Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hey Joe. What Do You Mean Joe? I Don't Even Know You.

When did it become acceptable for service people to call you by your first name rather than by Mr. Lastname?  It appears that this is even part of the training by the business owners or managers.  I seem to recall, years ago, when I worked as a cashier at Wal-Mart that they instructed up that if the customer used a check or credit card we were to address them by first name.

I admit, I have allowed my children to be much more informal with adults in their life than I think is healthy.

How have we come to this point.  I think that kids are much more well behaved when adults are treated as not just another one of the kids in there class at school or whatever.  I have noticed neighborhood kids that don't even know me being very surly with me.  I have also noticed kids that I teach using phrases like, "You're not my dad.  You can't tell me what to do."

I recognize that there are adults that have done horrible things to kids and kids should be educated and protected on how to deal with those situations.  Kids can be cautious and yet still be respectful.

Service workers can show me respect without being familiar.

Utahans and Crosswalks

I have commented on the obliviousness I have noticed with regard to traffic since I have moved to Utah.  Both from drivers and pedestrians.

Quite often pedestrians will just walk out into a crosswalk, without looking.  Today there was a mother with a new born in a stroller with kids following behind her.  A car is approaching and she steps out and the children follow her out.  When the driver notices that they have stepped out he slams on his brakes, almost hitting them.  He begins yelling at her.  She begins yelling back that she is in the crosswalk.

It should be noted that this was not a crosswalk at a stop light or even a stop sign.  It was just a crosswalk in the middle of a road where driver's would not normally stop and where they likely will be traveling at non-neighborhood speeds.

I couldn't help but wonder if the fact that you had the right of way is a consolation when you are holding your dead baby in you arms because a car, that was unable to stop, smashed into you stroller.

I have seen billboard frequently that put the responsibility on the drivers and guilt them into not running over pedestrians.  Where's the billboard for, "Stop, look, and listen before you cross the street"?

Sunday, June 06, 2010

She's Not in the Refrigerator

I was watching the movie What Women Want with my wife the other day.  The character being played by Mel Gibson is fretting over his behavior and trying to make it right, but he can't get in contact with the woman he is enamored with to continue to try to do so.

At one point he is pacing around his apartment trying to figure out what to do.  He then opens the refrigerator door and does the refrigerator gaze, not knowing what he he wants to eat.  He comes to the conclusion that he isn't looking for something to eat at all.  He closes the door and says, "What am I doing? She's not in the refrigerator."

I have seen the movie a time or two before, but this time this line struck me as profound.  How often have we done the refrigerator stare not knowing what we wanted to eat, but in reality we didn't want anything.  We were either bored, stressed, or antsy.

How many other things in life do we do that are little more that the refrigerator stare?  What are we doing?  What we are looking for is not in the refrigerator.