Wednesday’s Tuesday Affliction

People are funny

Lot of folks want something from you, very few are willing to give you something back.  Not being all that sure when this practice became “common place” in America but I can tell you this.  I am not a big fan of it.  Everywhere I go someone is barking at me, “Zip code!” … “Receipt, you cannot leave the store without it.” … “telephone number.” Personally, I am kind of like the monkey and the skunk on this issue, “I have had about all this stinking ____ that I want.”

Now that last one especially irks me, someone who usually pays in advance or in cash.  If I am using cash, why do they need to have MY telephone number?  I purchase a pack of batteries at Radio Shack and they want me to give them my telephone number, what for, I don’t get it?

One common denominator in the above paragraph, did you notice it?

The absence of civility or politeness seems to be disappearing, if not totally gone in this country.  The word “Please” or “May I?” is clearly missing.  Taking it one step further, I have discovered that in Louisiana they are actually teaching courses on it (politeness and civility) as the need has become so acute and the apparent disregard of it totally by the parents has led to an entire generation of rude, crude, demanding mini-people.

As I pointed out in the first paragraph, “Lot of folks want something from you, very few are willing to give you something back.”  Here is a prime example, I walk into a root scoot the other day, go to the Big Slurpy section and retrieve a number three wash tub sized cup and fill it.  I am not supposed to have it, but often to my doctor’s dismay, I will stop for a diet Dr. Pepper and a lot of foam.

At the counter I see a handwritten sign that reads:  “We need $5 bills, help us out.” Which was reasonable, please note no mention of “please.”  So I say to the guy, “How many do you want?” and point at the sign.

He says, “How many do you have?” and I think to myself, “damn another test and I am unprepared.” People who try to control a conversation by always answering a question with a question irate me, I know, I have been married to one who has done this for over thirty-years.

Back to the root n scoot fellow.  “I tell him that I have at least ten of them that he can have.  This is because I carry two money clips with me, I cull out the fives, use them in my savings plan and for tips when I eat out.”

He then says, “I will take them all.”

So then I say to him, “How about  giving me the drink for free?  I am doing you a favor, helping you out, so fair is far, you give me the Slurpy for free?” Mr. I Hate My Second Job Clerk gets rather indignant about it and says, “No way Bud!  The drink is $1.39.”

Which kind of sets the mood from there on out, one thing I do not care for is being called “Bud.”  My name is not Bud.  Another thing I am not overly fond of is “attitude.”  Ka-Ching the register rings it up …. “No Sale.”

Retrieving two rather worn, used up dollar bills from my other money clip, I say, “there is the money for the drink” and he makes change for the drink and then tries to hand me two twenties and a ten.  So I smile and I say, “What is that for?” pretending that I do not know what is going on.

“For the $5 bills” he says.

So then I ask him, is that is how it works around here, I scratch your back, you do nothing for me while all the time I am doing you what is known as a “solid” (favor) in most parts of the country?

“We had a deal on the fives.” Was his reply.

Maybe in “his world” we did, I of course did not see it that way.  Like I said, “Lot of folks want something from you, very few are willing to give you something back.” I scooped up my Big Slurpy and headed out the door with MY fives.

That was Tuesday and of course “today is a totally different day” wonder what it will bring?  Be sweet to all those you meet, because the words you speak, may be the ones you have to eat.  A dollar won’t take you very far in America these days, but a “please and a smile” will take you a long ways down the road of life.

Think about it.