Polite

Well, if you follow me on twitter, you know this week was not ideal. At all. I have ALL my classes, both teaching and taking, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. And on Thursdays, I am at school, busy, from 8:30am until 8pm. NIGHTMARE.

So as I’ve started the new semester, I’ve been sorely disappointed.

To start, I really did enjoy the summer with much fewer students and people in town. So there’s that.

But mostly the attitudes and behaviors have been appalling.

And while most of my encounters are on campus, this is a college town and the campus/college community is very prevalent.

On Sunday, after my first 5K on Saturday, I decided to treat myself to a pedicure as a treat and looking nice for my first week with students. They were busy, which is expected since it was move in weekend, so I wasn’t the only one trying to get spiffy for the new semester.

I only wanted a pedicure. There was a young girl that had walked in 45 seconds before me, but she wanted a full set AND a pedicure. This salon is not very big and you could tell they were a little frazzled having as many people in there as they did. A pedicure chair opened up, and a nail chair was going to open up in a minute. (The woman had paid and they were just running her card.) The nail woman came over to get me to put me in a pedicure chair and I had heard them say that they were going to put the young girl in the nail chair, and by about the time they got both of us finished, she could move to my pedicure chair. This way, they got two customers out of the waiting area and into spots and kept things moving.

Well. The girl threw a fit. I mean, screaming and yelling in this small salon about how she was there before me and how dare they try to seat us out of order and all of that jazz. So many curse words. So much yelling.

I was mortified and since I was just trying to get out of the house and such, I calmly approached the employee and told her it was fine to go ahead and seat the other girl and I would just wait. The girl started to yell at me because when I stood up she thought I was going to go take the chair anyways. I finally had to turn around and say, “I’m giving you the chair, but I’m calmly explaining it to the employee if you can just wait a minute.” Well this pissed her off too so she started yelling about me and how I was rude and blah blah blah. I just talked to the employee, and sat back down and let her go on her way. She finally quieted down and I was just trying to end the situation. Several of the other customers thanked me and apologized and thought I was being sweet.

I was just shocked at HOW over the top enraged she became. They even explained to her that she would be sitting at the nail chair, and she refused to comprehend logic and instead decided to make a HUGE scene. I’ve blogged about it before, but the sense of entitlement of the newer adults is shocking, and quite frankly, worrisome. How can they expect to go into the real world and function? They WILL be told no at some point. They WON’T get everything their way and when they want it. Life is about compromises and understanding and being kind to fellow humans.

Or am I the only person that was raised this way and tries to still live their life this way? I’m no saint and I can get aggravated pretty quickly about certain things, but if I can help or make something easier on others, I try to do so. At the very least I don’t start screaming at an employee when all they are doing is trying to get customers seated.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the only incident I encountered this week.

Like I mentioned, on Thursdays I have class until 8pm at night, and I only have one 1.5 hour break. I was starving yesterday, so I ran over to the student center to grab something before my 2.5 hour night class. Unfortunately, the only place still open was McDonalds.

Now, to understand this, you have to understand how and why our student center McDonalds is a little strange. When you walk up, it looks a bit chaotic and hard to know where the line for ordering is. See, you order, then you go to the back of the area, and wait for them to call your initials, which means you have to then go back to the same ordering counter to pick up your food. Admittedly, it took me a couple times to figure it out. Basically, you have to ask people if they have ordered or are waiting for food. A little bit into the semester, most students have the system figured out and people will tell you where the actual ordering line is. No big deal.

So as I’m walking up, I’m looking around to see which people look like they are just waiting or actually in line.

There was a girl in a wheelchair, towards the back of the McDonalds area, but also close enough to other people that it looked like she could have been in line. So I asked her, kind of figuring she was waiting, but as soon as she looked at me, I could tell she was a freshman and rather confused. She said she hadn’t even ordered yet, but people kept walking in front of her and she didn’t know where to go.

Are you effing kidding me people?! You know you kind of have to ask who’s in line and who’s not, but you won’t ask the girl in a wheelchair before just cutting in front of her?!?

I was mad for her, but I pointed her in the right direction and then got in line behind her.

Fine. Dandy.

But as I explained, the line is kind of a cluster and people have to then come back up for their food and it can get crowded. So the girl ordered, but then she obviously needed just a little space to turn her chair around and get out of the ordering side. She was skilled with the chair and really only needed another customer to slide over about two steps. She politely said excuse me, and as I believe, we should go out of our way to be polite and accommodating to those who need it. Not in a needy way, but because it’s the nice thing to do.

The other customer got all huffy and started talking about the girl and how she just needed to get out of everyone’s way.

SERIOUSLY?!?!

Had she not walked away at that moment, I would have said something. Maybe I should have followed her and said something, but the girl looked embarrassed as it was and like she just wanted something to eat and to leave as quickly as possible.

But, is this where we are as a society? And yes, I know, a college campus may not be the best place to judge the larger community, but these are the people that will soon be a part of that larger community and will be in workplaces and other public places and if they can’t treat people kindly in the small interactions on their college campus, what are they going to do outside of it?

Am I the only one seeing behaviors like this? And if not, am I the only one just disgusted by it?? I just can’t wrap my head around where people get the idea that it’s appropriate to treat others this way, so dismissively and rudely.

I just want to show people or somehow get people to realize that it isn’t that hard to be polite to others. I’m not saying to be a rug to be walked all over, but polite and kind and show some level of compassion for anyone other than themselves.

This has really been on my mind and I just don’t know what to do about it all.

So, from me to you, I’m sending happy vibes your way in case others aren’t as nice as they should be.

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2 Comments

Filed under A little More About Me, WTF

2 responses to “Polite

  1. I am constantly shocked with how rude people can be! My ex’s dad believed (and taught his children) that manners were stupid and useless. He was such a treat to be around! And now I teach ninth graders, so I see a lot of this sense of entitlement and lack of manners all day. I constantly wonder how these kids will do later in life because of this. I know my parents raised me to be polite (and in the South, manners are a BIG DEAL) and they would not tolerate behavior like what I see each day. I just don’t understand how or why parents don’t teach their kids to act better. It’s not that hard and it makes such a huge difference!

  2. Oh goodness. I do wonder if some people were raised in a barn. I’m pretty sure that I would have been smacked had I acted like some of those people that you encountered. I fear for our future! They should teach manners in school, I think.

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