Saturday, May 31, 2008

Things I think about so you don't have to

Not to sound like a pessimist - because, really, I'm not - but I seem to be crossing paths with an unusually dense cluster of mean-spirited people these days. Rather than whine about it, I thought I'd try to look at the doofii (yes, it's a word. I invented it) from another perspective:
  1. Thank you to the mother in our car pool who, for the umpteenth time since we started the car pool, left my kid sitting at his art class. I hope his need to get home didn't interfere with your social calendar. You know that cell phone that you usually have stuck in your ear while you're ignoring the environment around your SUV? I'm puzzled why you didn't use it to, um, I don't know, call someone to advise us that you had once again come up with something more important to do than uphold your end of the bargain.
  2. A tip of the hat to the road raging motorcyclist who apparently didn't take too kindly to my refusal to let him squeeze by me on the onramp last week. While you were busy trying to bait me into a three-lane, high-speed game of vehicular chicken, you failed to consider two things. One: One bump from my four-wheeled vehicle would have turned your two-wheeler - and by extension, you - into a lifeless pile. Be glad I was in a good mood that night. Two: I have a BlackBerry, which I used to call the OPP, who seemed very pleased when they hauled you over. I hope you were polite to them. You man, you.
  3. The woman who neglected to say "thank you" when I held the door for her at the mall. I'm a door-holder (I know, it makes me a sap. Whatev) and it stuns me how many people will deliberately avoid eye contact and just keep on walking. I'm tempted to let the door slam in the next moron's face, but I know I wasn't raised to be a dick. I choose to use you people as lessons in politeness for our kids.
  4. The neighbors with two large dogs and an apparent allergy to using leashes. They've been warned countless times to hook them up. They've spent many nights driving around the neighborhood after their less-than-trained pets ran away. They've been visited by animal control so often that they're on a first-name basis with the officers. I'm the guy who called them in this week when one of them charged me, charged my youngest son and tried to get into my house. I'm the one with animal control on his BlackBerry's speed dial, and I'll keep calling them until you either learn your lesson - easy way or hard way, your choice - or they take these poor animals away from you for good. Rest assured that in the meantime, my kids are learning all about how not to raise a pet by watching you.
Your turn: Got anything you'd like to get off your chest? Feel free...in the meantime, I'll edit some photos for the coming week's postings. Stay tuned for prettier views of the world around me.

25 comments:

biddledown said...

The trick to the inconsiderate door-passer-throughers is to say "You're welcome," as they walk away. It might not change their future behavior, but you'll feel better knowing that they heard you, and that they know that you regret having held the door open for them.

courtney said...

"Wasn't raised to be a dick".
Wow, you are bent out of shape. Let it out, Carmi.
And, for the record, I always, ALWAYS say thank you when someone holds a door open for me. So, let me say thank you in replacement of that woman who didn't.

Sara said...

funny you ask as i made a post about similar thing earlier today! i'm a door holder as well :)

Sara said...

I am so glad that you weren't raised to be a "dick" - because I can tell you there are plenty of those around!

You set a wonderful example for your children...

And, for the record, I always say thank you - for anyone who holds the door for me - and to the person driving the car that stops at the cross walks when I want to cross the street!

Jennifer said...

Rude people get my shorts in a wad, Carmi! Ugh! You're being much nicer about it than I'd be!!

Wordnerd said...

I hope you're going to let carpool mom know exactly what you think. In fact, give her the url to this post -- she deserves it. What a b*tch. I'm with ya on the rest -- and I'm glad you're not being passive about it.

Sleepypete said...

There's a salesman who found out why I didn't haggle too hard today when he reversed my old car out of its parking space ! (It had a habit of Clonking when shifting direction) I get the feeling he's thinking I might be one of those evil people ... They'll be bouncing it straight on to auction anyway because it's older than what they're interested in.

I'm a door holder too ... It's an opportunity to grin at people and hopefully get a grin back :-) Can't understand how people can be so wrapped up in anything to not want to do something so simple yet so pleasant for someone else.

Allison Says said...

How funny--I just wrote a post very similar to this!

I absolutely hate it when people don't say "thank you!" I like briddledown's suggestion, and it is something I often do.

lissa said...

AAAAHHHH don't get me started!

okay, my laundry list...

1) Same type of situation with a kid and carpool only this entailed a father who, blaming another kid in carpool for his own hypersensitive son's whiny tears, decided to tell my son and his friend to "walk home by yourselves." This at 5 p.m. on a dark, winter's afternoon. All was resolved but apologies only came when said father's wife put his feet to the fire (and I heard her dictating the words to him as he left the message on my answering machine).

2) The mother who not only didn't thank me when I retrieved her runaway 3-year-old from the library parking lot but screamed at the kid "that was very mean! No TV on the way home!" Oh the punishments the suburbia has fallen victim to imposing...kid'll be CRUSHED!

3) The drivers. Carmi, thank your lucky stars you moved out of Quebec because it's worse than ever! People in parking lots thinking they can drive any lane, any speed, any which way but loose...the speeders on my street who think that it's a race track between stop signs...and the truckers (you've blogged about them and yes, they deserve rant space devoted only to them) who flash the brights at me in the right-hand lane...and then honk and scare the bejeebers out of me as they pass...

I do like "doofii" though...may I appropriate it when appropriate?

Seems a nice relaxing evening at home with family and quiet (with 3 kids and a dog - yeah, I know, it's a pipe dream) should help soothe those rough edges...

Want to renew your faith in human nature? Rent Lars and the Real Girl and smile; it might be fiction but it's one of the most decent films I've seen yet (despite what it looks to be, it really is wonderful).

Peace!

Joy T. said...

I wrote a post a week or two ago on an old gentleman opening the door just enough to let himself in...with me two steps behind him....and him letting it close on me. I was highly disappointed. So I'm going to thank you very much for being a door holder.

Where to start...

To the woman whose one year old (I'm guessing) was screaming her poor little lungs out in Safeway today? Please please please put the chips back and tend to that child. She needed you. "I" could see it. Why couldn't you?

To the Safeway checkout lady? Aren't you supposed to say hi to the customer or even, have a nice day? Aren't you supposed to say SOMETHING to the customer??

To the guy in the teeny tiny Smart Car who cut me off on Hwy 2 today? My vehicle could squish your vehicle like a bug. So stop it.

To my dog who I love and painstakingly washed and scrubbed and bathed today because he rolled in something fowl on the acreage? You shake and spray me with soapy water again and I swear I'll take the pressure washer to you next time.

I have so many more but I don't want to hog all your commenting space :o)

sage said...

normally I could add to your list, but I'm on vacation and refused to be upset, but yesterday, there was this guy on a motorcycle who did seem incensed that he had to slow down for me to cross at a marked crossing!

Linda said...

to the parents at the racetrack last night....

Your kids are under the age of 5 - you should REALLY keep an eye on them....they shouldn't be left to run around like little animals, not watching where they are going and running into people and things (like the bleachers we were sitting on). Of course, you were too busy smoking your cigarettes and drinking your beer and chatting with whatever redneck happened to be sitting next to you. You didn't need to watch kids...they take care of themselves, don't they?

You also should take care to bring earplugs for little Junior and Juniorette so that they don't feel the need to come and ask me if I can give them a pair of mine. I brought 4 pairs...me, hubs, daughter and son...none to spare. And quite frankly...what would possess you to bring a baby who can not walk...or one who can barely walk...to a race where the engines can be hear 15 miles away? Because seriously? Those decibel ratings are harsh for adult ears...I can only imagine what it will do to a child exposed to them WITHOUT ear protection, at a young age. What? You choose to laugh at my blue "squishy" earplugs? No one in MY car had to repeat more than once in order to be understood....understand?


Thanks, Carmi...I've got more, but no time right now!

Awareness said...

you need to move to Fredericton. :)

Stacy said...

Oh my word. I could really write a novel right now. There's some culture shock going on, some transition issues...just makes me a tad less tolerant than usual.

Like the teacher who assigns but never instructs. I'm a teacher, and normally I back teachers with my own kids, but when I see a teacher raking my kids over the coals grading-wise, and know they aren't even instructing beforehand.... UGH!

And for the record, Carmi, I am LONGING to have my door opened for me again. I'll be in Texas soon, and it's just done there. (Along with nodding or acknowledging to cars you're passing on two-laned roads, or men removing their hats indoors and tipping them to women). It's just something I miss so much. Thank you for being one of those guys! My kids see that in my husband, but it's so much better being enforced by men around them as well!

kenju said...

That's a good rant list, Carmi, and you're right on every point. I can't believe people don't say thanks when someone holds a door!

My rant? People who bitch about everything (not you) and never mention anything good about life!
Sorry - I've been subjected to one like that lately.

Babystepper said...

Well, yes, actually. I have the same dog problem.

Mine would read something like...

" A big thanks to my neighbors for teaching me that I can't leave anything hanging on my washline, my children cannot leave their own little shoes in their own backyard, and we must bring in all their little toys from the wading pool or they will be chewed to smithereens."

Bob-kat said...

Yeah, I hear you. I have been feeling exactly the same way recently. I'm a door holder too and it really irks me when people don't say thank you or treat me like it's my job to be there. I also hate people who cut me up and then don't acknowledge me when I'm driving, who don't say thank you when I let them into the lane in front of me. Basically I hate rudeness, ignorance and bad manners.

Why does there seem to be more about at the moment?

creme brulee aka GH said...

(a comment re your comment back at It Strikes Me Funny)

I agree with your comments, carmi.

as costs grow more "visible and significant" our blinders will come off and more restraint will be shown.

Recently I've heard we now need to reduce carbon emissions by 90 per cent (IPCC, George Monbiot).

the rising price of fuel and food will "force us to get real...deservedly" as you say and perhaps practicing restraint in those areas will help us do the same in many others.

gh

oranginadreams said...

I'm so with you on the door holding. I mean, how hard is it to say thank you?!! That happens to me all the time - it's gotten to the point where I just want to yell "your welcome" really loud in their face.
My only gripe today is my husband's coworker who had a really nasty cough for about 8 weeks (yes that's right) and did nothing about it. He got his wife sick - she lost her voice. He got my husband sick - he got bronchitis and a sinus infection. And now I'm sick.
So thanks, man, for not going to the Dr and getting yourself taken care of.
Leslie

Matthew said...

Thanks for visiting my blog Carmi, I am very new to it so I still get really excited when I have a new comment.
The one that gets me is when you slow or stop to let someone pull into your lane and they don't wave and say 'thanks'. Drives me bonkers. It is one of the few times I want to have a monster truck and just run their BMW over.

Chris said...

Not long after I read your post, I finished reading Bill Bryson's memoir, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid (a brilliantly funny book that I highly recommend), which ends with a solution to your door problem. As a child, his alter-ego was the Thunderbolt Kid, who could vaporize people with a single glare. He ends the book with "The Thunderbolt Kid grew up and moved on. Until quite recently he still occasionally vaporized people, usually just after they had walked through a held door without saying thank you ..."

So maybe you just need to brush up on your superpowers :-)

Sassy Mama Bear said...

You don't want me making a mess out of your comments griping over all the things that mess with my days...
Glad you called the OPP, and they nailed that guy for his poor driving manners.
As for the door holding, we have developed a thick skin to the people who don't respect that we have done something nice, we figure it is our "good turn daily" as Boy Scouts. so keep it up!

me said...

I would love to know how you handle the reject that left/forgot/whatever/ your child. Just reading it and thinking of someone doing that to my baby, (seriously, how could you do that to a kid? Do you do that to your own kid?)
All Hail the CRACKBERRY


*To the rat fink bastard who drives like a bat out of hell in the right lane, cutting me off before it goes down to one lane. Then proceeds to drive the speed limit or under when there is no one in front of you. If you ever do that and my boy isn’t in the car you will not be happy. Oh ya, you know how my cars headlights seem to always be in your eyes. I am so doing that on purpose.

barbie2be said...

oh carmi... i wish there were more door holders like you. they are so few and far between that i always make a special point of saying thank you and good morning or what ever.

i am also a i have a full grocery cart and the person behind me only has three items so please go ahead of me person. :)

rashbre said...

Civil is good, spread the happy.