So my city lost all water service for about 6 hours today. It is back on but we've been advised not to drink or wash in it for 36 hours without first boiling it. Oh, and the city ran out of salt and money to pay the city workers overtime to drive the plows, so our accumulated 8-10" of snow (it hasn't been above freezing in weeks) is turning into a solid, packed-down 3" crust of ice and rock hard snow. Oh, and when I walk to work Tuesday morning the air temperature is predicted to be -11 F.
I mention this as a way of saying "Fuck this place, I'm going to bed" and abrogating my responsibilities for the evening.
It's amusing to watch how much we – and I include myself pointedly here – throw hissy fits when our modern conveniences are taken away. Is this really that big of a deal? Is there not a water boil order in effect every day for like 70% of the world's population? Take away our water or power (or, god forbid, the internet) for a few hours and we act like we're in a walled city under siege, reduced after months of starvation to eating weeds and wallpaper glue.
Of course it's not a matter of what is absolutely essential but of what we are accustomed to. In my case I am bitchy enough to begin with at the prospect of getting up at the crack of dawn to go to work; adding any layers of inconvenience, however trivial, to that process is more than sufficient to raise my hackles.
I think this is what the kids call a first world problem.