Thoughts on Our Times

The Barometer and her husband had avoided the grocery stores and the great toilet paper drain, as it were, of 2020, until March 20. We are stockers, and had sufficient TP to decorate a house or two in the manner of our younger days. Until our adult children swooped in because of their millennial ways of, “What, me worry? My phone is down to 10% battery before I think about charging it.” So, off we went foraging that Friday for baked potatoes, milk, and TP.

The TP was being doled out, one package per family, at the manager’s desk. No pick-up from the aisles for this precious commodity. TP had become like Bose headphones at Best Buy. You must ask for them, they are locked in a cabinet, and only certain employees are trusted to dole them out to non-scruffy customers who must pay prior to handling them.

We approached the manager humbly, “Please, sir, could we have just one?” We mentioned that we were stunned that the Walmart Neighborhood Market had become so involved in rationing. Another employee stepped up, leaned forward, and whispered to us as only someone with inside information would, “You know they are sending in the marshal on Monday.” Visions of Matt Dillon riding into Mesa, Arizona came to mind.

However, research showed that there was an Internet rumor that the Feds were going to impose martial law that Monday. The old game of telephone is alive and well, all with the exponential power of technology. Around the country the rumor spread. The hang-up for the fearful was the spelling. Or was the hang-up that no one understood what martial law was? Whatever the reason, the blasted Internet, the tweeters, the flash-grammars, the chap-shatters, and the rest all fell for it and rushed in to get theirs. AH, the makings of a brutal Netflix series were there before our eyes. Have mercy on us through April 30 as people are locked up with their phones and computers. Who knows what showdowns at the corral are coming, or it it coral?

About mmjdiary

Professor Marianne Jennings is an emeritus professor of legal and ethical studies from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, retiring in 2011 after 35 years of teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in ethics and the legal environment of business. During her tenure at ASU, she served as director of the Joan and David Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics from 1995-1999. In 2006, she was appointed faculty director for the W.P. Carey Executive MBA Program. She has done consulting work for businesses and professional groups including AICPA, Boeing, Dial Corporation, Edward Jones, Mattel, Motorola, CFA Institute, Southern California Edison, the Institute of Internal Auditors, AIMR, DuPont, AES, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Motorola, Hy-Vee Foods, IBM, Bell Helicopter, Amgen, Raytheon, and VIAD. The sixth edition of her textbook, Case Studies in Business Ethics, was published in February 2011. The ninth edition of her textbook, Business: lts Legal, Ethical and Global Environment was published in January 2011. The 23rd edition of her book, Business Law: Principles and Cases, will be published in January 2013. The tenth edition of her book, Real Estate Law, will also be published in January 2013. Her book, A Business Tale: A Story of Ethics, Choices, Success, and a Very Large Rabbit, a fable about business ethics, was chosen by Library Journal in 2004 as its business book of the year. A Business Tale was also a finalist for two other literary awards for 2004. In 2000 her book on corporate governance was published by the New York Times MBA Pocket Series. Her book on long-term success, Building a Business Through Good Times and Bad: Lessons from Fifteen Companies, Each With a Century of Dividends, was published in October 2002 and has been used by Booz, Allen, Hamilton for its work on business longevity. Her latest book, The Seven Signs of Ethical Collapse was published by St. Martin’s Press in July 2006 and has been a finalist for two book awards. Her weekly columns are syndicated around the country, and her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Reader's Digest. A collection of her essays, Nobody Fixes Real Carrot Sticks Anymore, first published in 1994 is still being published. She has been a commentator on business issues on All Things Considered for National Public Radio. She has served on four boards of directors, including Arizona Public Service (1987-2000), Zealous Capital Corporation, and the Center for Children with Chronic Illness and Disability at the University of Minnesota. She was appointed to the board of advisors for the Institute of Nuclear Power Operators in 2004 and served on the board of trustees for Think Arizona, a public policy think tank. She has appeared on CNBC, CBS This Morning, the Today Show, and CBS Evening News. In 2010 she was named one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Business Ethics by Trust Across America. Her books have been translated into four different languages. She received the British Emerald award for authoring one of their top 50 articles in management publications, chosen from over 15,000 articles. Personal: Married since 1976 to Terry H. Jennings, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Deputy County Attorney; five children: Sarah, Sam, and John, and the late Claire and Hannah Jennings.
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