Wednesday, February 29, 2012


When did rude become the new normal?

Lately I've been struck by how impatient and rude people are. Is it a by-product of the tech world we now live in, where if things aren't delivered instantly it's cause for rude behaviour?

I've spent a lot of time sitting in ER lately with my mother's health crises. Ontario's health care system is broken, and there are certainly people who shouldn't be in the ER. When you go to ER now, you should expect to wait. You should expect to wait hours. Why then, do some people think they are more important than everyone else? It's been my experience that the people who complain the loudest are probably the people who shouldn't be there, and could have waited until the next day. The last time my mom and I went to ER, she was admitted 27 hours later. 27 HOURS. We waited 8 hours in the waiting room, another 2 hours to see a doctor, and then a further 17 before she was admitted. I knew she needed care, and I wasn't leaving until she got it. I could see there was going to be a delay, and I also knew that she would get stellar care when it was her turn. No point in carrying on and raising a fuss, it doesn't make the really sick people any less sick.

The school buses were cancelled today, but the school was open. That meant that there were extra cars dropping off kids this morning on a blustery and slick day. We have a drop-off area where we can pull up, kids jump out and we move on. My daughter was protesting about me parking the car and waiting for her to go into the school every morning because she "wasn't a baby." I now drop her off at the drive-through, but I wait for her to enter the school. She's easily distracted, my little girl, and she's only 7. This morning, people were honking, they were dropping their kids off on the wrong side, and a little girl was almost hit because she was crossing the drive-through traffic because her parent couldn't wait the extra 2 minutes to drop her off properly.

Are we really in such a hurry that those extra two minutes make all the difference? You can honk until the cows come home-I will put my child's safety first and foremost every time, and if that means I wait for an extra minute, I'm going to wait. If it means that I wait for the car in front of me to exit before I let my daughter out of the car, I will wait. When the risk of my falling is gone in the spring, we'll probably walk again. I can't risk falling and hurting myself right now-too many people depend on me.

I think we need a refresher course on manners and common courtesy.  We, as a society, seem to have forgotten the "do unto others" rule. Otherwise, why would we need a Random Act of Kindness Day to remind us to be nice?

1 comment:

Jane Langille said...

You may enjoy reading Lynne Truss's Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door. (she wrote Eats, Shoots & Leaves).