A couple of weeks ago I wrote a journal entry regarding Citibank's "Thank You" commercials. The premise of that entry was to examine the basic underlying attitude of people.
Is thank you enough?
I feel like I am living in a world gone crazy. "Pissed off" is perhaps a better definition than "crazy".
First let me state that I am generally a woman in a decent mood; I seldom have "bad moods" and do not have "highs and lows". I live by the standard that you treat all people decently and have found that I am a much happier person if I go out of my way to exceed "decently" and actually aspire to sweetness to all people.
I have had four incidents happen to me in the last few weeks that simply do not compute. What the heck is wrong with people?!
The first incident happened with my Mother in the car: she has a bad knee and after a doctor appointment, I took her to the store. Since both she and I have handicapped parking privileges, I wanted to park as near to the door as possible to prevent Mom from having to walk too far.
There were two empty handicapped parking spaces right in front of the store's door and sitting parked perpendicular to these spaces (and blocking both) was a female in a VERY large, very old off-road vehicle ... sitting there, windows down, engine running ... with Ted Nugent music blasting the parking lot ... she was tattooed, pierced, smoking a hand rolled cig, and had numerous leather pieces tied to her wrist.
I sat there in the car, chatting with Mom ... thinking the female would move her vehicle. She did not. In fact, she looked me as if to say, "You talkin' to me? Huh? You talkin' to me?" I simply drove passed her, let Mom out and went and parked elsewhere. However, as I passed her, she lifted her middle finger (which was adorned with a tattoo and black nail polish) and promptly "saluted" me.
My reaction? Aw heck, consider the source.
However, "source considered" was not a factor a few days later.
I was driving in a parking lot outside of an upscale linens store and looking for a parking space. I was going the correct direction in a marked drive when my path was blocked by an oncoming black Cadillac Escalade SUV. It was driven by a female, beautifully groomed and coiffed, talking on her cell phone. She was going the wrong direction in the driveway. Because of the layout of the parking lot, there was not enough room for two vehicles to pass and I truly thought she would back up and let me proceed as the arrow directed.
Think again Jann.
I could see from her face and her gesturing, she expected me to back up and let her through. Even though she was clearly going the wrong way, I acquiesced and backed up my car to let her proceed. As she passed me, she scowled and once again, I was the recipient of the middle finger salute.
My immediate thought? Class lady, real class. Do you do that in your ritzy Scottsdale PTA meetings or at the tennis club amongst the ladies who lunch?
It is a world gone "pissed off", I tell ya ... pissed off!
So, I am at the grocery store and ready to check out with my cart full of groceries. The only cashier open was the Express-15-Items-Or-Less lane (the store was nearly empty); I quietly asked the cashier if I should get in her line and she nodded affirmatively. After I loaded all of my groceries on the conveyor belt, a gentleman walks up and in a very loud, booming voice says, "I thought this was an Express Lane!" and he points and glares at me.
I am sure that embarrassing me made him feel superior and much better about himself, eh?
Finally ... yesterday I pull into the drive-thru line at the bank and am three cars back from the teller window. There are two lines of cars being served by the one teller in the window. The sign on the drive-thru window specifically says, "No more than 5 transactions per vehicle".
I wait patiently and use this time to freshen my lip gloss, check my voice mail and change the CD. I continue to wait. When my turn comes, I pull up and ask the teller if he can take a payment on my Circuit City credit card since Bank One now owns the account. He answered, "Yes" and I sent him my payment stub, a check made out for the payment, another check made payable to me for $200.00 (that I wanted to cash) and two forms of identification. This is my bank but I always send the ID to accommodate the teller.
The teller was slow. Very, very slow. I have no idea if he was surfing the internet on that computer in front of him or perhaps playing a hot game of Solitaire ... but he made the two simple transactions drag on and on. I waited patiently but began to get embarrassed that he was taking so long on MY transaction(s).
I look over at the lady in the front of the other line of cars and she is looking at me like I eat children as snacks! She then puts her hand out her window and points over the top of her car at me ... as if to let all the other customers waiting in line know that I am the culprit holding up the line.
Again, I suppose it made her feel very good about herself that she was placing blame.
Finally the teller sends me back the cash, my IDs and the receipt for the credit card payment. As I pull away, the lady who had pointed at me lifted her finger and again ... I "got the bird". Now, this was a woman who looked like a school teacher, middle 50s, nice jewelry, etc., driving a new Oldsmobile ... and this time, I have to admit ... I was shocked.
My reaction? I smiled my best sincere smile and then blew her a kiss.
Perhaps the "blowing a kiss" was a bit over-the-top but goodness gracious people ... what is going on with the folks in Phoenix, AZ?
What happened to the kind hearted, united people that were of one decent accord after the tragedy of 9/11?
I never quite understood the bumper sticker that read "Mean People Suck" until now.
Will I change my attitude and become hateful and mean?
No. It simply is not worth it. Nope.
Oh, and by the way ... to the female in the big Jeep ... to the woman in the Escalade ... to the man at the grocery store ... and to the lady at the bank ...
... thank you.