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Monday, June 29, 2015

Enough is Enough

Social Misfit

Unacceptable Public (Social) Behavior
  • Rudeness (also called impudence or effrontery) is a display of disrespect by not complying with the social norms or etiquette of a group or culture. These laws have been established as the essential boundaries of normally accepted behavior. To be unable or unwilling to align one's behavior with these laws known to the general population of what is socially acceptable is to be rude.
  • Rudeness "constituted by deviation from whatever counts as politic in a given social context, is inherently confrontational and disruptive to social equilibrium" (Kasper, 1990, p. 208). Rudeness, particularly with respect to speech, is necessarily confrontational at its core.
  • Forms of rudeness include acting inconsiderate, insensitive, deliberately offensive, and impolite, a faux pas, obscenity, profanity and violating taboos such as deviancy. In some cases, an act of rudeness can go so far as to be a crime, for example, the crime of hate speech.
There is no place for rudeness

This year unlike other recent years I have at least doubled the number of road trips that we have taken in only the first 6 months.  My wife and I have always made our home so enjoyable that even when we travel we can’t wait to get back home.  I know and few people will argue that our society is headed on a death spiral.  By that, I mean that the quality of manners in our society is quickly becoming almost non-existent.  Those of us that benefited by parents and grandparents that cared and gave us a proper upbringing usually ignore rude behavior because of our very own proper manners.

In a recent weekend my wife and I were on an unplanned road trip and surprise visit to relatives across the State.  Everything had been a happy and satisfying experience, until we decided to make an unscheduled stop at a fast food restaurant for a pit-stop (read restroom break).  Because I was brought up not to take something for nothing, we decided to buy something so as to be fair.  I was standing in line and there was what appeared to be a kindly white hair old gentleman behind me.

As I usually do with strangers, I turned around and asked him how his day was going, and he replied just fine thank you.  I remember thinking what a nice fella, but within minutes the real evil man that he was stepped out of the old carcass.  He ordered from the cash register next to the one I was placing my order, and I remember listening in on his order.  He ordered a basic sandwich with nothing to drink.  Yet when his order came he started yelling that the order didn’t include his chocolate milk.  The employee, explained that he (the customer) had not ordered anything to drink. 

The old man kept raising his voice and asking for the employee to get him his chocolate milk and to give him coupons for three free meals.  When the employee wouldn’t comply, the old man asked to talk to the manager, and get me my three free meal coupons.  The employee responded that he was the manager.  The old man started making racial slurs (the manager was a minority, and customer wasn’t), and saying he was going to call the district manager to complain.  By now the manager was really being accosted by this mean spirited customer who obviously had an agenda when he walked into the restaurant. 

While this confusing scene was developing, the customer took his order and a large bag that had just been placed on the counter filled with another customer’s order.  The horrible customer kept yelling as he made his way to the door.  I heard the manager say what are you doing? Now you are going to steal someone else’s food! The place was filled with traveler type customers that were obviously of parent and grandparent age.  The look of disbelief was on every single person’s face.  One customer finally yelled at the customer (crook), “way to go man, I suppose you are proud of yourself!”  As the customer/crook was almost out the door, he responded, “Shut up and mind your own business.”  I chimed in while he could still here me, “Way to go guy you should be ashamed of yourself!”
Life doesn't have to imitate art

Some positive outcomes are that: 1) no one joined the customer/crook in berating the manager, 2) The manager held his ground, 3) the customer/crook’s effort to be loud and try to embarrass the manager into some free food, actually backfired, 4) a couple of us participated so that the crowd could see that the crook didn’t have any support.  I actually relayed a message to the manager that if he needed a witness on his side, I would gladly be that person. Loss prevention is not only important to the big corporations, it’s also important to the consumer.  If allowed to get out of control we will be paying $12 for a McDonald’s 89 cent burger.

There is still hope for our society because only a small percentage of anti-social people are raising Cain in public.  If we stick together for what’s right we can make a difference.  I pledge not to stand by while our society bottoms out.  The best is yet to come….

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