This has been blogged about so much that it is almost stereotypical for me to blog about it at this point. But seriously people, what’s the rush?
The other day I was waiting in the loose knot of people around the deli counter at the grocery store. “Can I help you?” asked the teenager behind the counter. “Excuse me!” huffed a voice with all the indignity only the old can muster. “You looked right over me!” The teenager was obviously very embarrassed, but luckily, another employee became available at that moment and stepped up to help the woman.
As I watched the lady later spend a full 10 minutes perusing the ice cream section, I couldn’t help but wonder: what was the big rush? Nobody wants to be passed over, but she clearly wasn’t in a hurry, so what difference did a few more minutes make? Why did she have to get so upset? Why did she have to be so entitled?
Getting angry at the kid behind the deli counter is so stressful to both her and you, and yet makes practically no difference in your life. Why do it? Being a nicer person not only enables you to live longer due to all the stress you avoid, but you also enjoy the time you do have more, because you’re not such a sourpuss all the time.
I don’t know if this is getting worse because we’re further sliding into a me-first society, if I’m just noticing it more because I’m an adult now, or if it’s just because I moved to the big city and that sort of thing is just worse here. I understand rushing when you’re in a hurry, and I guess sometimes it feels like we’re just always in a hurry. But lets face it; if you yell at people, then you are not a nice person. Even if I was very internally upset that I was getting skipped, I don’t think I would ever stoop so low as to get huffy with someone over it. I feel like it takes a certain amount of entitlement, to where you feel like your customer experience is more important than everything, even more important than the dignity of the person who is serving you.
Maybe this is just another case for my everyone-should-have-to-work-fast-food-at-least-once-in-their-lives-so-they-understand-how-it-feels-when-customers-constantly-treat-you-like-crap rule. If people understood what it felt like to be on the receiving end, maybe they wouldn’t be so quick to dish it out. Then again, maybe this lady had been treated like crap by customers before, but it was so long ago she doesn’t remember anymore. Maybe my rule should allow for “re-upping” every 40 years or so.
Can we at least all just agree to make a concerted effort to just let the small stuff go? In addition to making us all instantly happier, think of how much of a better place the world will be.