The Fix is Not the Solution
Whenever there are heavy rains in Chicago, a certain area in the Millennium Station Metra stop always seems to show it.
Since the station is underground, I guess this is understandable (and probably difficult to fix easily). But every time there’s a big downpour, the ceiling near the Lost and Found area seems to leak water. And not just a little – it seems to be a problem spread out over multiple spots.
Every time this happens, as I’m walking to/from the trains, it makes me think about the difference between quickly fixing a problem versus truly solving a problem.
It was funny to encounter this the very first time: it showed a certain kind of doggedness, a certain kind of determination. But I’ve seen these buckets multiple times since – and they seem to have been growing in number, the past few months.
In the short term, each of these small black buckets will catch the water that comes down. But it won’t prevent the rain from leaking through the next time there’s a storm. It’s not sustainable. It doesn’t speak about tomorrow, and only answers for today.
I’m sure there are a whole host of issues related to repairing this ceiling that I’m unaware of: cost, scheduling, inconvenience to daily commuters. So I’m not really posting this to scold Metra in any way.
It’s just that whenever I walk by and see this, it makes me think about how I tackle problems. Am I looking at things in the short term, or long term? In a strange way, I take from this scene a certain kind of motivation: quick fixes are terrible and oftentimes spiral out of control. They’re also really ugly. Avoid avoid avoid.