More whining and complaining ...

December 17, 2004 01:00 by keithkaragan
Society is in trouble. Big trouble. Am I the only person noticing this ever accelerating decline in social responsibility (I doubt it). Evidence:
  • I'm traveling to a client in NYC from NJ this week by train and subway. I readily expect curse, non-emotional interaction and bustling during rush-hour(s). It's always been that way. But in the last several months I've noticed a heightened level of ridiculousness in the haste of people, at the expense of common decency and respect for each other ...
    • 3 times I've nearly had a grown man sit on my lap (and this is not a turn on for me), and then jam their bodies into the seating space thigh to thigh, knee to knee, and leg to leg to sit on a train for 30-60 minutes. I need not tell you that proximity that close is uncomfortable, unless with someone you care about, and less so with a reeking rude and aloof anonymous passenger. I tend to look before I sit, and would excuse myself if I bumped another person - regardless of their disposition. Let alone the fact that this has to be as uncomfortable for the perpetrators, as for the victim, to be in this position when its just not necessary - I'm not talking about someone who would have trouble fitting in the alloted amount of seating space.
    • I've been noticing the bug against the window syndrome with people shoving and pushing to get into a doorway, staircase etc. : repeatedly like an insect not understanding that the glass is solid - when there is clearly no where to go to, and no realistic time savings in their overall commute to be had - only aggression and angst to be spread.
    • Flagrant sloppiness - like the guy tearing through each section of his newspaper and section by section tossing them away onto the floor for someone else to deal with (or slip on) - sitting only several feet from the trash container, and better yet re-assembling the paper and leaving it for another traveler - or taking it away with them.
  • When after having a so-so meal at a local restaurant, that is know for iffy service, and then waiting longer for the check than it took to eat (and asking several times) - I was asked what I would be tipping (so tit could be added to the bill when they charged my card - they always do this, don't ask). The assumption that a tip is deserved when the customer had to basically be ready to walk out of a less than half filled eatery in order to get the check is an insult ... but they were polite (so they did get a few dollars cash for that).
  • Shopping in a variety of local stores (grocery, convenience, gas stations, you name it) I am feeling more and more un-loved. Over 90% of the time I am not thanked for my patronage, and one time blamed for the absence of a price on an item and the clerk's inability to correctly operate their register [sounds like gnome-repo]. I've worked these types of jobs for a living, and as a volunteer in the past and can't imagine not thanking the customer.If these stores were mine, these people would be re-trained, or un-employed - period! How insulting it is to not be thanked for choosing a merchant's business over his/her competitor. The clincher is that most of these store aren't all that busy that a manager shouldn't be watching for, and correcting poor manners and customer service. The workers are not there to irritate the customers, they're there to help.
  • At Mama Sbbarro's on 49th and Broadway, a very polite counter person took the order of a very offensive, rude, and nasty person who was unappreciative and demanding. Kudos to you mr pizza dude! The rest of us appreciate your respect.
  • The new 'How may I help you' phrase at central NJ Raceway gas stations is to stand next to the car saying nothing, and if the customer orders gas - Yell “Cash-Credit“ ... If you follow that with Credit you'll be treated to the “Gimme Card“ phrase, and when the transaction is done you will silently have your card shoved back at you with a receipt. This must be a corporate policy of some sort since it's occurred exactly this way at 3 different Raceway stations. I guess checking the oil and cleaning the windows is out of the question, eh? Maybe they can use the receipt to do that before giving it to you, and yell 'Get Lost' too?
  • I don't mind bagging my own groceries, I really don't. I usually opt to when presented with the choice, that choice is almost never offered any longer though. If I have a full shopping cart, then I'm spending at least $100 and possibly $200 - shouldn't someone come over and start to help out and be happy to do it?

On the positive side:
  • Hess gas stations are the only ones in my area that have an air pump that doesn't cost $.50 - they're air is free. Even better is when it works (most Hess pumps do work around here). Sadly, there aren't may Hess stations, and none that are on my normal routes :-( 
  • Progress: After 3 weeks in a row of soggy Sunday Star Leader newspapers, I finally got a dry one (ok, it wasn't raining - but it was dry). Apparently I'm a huge burden to the delivery agent, since they actually replaced the last wet one I got, even though I said don't bother redelivering it. I committed to making sure that I report if it's missing or wet EVERY time for now on. Why get it if I can't read it, especially when there is a nice target to deliver it to where it will NEVER get wet (clue: by the street, in a puddle is not the target).
  • Little Greek grocery in the neighborhood. I popped in to buy beer, and found all this wonderful food, and helpful and polite owners. Yes! The family will eating more feta and olives this winter.

I feel better now
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