The assistant would have none of my attempt at self-sufficiency, but instead insisted on dealing with the matter herself. And so she did; she followed me back to the table with a cloth, a damp cloth which she used to wipe the surface.
‘But it’s wetter now than it was before,’ I protested.
She said nothing, but walked away seemingly uncomprehending of the absurd and counter-productive nature of her action.
I felt moved to press the matter, but decided against it because I’ve observed that complaint requires the instinct for fine judgement. If nobody complains, nothing gets done. But if a person complains too much, or is so perceived by those protected by irrational filters, he is viewed as a mere nuisance and his argument – however irrefutably rational it might be – becomes instantly transformed into inconsequential mist which passes harmlessly over the heads of those in a position to right the wrongs.
That’s frustrating, and so I kept my arms off the wet table and mused on the imperfect nature of life on an alien planet. I disliked the new blend.