I abide by the rules and appreciate the services and the providers
Hanging out at my apartment complex

has become a “bad” word. Allow me to elaborate.

My psych-girl has pointed out to me that I’m transactional. In addition, Maggie Haberman, in her recently released book, Confidence Man (2022); Haberman uses the word time and again to describe Donald Trump in a disparaging way.

Here’s my question?

Regarding transactions and gifts, etc. and all.

It’s coming on Christmas. I’d love to give bottles of tequila and whiskey to the maintenance staff at my apartment complex. They are terrific! (That wasn’t always the case.)

There are 320 apartments in this complex. It is a lot of work to attend to all the needs and wants of the residents. I appreciate the staff. And I want them to know that! And, I want them to know I appreciate their prompt response and competence.

So is that a “transaction”?

Yeah, if I have a problem with Some Thing, I want it attended to promptly. [Recently my smoke alarm started chirping.] However, said staff takes direction via order of complaint and emergency status. I want priority.

So if I gift them my appreciation anonymously is that BEST?

What about me?

Just asking

What do you think?

Who comes first? He/she/them who pays and appreciates? Or just anyone? Who happens to inhabit the space?

10 thoughts on “Transactional

  1. Transactional is value neutral. Transactions are the very basis of “the social contract” we all have with each other. Scratch my back, etc. There’s nothing wrong with showing appreciation or with letting people know who appreciates their efforts or presence in your life. The only time I’d act anonymously is if I thought my gift might embarrass someone.
    The thing about Trump is that he was transactional with everyone — nothing was gratuitous or from the heart. He would disdain such a notion. Worse, he transacted in bad faith, frequently not holding up his end of the deal.

    1. Hmm … thank you for that. I’m still thinking on it. I’m going for my daily walk, and will think still more. It was just a passing thought I’d had so I decided to write it down and ask. Now, I’ve had a bazillion more.
      So, more to come.

  2. “the social contract”, I think, has become myth. It used to be a real thing, back when we (humans) were actually tribal. Everyone knew (could see and speak and touch) everyone else. And there was a division of labor where everyone did the job they were best at. There was a hierarchy; with a king, or chief, or small group of elders – tasked with enforcement. The first contract was mother and child; both dependent upon the father for protection. And he to the chief and the army of warriors (all men of fighting age. 14-55?). If the contract was broken there was a price to pay – banishment or death. I wrote of this somewhat – here:
    Now – everything is for sale to the highest bidder and the market is worldwide. Lying, stealing, and cheating are rampart. What is something worth? Take the recent sale (NFT) of Trump trading cards. 45,000 printed and sold out in a day at $99 each. And contrary to what the media/press is saying – it wasn’t a Trump scheme. He might receive a small percentage for using his image and name.
    The “thought” leaders billed THAT as Trump’s big announcement; but it wasn’t. His “big announcement” was a video policy speech (7 minutes), putting forth his proposal for fixing (protecting) the 1st, 4th, 5th, and 10th amendments. If he should become president (chief) again. That was nowhere to be found. “They” lied.
    Wordpress is that back-scratching thing you spoke of. Bloggers “like” your post and WordPress suggests you check out their blog. Most everyone is selling something. You’re not. You just put out interesting ideas and thoughts – for free. The only cost is time. And as you know – most aren’t interested in what YOU (or I) think.
    I’m listening to Joni Mitchell’s COURT AND SPARK (1974) “Free Man in Paris”. What’s changed? the marketplace and technology; but still “everyone’s in it for their own gain”. More true than ever.
    I could write a book. Oh wait, I have. And they are for sale! Now back to reading Haberman’s book of lies , hearsay, and distortions.

    1. Drat, another reply I missed. I meant a milder personal version of “the social contract”, not the political theory version involving governance. We’re involved with little social transactions every time we interact with another human being. Things like politeness and courtesy are part of the social contract I had in mind. So is tipping your waitron or taking care of maintenance people (who are all so very important but often disregarded).

      Every Christmas, I leave one of those little bags of Lindor chocolate truffles in my mail slot for the mail carrier, and I’ve never even met him! (Seen him and waved as I passed, but never actually met.)

      The overall point being that “transactions” (in good faith) with other humans is the norm.

      1. Ah yes. “common curtesy” it was called. But something has changed. The SJW movement. And ENTITLEMENT. Achievement (competent, best, etc.) has turned into “bad”, too.
        Is a waitron entitled to 20% even if the service is lousy? I agree, I wish we could back.
        I think there have always been “liars, thieves, and cheaters”; but now it seems “common decency” is just a word with no meat on the bone.
        We here at my complex were instructed to NOT hold the door open for others because they might be … criminals? It sucks.

      2. Yep. As I’m sure I’ve said before, I think it traces back to the social deconstruction that began in the 1960s with Watergate and Vietnam. We tore down all the old institutions but built nothing in their place except market value and ROI.

        There was also how the hippie culture of the 60s/70s morphed into the “ME!-ME!-ME!” culture of the 80s/90s. Most of them went from the teepee to the BMW.

        Even our entertainment tends to stress selfish and narcissistic behaviors. We’ve sunk in on ourselves. I really do wonder if humanity has “topped out” and now suffers from a kind of despair. There’s been a strange mood in the air the last two years.

  3. I was told by several nurses during my stay in the hospital that they enjoyed coming to my room. I always had music playing and would talk to them about their families and backgrounds. Evidently, this was unusual, and though I know, as professionals, they always respond to anyone who calls, I got the impression that they were dropping in on their own from time to time perhaps because I made it a point to let them know I appreciated what they were doing for me. From the way they responded, it was clear this was not always the case. So yes, tequila and candy for all!

    1. I think your situation, brother, was more akin to George Shaw’s play (1906) ‘TheDoctor’s Dilemma.’ Wherein the Dr. must choose who to care for and who to let die. And the doctor chooses…?
      Well, it’s a great work.
      Relevant still today.
      But yeah, whiskey for all.!
      I wish it was that simple.
      Thanks for checking in.

  4. Yes I agree. “There’s been a strange mood in the air the last two years.” And I don’t disagree with all of what you say here. But I think it’s even more complex – it’s layer upon layer. Human nature (our emotional and psychological “tools”) remain the same; as do the basic problems. E.O. Wilson said before he died: Humans have stone-age emotions, medieval institutions, and god-like technology. True. And a big problem.
    Psych-girl & I had a great session last, centered around “the social contract”. Thanks. 🙂

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