January 19, 2012 – Kiss common courtesy good-bye.

I was at a local store waiting in line, like most Americans have learned how to do. The lady in front of me was loading her items onto the space by the cash register when the lady at another cash register looked at me and said I can take you over here. So – I took my cart and went to her cash register and by the time it took me to get there – a few seconds – this elderly gentleman was standing there laughing at me while praising himself for getting in front of me.

Now, I’ve been raised to respect my elders and looking at 60 this year, I understand that whole respect thing even more, but this man was an asshole. I’m sorry, but there isn’t any other way to describe him.

As he continued to laugh at me and taunt me for the few seconds it took me to get to the register and how he was so proud of himself for getting in front of me, I decided that I’d had enough. I told him I didn’t think he was funny, I just thought he was a rude, mean old man. Then I proceeded to tell him that he was partly to blame for what the world has become. He was part of the attitude that permeates throughout America. That get there first, be first in line no matter what it takes, no matter who you step on attitude. He just kept laughing at me and saying it didn’t matter what I said – he got there first – It was like an elderly nanny, nanny, nanny thing. I found it all so unsettling.

This is where we are in this country. This is what we’ve become. A nation of I’m going to beat you or get there first or have something better than you no matter what it takes, no matter who I have to walk on to get there. There are no rules, no standards by which we hold ourselves to, no pride in who we are as a people. It’s all about coming in first – looking the best – driving the best car – having the best house – wearing the best clothes – and don’t even get me started on shoes or purses!

It was like that commercial at Christmas about buying your loved one a Lexus! People are losing their jobs, losing their homes and losing their self-respect in the process – and the powers that be think we’ll be buying a new Lexus for Christmas.!? It made no sense to me – on any level.  I know folks who had trouble affording to buy a Christmas tree. A Lexus? Really?

I watched that elderly man walk briskly out of the store still laughing and feeling all proud of himself and I just shook my head. This is where we are – this is who we’ve become.

As I was walking to my car I started to think: “I wonder what kind of vitamins he takes.” I mean he got to that register in record time…


About barbaraweicksel

My home is San Diego, CA - a most beautiful city. Mountains to the East, Pacific Ocean to the West, and the desert in between the mountains and the ocean. Beauty everywhere, but... The world is full of beauty, and I do love to travel. what I hope to share on these pages are my thoughts and some photos of the world as I see and experience it. I'd be happy to have you along on the journey - and then join me while I'm at home...
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5 Responses to January 19, 2012 – Kiss common courtesy good-bye.

  1. It is sad. “Getting there first” at any cost is not a good lesson. My Ex-husband used to do this thing where the kid who got to his car first could pick his or her seat. The kids would race for the spot and step on or push by whatever or whoever to “get there first.” I advised against it, but whatever. One Winter day the sidewalks and roads were icy. I told the kids not to run out to their Dad’s car to get their seat. They ignored me. As he pulled up one kid slipped on the ice, slid down to the ground and HE RAN OVER HER — in his SUV!!! Could have been tragic, but thankfully it was only her leg and miraculously there was no injury (they went to the ER just in case). Stupid “get there first” mentality. Rude, and dangerous.

  2. Kate Flannery says:

    Oh boy oh boy!!! You nailed this so well…said so much about society in general through your rather horrid experience at the store! I’m so glad you stood up and said something, far too often it seems to me that rudeness and arrogance are met with silence by those of us with a conscience and dignity in order to “keep the peace” (which I think is a mistake). Still, it is so unsettling, as you said. I can only hope Karma finds this guy and hits him right in the head (or, maybe now Karma will get me for being so mean!!). It’s too weird, because that Lexus commercial…I was talking about that to several people around the holidays!!! I said, the people who can actually afford something like that, don’t need a commercial to inspire them, but for the VAST majority of us, something like that is not only ludicrous, it’s insulting. Well said, Barb!

  3. Leslie Raymond says:

    Barb, we’ve become, as a country, so used to hearing the media – I think it started with shock radio and progressed to the feigned sense of entitlement and out-loud “outrage.” This is what makes folks like the Teapartiers so annoying to me – shout and be rude at any cost, to make yourself heard and noticed. “Look at me, look at me!” People need to knock it back a notch or two…it’s okay to have an opinion – but why do some folks feel it has to be pushed on others, and at the top of their lungs? A “tramp on you first before you tramp on me” attitude. I probably would’ve snorted and said something like “okay, you’re first in line…but guess what? Your fly’s down, Pops.”

  4. You really handled yourself quite well. I think I would have been a lot worse. This is right up there with driving. Yesterday on my way home from work I was cut off by some ditz in a huge Suburban. I then watched her run a stop sign and then the meter getting on the freeway. She just had this attitude like “rules don’t apply to me.” It’s nauseating. And those people never get tickets! Anyway, I never leave the register when someone says “I can take you over here” or “she’s open on 6” because 9 times out of 10, someone beats me to it and the store personnel don’t handle it. I’m sorry you had that happen to you today, Barb. You are golden to us, and I would have been so mad if I’d have been there!

  5. Ellen says:

    I think your clerk has to take part of the blame. Having called you over, the clerk should have reserved the first spot for you.

    I agree that the old man was an ass, but the clerk should have called him on it. Some stores have the clerk opening a register go physically escort the person out of the line to be “first”….it makes sense.

    Also, I don’t think you were being disrespectful. It would be disrespectful to ignore rudeness as though he was incapable of being courteous.

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