Finding new things to focus on in the new year

Abraham Villarreal
3 min readDec 11, 2023
Do you ever get those chip readers that can’t read our chip?

In 2024, I hope we advance enough as a society to fix age-old problems affecting us all. Like the spit guards over salad bars. Those things never work for me.

I’m into health and wellness and all those things that make us feel like we are safeguarding each other, but spit guards are awkward. I can never reach the food in the back and those are the items I usually always want. The avocadoes are always back there.

The new year will hopefully bring a fix to office HVAC systems. Here we are, about to officially begin winter, and the air is blowing directly over my office desk. Company leaders, or ingenious HVAC operators, try to fool us all by installing a little white box in each office. It has a small side lever you can move up to the heat or move down to the cold, but it never works. Someone else is in control.

I’m expecting that in 2024, there will be a change to how we check out at supermarkets. I’m expecting it, but I’m not sure it will happen. When I go to the little meat market on the main avenue, there’s always a nice lady who weighs the meat, and bags everything for me. That’s what I need in my life. Someone who bags everything for me.

And then there’s credit card machines. At the gas station mini-mart, the guy always tells me to try the chip reader twice before I scan it. He knows I’ll end up scanning it because the chip reader functionality is usually not functional. The new year needs someone to figure that out for us, too.

I know many of you are hoping for 2024 to bring a final fix to the low tire light that seems to never come off in your dashboard. Each time I go for a full-service oil change, I get my tires aired-up and the overall-wearing teenager recites the same line, “You’re ready, boss. Drive it around a few miles and the light will come off.” It never does.

There are several things I hope the new year doesn’t change. Things that we should keep doing because it’s what keeps us a community. Like people lining up for parades really early. The back of their cars open. Folding chairs lined up for blocks. Moms and dads ready to cheer on the winning youth football leagues.

Or people getting together in parks for special ceremonies. The kind of ceremonies where we name benches for…

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Abraham Villarreal

People are interesting. I write about them and what makes them interesting.