pampered and catered to for decades, are not accustomed to inconvenience.

Rather than living constantly on the verge of throwing a fit, and risking taking it out on overwhelmed servers, struggling shop owners or late-arriving delivery people, we’d do ourselves a favor by consciously lowering expectations.

Last week, when White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked about the growing supply chain problems, she mocked the reporter’s question.

Reporter: Just a question on the timing on the supply chain issue, actions that the president has taken. It was clear in March 2020 when COVID hit that … supply chains across the world had been disrupted, even as the sort of work to fight back against COVID proceeded people. It was crystal clear that things were not improving on supply chain. People couldn’t get dishwashers and furniture and treadmills delivered on time, not to mention all sorts of other things.

Jen Psaki: The tragedy of the treadmill that’s delayed.

Reporter: But the serious point is, why didn’t the president act sooner in a more aggressive way?

In my mini-crisis, I ended up calling my doctor’s office on the verge of tears and they said I could get my blood drawn in their lab, but they made clear they were making an exception, and I had to get there in 20 minutes.

Under normal conditions, I would not have reacted the way I did. But we are not living in normal times. We are living in Biden’s America, and in it, nothing works as expected. And I refuse to lower my expectations.

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