Why Am I Surprised? By Lois Hewitt

Before I begin, this is not a post fishing for a compliment or to say how great I am.  That’s not what I want this to be about.  This year on the train has been so different from last year.  I cannot pinpoint what made the change, just that it did happen.  Rudeness from customers is now the new norm.  Complaining is the new point of conversation.  The temperature is never right, the food isn’t up to par, the seats are too hard, the service isn’t fast enough, the trip is too long or too short, the line to the restroom is too long, and the weather isn’t good enough,  just to name a few complaints. 

I try to tell about local history and I can barely get their attention as they continue to talk over me.  Today, I stopped mid-sentence and walked off, I doubt anyone even noticed.  I explain that I go to each table over and over so that I can make sure that no customer is missed or ignored. I try to treat all 44 of my customers the same.  Well apparently, some people are more important than others because they will do anything to get their request filled immediately.  When I say that I’m on my way and will be there as fast as I can, they act like I kicked a puppy. There goes another tip down the drain.  

Seems no one has any tolerance for even the slightest discomfort. There is definitely no tolerance for being inconvenienced even if you are assisting another customer. So the rudeness isn’t just directed at me, it’s aimed at all people everywhere.  This morning it was chilly outside. We always board people who need a little extra time or need assistance first.  Today I asked if anyone needed assistance and everyone in line came up.  I doubt that the entire car was not in need of assistance,  their personal needs came before people who truly needed help.

Today I sit here defeated, wondering where society is headed.  Where are manners and basic respect? It’s so sad that when you meet someone who is considerate, you can’t believe it.  It has become such a rarity in our society.  Today I am very sad for the people of the world for they obviously do not see things from the same perspective that I do.  Tolerance, love and compassion are all traits I am trying to cultivate in myself, but you can only be totally ignored or cast aside so many times until you give up. I’m on the verge of giving up.

If entitlement and disregard for other people become the norm, I don’t want to live here any longer.  I am thinking about becoming a hermit. Except that isn’t a high paying profession!  I feel hurt and discouraged.  I feel sad and disappointed.  I realize that no place is idealistic but it’s not so much about a certain place, it’s about human response to other humans. 

I will keep trying because that’s what I do.  Occasionally you have that perfect day that plays out beautifully. You feel love and give it freely.  Those days are few and far between but they seem to keep us all going, moving forward.  I wish those times where the norm, but that’s probably too much to ask for. As long as entitlements and greed have a stronghold on people it will only get worse. 

Maybe I’ll start looking for a cave to live in since deserted islands are usually too expensive.

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