Monday, September 10, 2012

MODERN RUDENESS

Everyone is rude at times.  It is part of the human condition.  I am sure that I have been rude to any number of people.  I have been rude to strangers and to family members.  I am sure that anyone reading this has been rude at times, whether you realize it or not.  That is possible, you know.  You can be rude without realizing it which only makes it worse for the people who are feeling like they have been treated rudely.  Chances are, I think, that most of the time we don't realize we are being rude until well after the fact.  Seldom is a person rude intentionally unless there is another agenda for being rude to someone.

Like everything else, it seems, rudeness has been taken to a new level over the last generation or so.  It seems like selfishness has increased.  It seems like people don't care about helping others like we use to.  With each year, looking out for our own interests has increased.  That is the way it seems to me anyway.

I have been treated rudely in the past and can probably remember times that I was treated rudely during the whole course of my life.  I am sure that during that same time I have been rude to others.  This last Saturday though, I was treated more rudely than I can ever remember being treated.  Most times when you are treated rudely or treat someone else rudely, it fades with time.  What happened Saturday will not fade with time.  I can not see that happening.  Those fifteen minutes in my life will always be there, fresh as if it were just yesterday.

Saturday morning is grocery shopping time on our schedule.  It is not an easy time for either of us.  Barb suffers from severe back problems that quite often put her in intense pain if she moves around too much or if she doesn't move around enough.  She can not walk for long periods of time without her back flaring up.  I have severe panic/anxiety disorder.  I do okay in the store until I get to the checkout line.  It is there when, if I am going to have a panic attack, it will happen.  I also recently suffered from a heart attack about two weeks ago.  I have noticed that I get tired much easier walking then I use to.  Shopping has become a chore that we take on together to support each other through the ordeal.

Saturday was my first trip to the store since the heart attack.  I wasn't sure what to expect from my body as we made our way through the store picking up things on the list.  My body responded by making me feel extremely tired and weary by the time we had completed the list.  Both of us were at the point of thinking let's gets this over with and get home so we can rest.

As we came to the row of checkout lines we quickly tried to decide on which one was the shortest so that we could get through the procedure as quickly as possible and get home.  After looking the different lines over we decided on line number ten.  In line number ten there was one lady finishing checking out, a second lady unloading and then it would be our turn.  We pulled the cart into line number ten and both of us leaned on the cart to await our turn at unloading our cart.

There was a girl standing behind the basket that the lady was unloading onto the belt that we assumed was with the lady.  She was standing there up next to the handle on the cart in front of her and we didn't give it a second thought.  She was with that lady and as soon as that lady finished checking out, we could do the same and head home.  This is when things turned rude.

Suddenly a young man pulled up a grocery cart that was over flowing with items.  I am not exaggerating the fact.  This cart was packed full and spilling out over the top.  He pushed the nose of his cart in front of ours and then started talking to the girl.  It didn't take but a half a second for me to realize what had happened.  This action, in and of itself, was rude and I was kind of put into shock that someone would actually do this.

Now I have seen people get in line then remember something they forgot and rushed back into the store to get whatever the item they needed was.  This always was an irritating thing but not enough to elicit a comment from me.  I always figured it was an honest mistake not done intentionally.  There have been times when I would notice someone in line behind me with just an item or two in their arms and offer to let them go ahead of me instead of making them wait for my basket to be emptied and checked out.  I always felt like that was a decent and humane thing to do.  I have never seen anything like this before though.  It had the air of the new self entitlement that seems to have been taking hold of the younger generation in our society.   I could not let it go without letting the young man know how rude I thought their actions were.

"Seriously?" I asked with a tone of incredulous in my voice.  "She has been standing here holding a place in line for you while you were out shopping?"

He told me take it easy.  She had just got there and he had forgotten something and had to go back to get it as he held up a small pack of potato chips.  That is how stupid I was or how smart he thought he was.

"Seriously?" I asked again as he began to unload his cart onto the belt.  "Undeliverable" I said in a low voice.  He again picked up the chips and said he had forgotten those and had to go back.

"With the whole cart?" I was getting not only offended by how stupid he thought I was but also irritated.  "This is bull," I said, "Total bull."

The young man ignored me and continued to unload his cart.  His girlfriend then told me to be quiet, enjoy life and keep my mouth shut.  What that means, I concluded was that I should just let them run over us and do whatever they wanted without say a word and I would "be happy".

"Whatever." I finished. and turned away from them.  As far as I was concerned, and her boyfriend was concerned the confrontation was over.  But she had other things in mind.

She started letting out a string of curses that I won't take the time to write here.  Mainly because I know a lot of people who read this blog and it would offend them if I wrote such words down.  I'll say this though, she used every curse word known to man in her building tirade.

She talked about how people tell them to respect their elders but they never get any respect from their elders so why should we expect them to respect us.  She talked about how old and stupid we were.  All of this was punctuated with many curse words.  She never let up on the curse words.

While her boyfriend was unloading the cart I think he knew that what they had done was not exactly right and she was beginning to embarrass him by continuing her tirade.  I stood there with my arms crossed and just looked at her as she continued on and on.  Soon it got to her boyfriend and he told her to just shut up.  She then turned on him with a short string of cussing before aiming it back onto us.

Her boyfriend, at one point grabbed her by the chin and looked her in the eye and told her very firmly to just shut it up.  She did for a little bit.  She was standing there looking at me and Barb.  Barb explained that we had gauged which line to get in by what we saw in line, and that their huge basket was not in line when we got there.

The girl continued to look hard at me and was breathing very hard. If I didn't know better I would have thought she was rabid or something.  I then said in a soft and calm voice "You really need to calm down."  After all the situation was done with.  We didn't make a scene to get them out of line and her boyfriend was totally embarrassed.  Well, when I said those soft words she went off again.  On and on and on she went cussing me up one side and down the other.

Finally the lady in front of them turned around and said something to the fact that she had quite a mouth on her and she had better stop it.  The girl turned on the lady then and started on her.  The lady told her if she didn't stop, she was going to call the police.  That sent this crazed girl into even MORE of a tired and her boyfriend was desperately trying to get her to stop.  When the store security arrived at the line, she suddenly shut up.

They finally checked out and left.  I did not watch them leave to see if she was still on her tirade or not.  Barb and myself began to unload our cart and proceed to pay for our groceries.  I did not see them in the parking lot or anywhere else.  Barb said she kind of felt sorry for her boyfriend because his day had been ruined.  His girl would be yacking about this and complaining about the situation all day long.  I think Barb is right.  I think that kid had a miserable Saturday.

This was the worst case of rudeness I can ever recall seeing or being a part of.  Just the act of saving a spot in line while still shopping, and then getting into line the way they day was bad enough, but the tirade that the whole store was put through was simply awful.

I am not sure what the future holds for that young couple.  Hopefully they will learn that if you want to get along in society, you will learn that there are certain social rules that almost everyone follows the majority of the time.  It can't be fun to go through life trying to defend you rudeness all the time.  I am hoping that the young man dumps that girl while he still has a chance to learn the proper way to act in society.  I don't think she will ever learn how.  From what I saw she is already too far gone on her self importance, her entitlement, her selfishness.  It was the worst case of all three that I have ever witnessed.

I wish her luck, but I don't hold out much hope for her.

1 comment:

  1. Holy Christ man oyu still have that effect on people, kinda like reading a Lampoon in Health class.
    I am assuming since it was line 10 it was a Super Store (i.e. a Walmart). You should have looked at her and said "A man has to know his limitations". In case anyone needs to know Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry.

    Larry

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