Lines – the true tester of one’s patience. I hate lines so much that I make a point of looking to see if the service I need can be done online. The worse lines are still at the DMV and the bank, but I am thankful that most of those things can be done online or through the mail. However, the one thing I still find myself standing in line for is food, especially when I am at work. This brings me to the reason I decided to write this blog entry.
Two days ago on Monday I had just got my food and paid for it without any problems. I was going to be working until late in the evening, so I decided to get lunch, a few snacks, and another plate for dinner. This meant that my dinner plate would need to be covered with plastic wrap, so I stand behind the person using the wrap, thereby forming a line.
When she is done with her plastic wrap, some guy comes and eases right in front of me, and gets his plastic wrap. He didn’t acknowledge me at all and acted like I wasn’t there. Then he proceeded to take way longer than it should take a person to pull off a piece of plastic and wrap the plate. But wait, he wasn’t done yet. He then pulled another piece of wrap off. I really would not have cared as much if he would have quickly pulled the plastic off and gone about his business, but he took forever in plastic-wrapping time.
I don’t know why I didn’t say anything to him. Last week I had no problem telling a lady that I was next in line when we were checking out. She was trying to put her fruit up to be loaded on the scale next, but I had something that needed to be weighed on the scale so I politely told her to move it. Then she says, “Oh. Were you in front of me,” and I said yes. So I’m not sure what held me back from telling this idiot that I was next in line for the plastic wrap.
I know some of you are thinking, ‘Flo, it’s just plastic wrap. Let it go,’ but it’s not just about the plastic wrap. It truly is the principal of the thing. For one thing, he is a man and I am a woman. What happened to those days when men were concerned about women going first, especially if she is before him in a line? Such a thing would have never happened just a few decades ago. Now, men have lost all respect for women, and that is not restricted to cutting women in lines.
This isn’t the first time a man has cut in front of me in a line. This time I was at my local grocery store. I wasn’t the only one waiting in line in the self-checkout isle, but I was next. Then this guy walked right past all of us and went straight to the next available machine. I didn’t say anything that time either, and neither did the person working there who was supposed to be preventing such things from happening. However, the woman behind me did say in a very audible voice, “So much for chivalry.” I laughed at her bold words and hoped that the man not only heard them, but knew she was talking about him. Indeed, what happened to chivalry?
Then there was another time within the last two months where I was back at the same grocery story waiting at the customer service counter because they charged me about $6 too much for broccoli. Not only was the line long, but it was moving ridiculously slow. It seems like everyone chose that day to to play the lottery scratch off tickets and send or receive a Money Gram. Anyway, not wanting to wait in the line, an old lady went straight to the counter and asked if she could be served. The employee said that she had to wait in line and couldn’t cut. Honestly, I was so happy that the employee said that because Lord knows what everlasting task she was there for.
What is going on here? I really do believe that the woman that tried to go in front of me at the cafeteria truly was mistaken but what excuse is there for two men and old lady who blatantly disregard the rules of a line and headed straight to the front? The plastic wrap man couldn’t say he didn’t see me because I was standing close enough to the woman getting plastic wrap that there is no way he could not have seen me. The man at Kroger couldn’t say he didn’t see the line because there were about four people waiting. As for the old lady, that line was visible from the other side of the store.
I am about to say something very controversial, but I think cutting in lines boils down to a feeling of entitlement. Things are so bad in this system that we get to a point where we can’t take it anymore and we try to come up with an excuse why the rules don’t apply to us, and the rest of the people feel entitled because they truly are used to everything going their way. For example, black people feel entitled because they have been historically downtrodden, white people (especially men) feel entitled because they are used to getting their way, women feel entitled because they have been historically belittled in comparison to men, some old people feel entitled because they are used to people letting them get discounts and otherwise get their way, some old people fee; entitled because they never have anything go their way, children feel entitled because most of them have not had proper childhoods for whatever vile reason, rich people feel entitled because they are used to getting whatever they want on a silver platter, working people feel entitled because they are not able to enjoy the pittance of a check they bring home, poor people feel entitled because they would like to have something go their way for once. All social, religious, racial, national, ethnic, and economic groups have people within them that feel a little more entitled than the rest making them bold enough to cut in line.
If this is a little too complex for you, let’s bring it to the home front and say that the people who feel entitled were not raised right. Even young children can have the makings of being a rude monster in the making. I’ve come across three and four year-olds who will not say hello, goodbye or even thank you. Those are simple things that kids their age can be trained to say. And what do their parents do? Many times they just laugh the awkward situation off and say he must be sleepy or hungry or have to use the bathroom. The truth of the matter is he must be rude. Parents need to nip such things in the bud. It also not very common to hear older kids thanking their parents for their allowance or for a tasty dinner.
All of this information is what I got out of that dummy cutting in front of me in line on Monday. So if you ever find yourself confronted with a line when you are rushing or just hate standing in lines and want to cut, remember this: Everyone else in the line has things that needs to be done, too. Your time is not more important than ours, just as our time is not more important than yours. In a world where people are unfairly treated throughout the country and the world, let’s show a little civility by respecting the line and exercise a little dignity, grace, and respect for others. That is today’s tip from Flo.