Dependability is Job One

I’ve always thought of myself as a very dependable person and have prided myself on it throughout my working career. Recent circumstance, retirement, long time friendships, and the corona virus pandemic have brought me to the realization that no one is dependable. You can’t count on one fucking person to follow through on any commitment on a consistent basis. I know that seems harsh, but it is reality and I have multitudinous examples to support my viewpoint. I shall hereby and gladly enumerate them for the world at large.

Contractors are the worst offenders. Just try to get one of these douche wads to show up or call you back when you have a valid job offer for them. Examples abound, so I’ll give you one. I calls up this dude to remove some trees from my yard. “Sure, I’ll be there on Thursday to give you an estimate.”, he proclaims. Never shows up and no call back. Maybe he lost my number or couldn’t find the address, I innocently conclude. So I call him again and again. Eventually he answers and commits to a different time. Showing up late, he gives me an estimate and a date to start the job. He did show up eventually, but not on the day when I was there waiting. He removed the trees, left a big mess, and never sent a bill or collected for the work that he did. Now, I can’t really bitch, because he did the job for free. I suppose I should have called him back and say “Hey, you forgot to ask for your pay”, but I concluded that I had suffered sufficiently. In my opinion, unreliability and incompetence should remove you from the contractor pool by simple Darwinian selection.

Now I must move on to unreliable “friends”. We’ll use the names of “Mike”, “Bob”, and “Pete” just for the sake of discussion. These three nitwits repeatedly commit to outings, camping trips, lunch dates, fishing, hiking, biking, drinking, smoking, and gambling expeditions only to either cancel at the last minute or decide that there is some other activity that is more engaging. Now that would all be fine, if I had not rearranged my schedule to fit with their busy schedule, but noooooooo, apparently that is not a big deal. How the fuck did these dudes ever make it to their job on time? Even worse is showing up for every single prearranged meeting late, sometimes by an hour or so. Apparently their time is waaay more important than my time.

Yet another particularly aggravating example of inconsiderate unreliability is when I played in a band with one of the aforementioned nitwits. I’d show up for a paying gig maybe an hour before we were scheduled to start. The dude that owned the PA system would show up 10 minutes before the gig. He’d then rush around trying to set up thirty four tons of musical shit in 10 minutes and then spend about 30 minutes tuning his guitar. “Pling pling, bing bang, bong bong” through a loud amplifier whilst the audience sat there with mouth agape wondering what the fuck was going on. Makes you wonder why that band never made it, huh?

So why is unreliability such a plague upon all of humanity? One would think that the opposite would be true. Being dependable, you get hired again, promoted, and are trusted by all of your acquaintances. One would think that all of humanity would strive to be dependable, and yet sadly in my experience, they never are.

I’d like to say at this point that unreliability will probably lead to the demise of the human race. Even the tragically unreliable get pissed off at the unreliability of others. I can state without fear of contradiction, that every person on this planet has been fucked with by at least one unreliable individual. Why why why could Darwinian selection have allowed the unreliability gene to propagate so thoroughly into the human genome? I’ll take a crack at it here.

As with all behaviors, unreliability leads to self preservation. Humanity has found that by being unreliable we live longer and lower the probability of dying a horrible death. What’s the worst thing that can happen by being unreliable? You might not get rehired, but you might also not end up in a wood chipper, or fall off a cliff, or drown in a lake when you don’t show up at the appointed hour. It may be that the unreliable of the world have accidentally discovered the key to a long life. Sure, maybe they don’t get that promotion into a stress filled job, but they live longer and are allowed to propagate the unreliable gene into the species.

I do wonder how an unreliable can show up at the chapel on time. Perhaps that’s an explanation for the decline of marriage as an avenue for the propagation of species.