I changed my homenode pic--yay! One where I don't look like such a dork! (Don't be fooled. I am a dork. I'm just covering it well in this picture.) ::grin::

Today my co-worker Steve and I had a short chat about people's attitudes. We received a nice note and a plate of cookies from a customer who felt badly for spilling coffee on some books last week. She said in her note that she planned to buy all her books at our bookstore to try to make up for what she did, and to reward us for our graciousness in the matter and our forgiveness. THIS is the kind of attitude I wish more people had (and not just for the free cookies). Most people are not like this woman. Most people just feel that they are allowed to be jerks because they are the customers.

Steve and I talked about it. He mentioned something that steamed him: A medical student studying in the café yesterday. Steve said that that kid was very lucky to have the chance to go to medical school, and will probably have a very successful life if he graduates, but this did not stop him from taking a medical dictionary that was for sale in our store and unwrapping it for his personal use, then just sticking it on the nearest shelf and leaving when he was done. Okay. Now, you're a medical student, and you're probably forking over a lot of money to go to medical school, but you can't be bothered to buy the dictionary. Okay, putting that aside. You can't be bothered to use the library's dictionaries; you feel you have to OPEN one of ours. And even putting THAT aside . . . you can't even put the damn thing back where you got it?

People have this attitude that they're owed something by everyone they meet. Steve described it well: Entitlement. They have an air of entitlement about them; they believe that everyone is there only to be of use to them. Yes, "they have people to clean it up," but that people is ME and my co-workers, and every time I frequent someone else's establishment, I realize that I am not talking about "workers," cogs in a machine, but PEOPLE at work, who will be annoyed if I don't have the decency to clean up after myself. Yet hundreds of people just believe they're entitled to make a mess in our store, every day, and think nothing of the fact that their laziness wastes my time. Yes, I'm being paid. But I could be paid to organize that section so you could find what you want easier, or to have two cashiers so you don't have to wait in a line of six people before you get to check out, or to take more time to assist you in choosing, or to put more books on the shelf for purchase. As it is, way too much of our time is spent cleaning up after people who very easily could have been considerate and put things back where they found them.

Yes, messes in retail stores are inevitable. But is it really necessary to take a huge stack of magazines, rudely read and enjoy them without paying for them, and on top of that leave them for someone else to clean up? Is it really too much to ask for people to have a little decency? I've never been a waitress, but when I slop ketchup on the table, I wipe it up with my napkin. I've never worked in a clothing store, but I don't let shirts stay on the floor if I'm the one who knocked them off the hanger. And I've never worked in a movie theater, but I actually obey the sign that asks me to "pitch in," despite the fact that my mom tells me "they have people to do that." (Incidentally, my mom thinks she SHOULD leave her trash there, because she's under the impression that it gives someone a job, and that she's really doing a good thing. Somehow I really don't think an USHER's job is to clean up after my mom's slobby ass, or that anyone will get fired if she doesn't litter.) I don't care if "there are people to do that." I'm of the opinion that people should start cleaning up after themselves once they're old enough to not have to be told to clean their rooms; i.e., ADULTS. It's surprising how many supposed grown-ups will leave a mess just because "the customer is always right" keeps retailers from playing the much-needed mommy.

And that's my "people are assholes" rant for today.