Sunday, September 11, 2005


Misanthropic Topic

If you ever want to know why those who deal with the public are so bitter, try working a retail job. So many people think nothing of mistreating someone who is serving them and being an asshole just because they can get away with it. No wonder there's social unrest! I've worked a few jobs in retail, and they've made me realize how easily people lose sight of other people's humanity and equal right for dignity. I used to work at an audio bookstore full-time but now only work there one Saturday or Sunday on the weekend. It's something to do, gets me out of the house and gives me a little extra cash. But some of the customers I have to deal with...
"People are people so why should it be that you and I get along so awfully?"
—Depeche Mode, "People Are People"
This morning I was preparing for opening when a woman came to the door. My clock said 11:55; hers apparently said noon. Fine. No big deal. I opened the door and let her in. It was obvious that I was trying to count down my drawer and finish a couple of opening tasks, but that didn't stop her from being demanding and peremptory, instead of graciously granting me five freaking minutes to finish up. Then a lady calls me and decides she's gonna pull a 'tude 'cuz we don't have the book she thought we did. She's talking to me as if I'm an idiot and making sarcastic comments because, heaven knows, her remembered version of reality must be more accurate than what I'm looking at right in front of me.

What really gets to me are the crunchy, Hollywood hippy types. You know that they think they're God's gift to peace & love in the world because they vote Democrat and let their maids call them by their first names. Yet they come in yakking on their cell phones, looking right through me and acting like they're the center of the universe. Last weekend, one woman came in with her ten-year-old brat and didn't say a word to him as he proceeded to destroy the Children's section fifteen minutes before closing time.

This is why I'm not particularly political. I don't believe that lip-service to a particular political ideology is what drives social change. Our individual actions and the way we treat people every single moment of every single day are all that matters, not the bumper stickers on our cars and the rhetoric we scream at one another. It's like those people who sit through an hour of church and then honk and swear at the other drivers as they negotiate out of the parking lot. Take the tragedy of the September 11th attacks four years ago today. They were carried out by individuals, not by countries or religions or creeds. Every day people around the world live with violence and degradation like the victims of the September 11th attacks experienced, perpetrated by fellow human beings and staining history like sin on the soul of humanity.
"Or perhaps you fashionably and happily believe that it's all a simple matter of evil dictators rather than whole populations of evil people like...ourselves."
—School Professor, If...

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