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Archive for September 8, 2011

Sept. 8, 2011 — A matter of effort

Today’s Game of the Day
Fort Collins (Colo.) at Greenwood Village Cherry Creek (Colo.)
This early-season match between the Fort Collins co-op team (a collection of players from four Poudre, Colo. high schools and a few nearby schools) and perennial power Cherry Creek is going to be an indication of how high the Fire can set its expectations. Fort Collins made the state tournament last year and would like to at least match the feat this fall.

effort (n.) \ˈe-fərt, -ˌfȯrt\
1. conscious exertion of power : hard work
2. a serious attempt
3. something produced by exertion or trying
4. effective force as distinguished from the possible resistance called into action by such a force
5. the total work done to achieve a particular end

Last night, a tire blew on “The Fo.”

The problem was getting it replaced. All of the tire shops I looked up on my mobile phone showed that they closed between roughly 5 and 6 p.m. on weekdays.

I called a couple whose websites didn’t show hours of operation. If I didn’t get an answering machine, I got somewhat diffident responses. It was as if though they were doing everything they could not to sell me tires.

It was similar to an episode last week when I needed to get a watch battery replaced. The first place I went to, the person behind the counter said, “I don’t recognize this kind of watch,” and didn’t even make an effort to open the back.

Another person working a small stand in front of the subway station made only a half-hearted effort with a jeweler’s screwdriver before saying, “I don’t have the right tools.”

When I got home, it took me three minutes to open the back with a Swiss Army knife.

I’ve wondered, in the last few years of economic decline, whether the concept of effort is lost on some people. It’s not just the PlayStation Generation that I’m worried about, but it’s about the current workaday population.

There’s very much a “what’s in it for me?’ ethic that I’ve seen much, much too often, rather than the kinds of efforts that win wars and build companies.

Think of this: during World War II, the United States was finishing and launching a ship an average of once a day towards rebuilding the Pacific Fleet after the attacks on Pearl Harbor.

Today, thanks to squabbling amongst interest groups, there is no rebuilt World Trade Center a full decade after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. There are a pair of memorial pools sitting there, but nobody made the effort to rebuild and replace the towers despite pronouncements to the contrary, requests for proposals, and the like.

Now, as for last night’s predicament, I got a recommendation to about an out-of-the-way garage about four miles from where the tire went out.

It is a place that is open around the clock, and tires for The Fo were in stock. Like a well-oiled NASCAR pit crew, they had the old tires off and new ones on in only a few minutes, and charged a fair price.

Good to see there’s at least one business in the U.S. which makes an effort to serve the public.