As I’ve gotten older I’ve found that I’m slow to anger, but standing in line at a fast-food restaurant recently, an inconsiderate young woman in front of the line pushed me over the edge.
She was chatting on her cellphone while the order-taker stood there tapping keys waiting to take the talker’s order. Instead of telling the person on the phone to hold on while she ordered, she held up her index finger, which apparently was a sign to the cashier to wait while she finished chatting with her friend.
It was lunchtime and the place was packed. I’m sure the blood pressure of the five people standing with me behind the woman surged to dangerous levels.
I could have had a stroke standing right there and I’m sure she would have been unmoved until the sirens of the rescue squad became so loud that she could no longer hear about her friend’s date last night.
The cashier finally said, “Next in line please.” This got the woman’s attention and she told her friend she’d have to call back and then dropped her phone into her purse. She was obviously annoyed at the lack of patience of the cashier. I felt like clapping. I’m not sure where that sense of entitlement comes from.
It’s like when there’s been a wreck on the highway and some yahoo drives down the emergency lane to get ahead of drivers who are patiently waiting to get around the accident.
Apparently the inconsiderate driver thinks his or her time is more important than yours.
I don’t get it. Where did that idea come from? Is that something they learned at home?
I can promise you it’s not a trait I learned growing up. In fact, if my mother had seen me being unkind or inconsiderate, she would have blazed my bottom. She simply would not have allowed it.
But even then, in the late 50s and early 60s there were selfish, inconsiderate people.
They were the ones who cheated, bullied, cut in front of you in the lunch line, and made sure you got the short end of the stick in any dealings you had with them.
You learned to acknowledge them for what they were, and you gave them a wide berth. Life is too short to have someone like that too close.
One of the benefits of getting older is that I’ve developed a kind of antenna and filter system. I have the ability to recognize people that grate like squeaking chalk on the blackboard of my psyche and I can simply avoid them as if they had whooping cough.
I guess it was serendipity that our young friend Laken Laird sent me a link to a song by the Alternate Routes that she thought I’d like.
I actually love the song, but I doubt our inconsiderate talker would understand it.
We are Love
We are One
We are how we treat each other when the day is done.
We are Peace
We are War
We are how we treat each other and Nothing More
Rick Watson is a columnist and author from Empire, Alabama. His latest book, Life Happens, is available on Amazon.com. You can contact him via email: firstname.lastname@example.org