The Logical Philosopher

Friday, June 09, 2006


Arriving a few minutes early gave me time to sit and read. An empty waiting room – literary peace on earth! I have been wading through Jean-Jacques Rosseau's The Social Contract, which is proving much harder than I thought.

Social contracts and the rise of man. Acting as one will get us there, but rowing on your own will disband us. Every man for himself, yet under dictatorship. We are born free, but everywhere in chains - thus the necessity of the social contract between each other.
He rushed in, breathless and agitated. Tall Starbucks in one had, car keys in the other like he had to be somewhere else instead of here.

“Nobody here yet?” he said to the room – just me really as I was the only one present. I slowly glanced up from my book to see him pacing back and forth. The receptionist had not arrived yet, and he was obviously disturbed by his lack of attention. A few minutes later the receptionist arrived from her break. I knew because I heard his pacing quicken as he marched over to her desk.

“I’m Charles Winston, here for my appointment.” he stated, as if he was the first in line. I looked up and let out a sigh. Yes, I was the first but Mr. Winston the line buster obviously wanted in first. And they say our generation has the air of entitlement. If so, I can see where we learned it from.

The receptionist shuffled some papers and looked towards me. “Well, I need some information and we can get you right in.” A few moments later I heard an exasperated Ahhhhhh! “I’m sorry Mr. Winston but the computer froze during your data entry and there is nothing I can do. I need to call the computer tech to unlock it because you are partly into the system by now. Just have a seat and wait.” Her tone was fairly unapologetic, which I thinly smiled at.

He started to protest, waving his hands like that would magically fix the computer. “Can’t we just get started and do this after!”

“Sorry sir, it’s all computerized. We can’t start anything until you are fully in the system.” She looked around him and then I heard her direct a question at me, “Are you Mr. Philosopher?”

“Yes.” I answered politely, looking up with a smile. Always keep the gatekeepers happy by being polite! One of my mottos that has gotten me far.

“I can get you signed in on the spare computer over here, then you can go right in.”

I rose, headed around the now reddening Mr. Winston, and gave the necessary information to get my appointment going. As she ushered me into the next room we both heard Mr. Winston start to sputter “But, but… I was here first!”

“Thanks” I whispered to the receptionist.

“No problem. Besides behind the window in the break room we all say you come in first and wait patiently. Karma can be a bitch sometimes, especially when you’re rude to the people who manage the waitlist.”

Karma. The Social Contract. No, Rosseau, there cannot be a legitimate political authority when it is really secretly ruled by the working class receptionists of the world. I wonder how that statement in his writings would have influenced the French Revolution...