On Tuesday, an opinion piece published by The Washington Post called upon Americans to lower their expectations on what they can buy, and how long services like shipping could take, amidst the Biden administration's ongoing supply chain crisis that is emptying store shelves across the country.
"Rather than living constantly on the verge of throwing a fit, and risking taking it out on overwhelmed servers, struggling shop owners or late-arriving delivery people, we'd do ourselves a favor by consciously lowering expectations," wrote contributing columnist Micheline Maynard, author of the opinion piece.
Maynard, stating that Americans in recent years have been spoiled by the increasingly fast and consistent pace that items and services can be obtained, warned that as supply chain issues continue, an issue that some experts say will stretch out into next spring or summer, Americans should merely lower their expectations, and accept this reality as a new normal.
"American consumers, their expectations pampered and catered to for decades, are not accustomed to inconvenience," wrote Maynard.
Maynard wrote that in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she lives, "the luxury of blithely tapping on a phone and summoning a restaurant delivery that arrives in 45 minutes is over." She instead suggests expecting delivery times to take an hour and a half, so that"a mere hour and 10 minutes is a pleasant surprise."
The supply chain chaos snarling manufacturing and shipping globally is also affecting the packaging that items come in.
Steve Mangigian, managing partner at Zingerman's coffee and candy companies, told Maynard that the wait time for cups has increased to 16 to 18 weeks, potentially limiting how many beverages the business can produce.
"If I can't get cups to sell my product, what am I supposed to do? The supply chain could literally shut down my business," said Mangigian.
Maynard also noted issues in manufacturing her new book about Zingerman's, where she says paper shortages, worker shortages and the traffic jams at shipping ports are endangering holiday books sales.
"All I can do is hope for the best. Like everybody else. And keep those expectations reasonable. Eventually the supply chain will get straightened out," wrote Maynard.
"American consumers might have been spoiled, but generations of them have also dealt with shortages of some kind — gasoline in the 1970s, food rationing in the 1940s, housing in the 1920s when cities such as Detroit were booming. Now it’s our turn to make adjustments," she concluded.
Maynard's piece received harsh criticisms on Twitter, with social media users noting that settling for less and lowering expectations is not a good look for the Biden presidency, which touts the "Build Back Better" agenda.