multitudes of tiny egg men

‘I am large, I contain multitudes’

This line, from Whitman, has been echoing around my brainspace for a couple days now.

My thoughts on it are a bit squirrely at the moment, but let’s see if I can manage to grasp hold of them long enough for a whole post, yeah?

I’m going to start with the most indirectly related ones, since they’re the freshest in my mind, and see if I am able to work my way back from there.

That line came to mind today while I was delivering food.

I have been toggling both the Uber Eats and the Doordash apps, and it gives me a pretty interesting look at the very different way two  corporations operate, within the same niche.

Doordash is much more controlling, in some ways; Uber Eats in others.

I have been thinking of the differences similarly to how I think of parenting styles.

Uber requires occasional photo identity verification checks, and daily photos to prove the drivers are wearing face coverings. The Uber Eats ‘go online’ checklist is about promising not to drive when exhibiting COVID-related symptoms and encourages drivers to sanitize their vehicles/hands regularly.

Doordash, when you go online- requires that you check boxes indicating that your phone is charged, that you have enough gas and the proper supplies on hand.

Doordash sends me incessant messages if it thinks I’m not en route- which happens when I’m following a different route to get to the destination than it thinks I should be.
Uber Eats does not.
Uber Eats allows me to simply and easily decline any order I choose not to accept- Doordash makes me click through several screens first, and pops up a big number with what my acceptance rate will go down to if I still want to decline the order.

Uber Eats reminds me of the kind of parenting that steps in to enforce rules when they are necessary.

Doordash reminds me of the kind of parenting that makes things more complicated and stressful than they need to be, by trying to enforce rules that go into making a driver – a good one.

The people who do their jobs well with these kinds of apps get more tips and get priority in the assignment of deliveries-this should be enough.

All this got me thinking, though, about past jobs that I’ve had.

The difference between the two also feels a lot like the difference (largely, not without exception!) between working for a small business vs a larger corporation.

Good parenting, good teaching- strong leadership- these things all require an element of patience.

Patience requires focus, attention.

The higher the number of people under our care (children, employees, students- the list goes on!), the greater the strain on our attention.

Systems are large. Systems, contain multitudes– whatever kind of system it is. That’s what makes it a system!

So, what does this mean, then – if we think of our own selves as a system?

I was going to write more, but you know what? I am tired of the monologue.

Let’s get some dia- in on this!

What do y’all have to say on this topic??


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I spent three years living on the street in Los Angeles. I came out of that, changed. This is my story.

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