Apathy in America

Even though I notice it more and more often, I usually just let is slide by, but today I was listening to talk radio and the guy hit the nail on the head: “Have you noticed that people just don’t listen anymore?”

That’s exactly it!  And it manifests itself through apathy, inconsiderate actions towards others, and a lack of concern for the thoughts and sometimes even the existence of others.  The examples are endless, and I’m sure you’ve got your own.  Here are a few of my own experiences:

• Movie theaters seems to be one the most common places for rudeness and being inconsiderate. I have witnessed a little teenager girl not only answer her phone but have a conversation, en entire family discuss the movie while chewing loudly on their popcorn, someone kicking my seat even after “the look back”, a group of rowdy teenagers laughing and giggling and talking during a dramatic scene, and not to mention the mess that most people leave behind when they leave.  Is it that hard to carry your cup to a trash can? 

• Then there’s all those 1-800 customer no-service numbers.  Why are those people on the other end of the phone if they either do not understand my problem and try to help or have to put me on hold for 15 minutes while the supervisor is brought on the line to assist me?  Then there’s the customer service reps who are in another country and can’t speak English…does it really cost THAT much to have an American call center?

• I thought Orlando was bad, but since coming out to Vegas I now realize that the West Coast has the worst drivers in the country.  They will ride your bumper for “only” going 80 MPH, turn left from the right lane, weave in and out of traffic, nearly miss hitting you by inches and then give YOU the finger — and all of this without using a signal!  

• Now the facelessness of the road is one thing, but face-to-face contact should be better, right?  Well, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been at the register when the cashier doesn’t greet me, talks incessantly to fellow workers who must be “on break” while I’m waiting for my items to be rung up or my order to be taken, and then says nothing as my change is handed to me and moves on to the next customer.

• Lastly, there have been more times than I can count when I have held the door open for someone who walks right on through without so much as a nod or grunt of thanks in my general direction.  I’ve also had someone in front of me just let the door close behind them, without even the slightest push of the door my way so I can grab it as I walk through the doorway.

Now maybe I’m just in a foul mood, maybe I’m being insensitive, maybe I need to lighten up, but am I that far off when I say that people are more rude today than they’ve ever been?  Now as much as we might want to blame it all on those callous and self-centered teens and pre-teens of today, they are only part of the problem.  I’ve seen my fair share of idiotic adults who need some training in listening, watching, and recognizing others in their lives as well.

All I’m asking for is some courtesy and consideration.  I’m not perfect either, but together we can make the day-to-day activities just a little more manageable easy to deal with.  You’ll be surprised how far even the most modest of appreciation and understanding will go, if we all just watch and listen for opportunities to notice those around us.


…Thank you.

Published in: on July 19, 2008 at 9:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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