4/20/12

Would Would YOU Do?

One of my favorite shows is What Would You Do?  If you're not familiar, specific social situations are set up in an effort to see who would speak up to the injustice. I watch most weeks, all the while certain that I would, in the sometimes-extreme circumstances, stand up for the wronged party. I feel confident in this.

It's easy to decide while sitting on the couch. Take these two instances:

My husband and I were in Sweet CeCe's. As per usual, I am watching the people milling about and one man in particular cause my attention. When I realized he was eating his treat, before having paid, I started to really watch him not caring if he noticed. After a dozen or so bites, and even adding another pump of peanut butter topping, the real jaw-dropping moment occurred when he took another bite, in front of the employee as he set his cup on the scale.

My husband whisper-yelled, "Okay. Where's John Quinones?"

The employee never flinched. Never acted like she knew him. Never mentioned if she noticed he'd already eaten approximately half. He only paid for what was on the scale when he set it down.

Some Good Rules to Live By
Perhaps this is a good place to start.
Next scene: Walgreen's.

We are walking to the front counter. Just as we approach, a woman walks in talking loudly on her cell phone. Just as we are about to arrive at the counter, she says the employee, "Do y'all still have some of that salmon?"

The employee politely answers, "Yes."

Loud woman says, "Can you get it for me? Two cans?"  And continues her conversation.

Now had this woman been giving instructions for birthing a baby, or a surgical procedure, or performing a marriage, I would have cut her some slack.

We placed our purchases on the counter whilst we waited for the poor employee to fetch the salmon. Once she returned, the salmon-wanting, loud-talker - still on the phone mind you - proceeds to walk around me to be the first served in line. And then has the audacity to ask, "You got a coupon for that?"

The sweet employee answered, "Yes," and then started to ring us up. Ms. Entitled, still talking on the phone, looks at me like I'm tryin' to steal her salmon.

I say to the employee, "Oh no. Please ring her up first. CLEARLY she is a hurry and can't be bothered to shop like regular folks."

The sweet employee blushed and I feared she thought I was upset with her. I did assure her that she was doing a great job and handling things perfectly, all things considered.

These instances? Two of a billion reasons I don't work retail.

All of that aside, thankfully John Quinones did NOT catch up with me, asking why I did nothing. And while I kicked myself for doing nothing - my fear of confrontation taking control -  the answers I really want are to these two questions: When did people start feeling like they were entitled? How are we going to fix this?

My fear is the best I can hope for is that my children learn by my example and don't fall into the trap of, "Well, I saw so-and-so do it."

Have you ever witnessed something similar? What did you do? 


Photo courtesy of maczter via Flickr







1 comment:

Heather said...

I think sometimes when we witness something like that it takes us so much by surprise -- astounds us, actually! -- that it's over before we've really had time to figure out what we might want to say or do. 

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