Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Basket Case

Yesterday, after getting caught up around the house with all of the things that got put on the back burner for prom, I ventured out on just a routine afternoon of errands. I didn't have a lot of time so I decided to just stay local and not try to venture to the bigger cities that provide shops more to my liking. It was going to be an easy task of stopping at various places, grabbing what I needed and going home. But, by the time I did arrive home, I was truly in a basket case state of mind.

In my ever changing moods, I find that more and more I seem to run into nothing but rude behavior. Rude, crass, vulgar, and just really mean people out there. There are the people who seem to think that they and what they are doing is more important than anything anyone else has to do. If they are not gaining the attention that they think they deserve, they resort to yelling and nastiness to get their way. I feel bad for some of these store employees that have to listen to these kinds of people on a daily basis. Maybe that is why so many people that are store employees are rude, themselves. If I have a question about something, it is because I truly do need an answer or some help. I am sorry that my question is interrupting your important conversation with the employee beside you about how drunk and wasted you were on Saturday night. Yes, I know....important stuff. It is silly of me to think that my question should be of any concern to you or your establishment.

When I first got a job at the age of 16, customer service was THE most important thing. You needed to be trained, gain knowledge of the place you were working at and of the products you were selling. You stood, spoke to the customer, smiled, were friendly and could actually answer questions the customer had. The customer was made to feel like a king or a queen. Sometimes, not always, it feels like the customer is the last person the employees want to see and if they are called upon for any knowledge, well, that is just the last straw with some of them.

People out in public on cell phones is another rude thing that has hit a boiling point with me. Yes, calls come in and some are important and require your attention. I like to excuse myself, move to the nearest exit, take care of the phone call and then rejoin the public sans phone call. I was in one store, last week, and was forced to listen to a woman talk on her cell phone like she was sitting in the privacy of her own home. I had to hear about the knock down, drag out fight she had with her guy, and then I was treated to a string of words about the guy that made my hair stand on end. It is NOT all right to use profanity, in public, AT ALL. I made my way to the check out area where I was treated to a cashier and a MANAGER shooting the breeze and peppering their conversation with the same type of profanity. And, neither of them looked or smelled like they had seen soap, shampoo or a shower in quite some time. As I was getting my money out to pay, I had to listen to them decide what to order for lunch while the cashier cleaned out the dirt in her fingernails.

This rudeness is not just in the stores. I was meeting someone for lunch, two weeks ago, and was in the cross walk to cross the street to the restaurant. There is a sign that clearly says to stop if a pedestrian is in the crosswalk. That would have been me at that particular time. But, a driver who apparently saw me as a mere irritant, sped through the crosswalk and then yelled at me. Not just yelled...she called me a few choice names. Ummm...???

So, yesterday, in the midst of the rudeness, mean people, total disregard for anyone but their very important selves, I had a man approach me and get all in my business about how I should let him in front of me in the check out line because he had one item and I had five. Um, okay, pushy. I would have let him or anyone except I don't like to be told I should do it. And, the only reason I was in the check out aisle and not at the UScan was that the UScan was being used for people who had overloaded carts...and didn't know how to use a UScan....and decided to make it everyone's problem until they could locate help. Meanwhile, Mr. Pushy wanted to strike up a conversation and point out that the organic items and fresh veggies I was purchasing were very, very expensive and maybe I should consider buying cheaper versions. Um, did I ask him to pay for my items? Did I ask him to eat the food? Again...when did everyone start having an opinion about everything and then feel like they need to make this opinion a public matter. My veggies, my money, buzz off.

I wish we could return to the days of please, thank you, mind your own business, be kind, be patient, smile at people, hold doors, put others before you, say you are sorry, say excuse me, shower, put your best foot forward and just be kind. If everyone was just kind, can you imagine what a nice place we would be living in?

I am a kind and patient person. I don't push myself on people. I don't put my needs before anyone else's needs. I have opinions and views but keep those to myself. I don't push my views on politics, religion, anything on anyone. I grew up in a time when that was conversation that stayed private. When I am out and about and asked to give my opinions on these kinds of things, I find it rude. I have my views but I like keeping them nice and tidy and just to myself.

I hope that we can once again start teaching by example. Maybe people will stop acting so rude if they notice more and more people around them who are not acting rude. If they witness kindness, patience and compassion, maybe they will readjust their way of thinking and acting. If they witness one door being opened for someone out of kindness, maybe it will encourage them to do the same.

I don't have the answers and I have no idea how a large portion of society got to this point of being able to act this way. But, if we each, today, started to do one nice thing and acknowledged a nice thing being done for us and if we helped someone and then acknowleged someone helping us, it would be a step in the right direction. Maybe it would start a big chain reaction so that by the time you finally reach your home after a long day of errands, you will feel less like a basket case.

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