This has been one of the oddest weeks I've had in a long time... It's kind of hard to explain, but I had so many examples of how NOT to act in regard to others it was rather mind boggling. I don't think I treated anyone badly this week, I certainly didn't try to, but boy what I saw just made my jaw drop on several occasions.
Maybe this blog is just my way of bitching about my week, but I think some of the things I witnessed and experienced this week really were illustrative. The big stories of the week were difficult to avoid... Ah-nold Schwarzenegger, Dominique Strauss-Kahn (the IMF president) and Newt Gingrich... stories of their infidelities, sexual assaults of women and other plain bad behavior were all over the place. Alternet has an interesting analysis of why people continue to follow these horrid men here. However I think the take home point still has to be the very simple "Don't Be That Guy/Gal".
In my own life, several incidents happened that left me stunned. I was in a local burrito restaurant on Monday for lunch. The line was long already and I walked in with a young woman and really didn't care if she was in front of me or not. And I didn't care until about 5 minutes... when THREE of her friends sauntered in and joined her in line in front of me and the sizable number of folks who'd lined up behind us. She and her buddies just chatted on, apparently oblivious to the unrest their callousness had caused. Later one of the chatty little party went up to get a slice of lemon for her drink, which was fine until she decided she was having too much trouble with the utensil provided by the establishment and just reached down into the bin of lemon wedges with her hand. (Big no-no to those of us who work public health!)
The second incident was at a local burger chain. I drove in front of the restaurant and was trying to decide whether to walk in or go through the drive through... I saw only one car and decided to use the latter. So I pulled up behind the same car that I'd seen from the road and proceeded to sit for a good 3 or 4 minutes while the woman in the car dithered, hemmed, hawed and otherwise practice being the most annoying person on earth. So I backed up, drove around the store, parked, ordered, got my food, filled my drink and was on my way out as she advanced to the pick up window. I apologized to the crew for her, since I figured she wouldn't have a clue anyway.
The last incident is really a carryover from an event at work a few weeks ago. A person with whom we worked and really liked for several years revealed herself as a lying, backstabbing, manipulative, two-faced, delusional bitch who will stop at nothing to get what she wants, even if it means using the bodies piled up in her wake as a ladder to bigger and better things.
I am in no way saying that people should wholly live their lives based on the opinions of others. However, people have got to get out of the "center of the world" mindset too. There are others around you... people that you might need to rely on someday. You never know who that may be or in what circumstances that need could arise.
I think this illustrates the political trajectory the US is on currently. We have a very small group of people at the top, making all the money, thinking they are the center of the universe and somehow forgetting that the other 98% don't live the way they do or have the advantages they do. They see no point in helping take care of others in any but the smallest measure. It's really sad, because the country has a good deal of unraveling before people start to take notice of the handbasket they we are in and the road we are on. I think the best we can do is keep jumping up and down and yelling until they start listening to us.
But if we work hard to not be that guy, I think we will be okay.
So please, think about your relationships... and Don't Be That Guy! & Be Excellent to Each Other!