Sunday, October 2, 2011

Simple Courtesy. A Thing of the Past?

                                                                              (This image found here.)

Is it just me, or is there minimal empathy and consideration for others?  I run into this wall of rudeness and poorly veiled contempt in many places where I'd expect at least a modicum of courtesy.  It's missing in how neighbors treat one another and how many go about daily life.  When did it become commonplace to nearly run someone off the road in heavy traffic or cut in front of the line with nary a glance back, like that's assumed or warranted. 
What about loud vehicles with thunderous audio systems booming through quiet, sleepy neighborhoods at the most inappropriate hours?  Is that now the accepted?  Empathy is history.  You might see civility occasionally, but examples of manners and kindness are just more rare.

Case in point:  I was at the deli counter waiting for the attendendant.  I could see the staff were busy in back, and I was in no hurry.  Someone from the adjoining bakery called to their attention that a customer was at the counter.  One of the young men said something grumbly not quite under his breath, then slunked and shuffled over, unable to contain his annoyance.  He then proceeded to look at me with brows raised and a self-satisfied smirk, in lieu of the customary "May I help you?" greeting.  I chalked it up to, "Maybe he's had a bad day."  I can relate, and chose to let it go at that.  I asked him for a pound of roast beef.  He went on with the order with no response until he slapped the meat on the scale. 

The weight--.89 lbs.

Him; "That enough."  It wasn't a question.  Once again with the smirky-brows.

Me; "Sure, it doesn't have to be perfect.  That'll be great!"

He puts the order in the plastic bag, affixes the tag, and tosses the thing on the counter.  As I scoop it up, I smile and say, "Thanks!  Have a nice day!"  With a genuine smile, mind you.

You could feel the apathy rising off of him in waves.  It was palpable.  No response.  No, "Piss off!"  Nothing. 

I wanted to throttle him with a plastic bagful of sliced roast beef!  I should have spoken to his manager.  I've worked this type of job.  The general public is not always a picnic.  Retail can suck the life out of you.  But, I'd never interacted with this kid before.  There was no reason for his disdain toward me.

He gets one more chance.  If this is his standard, I'll have to say something to his boss.  Or  better yet, I'll speak to my fierce little neighbor, his department co-worker.  She will work his tuchis to death, an/or badger him endlessly. 

He'll wish he was working the toy department during Christmas week.

She works circles around all the people in that deli and she's at least my age.  She won't make him do anything she wouldn't do.

I love that little fireball!

He will never know what hit him.

                                                            (This image found here.)

And now back by popular demand--or not:  Sunday Serenade!!!11!

The general public is a bit difficult to tolerate at times!  ;-)