Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Meijer and the uncommon courtesy

fundamentally, I don't subscribe to bumper sticker philosophy. in the past I've considered bumper stickerophiles to be, well--whiny. admonitions to save this & that, proclamations of political alliances, loser-ish obsessions to a now defunct rock band, toothless warnings about what goes around comes blah-blah...what-everrr (said in a valley-girl, raised-eyebrow, locked-jaw way). but after the past few weeks at Meijer, I'm whistlin' a new tune, baby!

I'm sure you've seen this sticker "mean people suck!" yeah, that's the one, the whini-est,--dare I say--the mother of all whiny bumper stickers? I dare, indeed, I dare! not only do I now subscribe to this philosophy, I'm considering having it sand blasted on all my odyssey's windows, with an uncanny likeness of me sticking out my tongue!

what is going on people?! when someone opens a door for you, the proper response is "thank you," not a sow-like grunt. when you nearly t-bone another cart, the proper response is, "excuse me," or even better, a quick "sorry" with a forgive-me smile, not a "sheeshh" or a huffy eyes rolling to the back of your head gesture. do I really have to teach courtesy 101 and shop for my pitted black olives?

I'm at the express lane unloading my 13 items, while a "man," (later I'll call him something else, but I don't want to give it away right now) is paying cash for his items. I'm loading up the conveyer belt when my peripheral vision sees something fall to the ground right at his feet and my bionic-like hearing tells me it was something like folds of paper. my brain registers all this and the fact that "man" doesn't react. he has no idea he has dropped something. so, being the concerned, motherly, worry-wart that I am, when this "man" starts to walk away, I check to see what he has left behind. to my astonishment I see a folded wad of moolah (that's cash for you non-slangers) with the numeral 100 on the upper and lower corners. I quickly start sputtering, "sir! sir! you've dropped something!" pointing at the cash on the floor like I've discovered texas tea (that's oil for you non-Beverly Hillbillies fans) at the #2 checkout lane. now, what does "jack-ass man" (there. see, if I told you my nomenclature for him before it would have ruined the story for you) mumble off-handedly as he reaches down for his money?

wait for it... wait for it...

"humpf, I would have missed that."

no sound of relief in his voice, no meaningful eye contact, and incomprehensible to me no "thank you!" at the very least I expected a rushed, maybe even an embarrassed mumble, but, no mumble! the cashier and I exchange a look, both our eyebrows raised in a I-can't-believe-what-just-happened look. I heard her say under her breath, "you should've kept your mouth shut."

this has been snow balling people! I've noted this now for some time, and not just at Meijer. I've come to a certain tolerance level, even a lack of common courtesy expectation at Meijer but when the rudeness overflows to Kroger...now we have an epidemic!

maybe you know that at Kroger, to get any of their sale deals you have to present your Kroger card when they scan your items. well, again, I'm number 2 in line when I half-hear the woman in front of me, with a ton of groceries, complain about not knowing the whole Kroger card rule, and of course, she has no Kroger card, but she does have a higher than expected Kroger grocery bill. so, in a "hand it over" attitude, the cashier looks at me and says, "she needs your Kroger card." yeah, just like that. it wasn't a plea to my humanity, there was no obligatory explanation, it wasn't even asked. and little miss damsel-in-distress looks down her nose at me as if to say "yeah, and hurry it up, missy!"

like the village idiot I hand my card over. with my card she saved just over $26 on her bill! now, in the world of coupons and shopping sales, that's a huge savings! so, I'm waiting for the thank you. nothing. at least "jack-ass man" said something in my general direction, it was the wrong thing, but he said something...miss thang didn't say a word to me, she gave a curt nod of her head to the cashier and huffed, "now that sounds about right" when the cashier told her the new total.

we're back to where we started, mean people suck!

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