Normally, I’m Joe Niceguy, willing to go a little out of my way to help others. Like Bart Simpson, I don’t give up till I’ve tried at least one easy thing. I recently read an article by a female columnist about this. I basically agreed with her – until she got to whining about motorists who won’t let other drivers in. There’s definitely two sides to that story, but then, she’s the one who got all upset about people who claim that they are spiritual, and believe in God – but don’t go to church – as if one has anything to do with the other.
She made me think of the times and places where you just can’t be nice. You have to present folks with a problem to solve or they don’t learn nothin’. Too many of them are too self-centered and/or dumb to learn, even when presented with a problem – but I keep tryin’.
When I first moved to this burg, you could hold street dances on the main road from my place out in the sticks, to downtown. Nowadays, especially during that oxymoronic “rush hour,” bumper-to-bumper volume of traffic creeps along.
As I go down the hill from a set of traffic lights, towards the daughter’s place, there’s always a line at a stop sign at a side street, hoping to get out. I occasionally let one, or two, into line, and then laugh at numbers three and four who think I’m going to sit there all afternoon. If they went a block further, to the cross-street with the lights, they could get in. Think ahead – without your ego and sense of entitlement. It’s not my problem.
We left town the other day, and pulled onto the Superhighway. A half-mile from the overpass bridge, there was a warning sign that it narrowed to one lane for road work. A quarter-mile further, there was another warning sign, and yet, when we got to the spot where the right lane disappeared, drivers in the inner lane were cutting off drivers in the go-through lane.
I saw in my rear-view, a semi that couldn’t move over, since he couldn’t accelerate to match traffic speed, because yahoos were using the down-ramp, exit lane to the plaza, to rush ahead of him and cut back in, before cutting off more drivers up ahead. I slowed my line almost to a stop and let him in, then snuggled up to his tail, and let the rest of the blind car drivers behind him figure it out for themselves. It’s not my problem. The fact that I didn’t get a wave, a flash of headlights, or a honk, soured it a bit for me, but I soon restocked my niceness.
A couple of blocks past the daughter’s place, the four-lane road narrows to two lanes. Bumper-to-bumper, and at a complete standstill, I watched a driver come roaring up the inside, to the barricade. Then, despite the fact that I couldn’t move, he bitched at me, because I wouldn’t let him in. “My lane ends. Where am I supposed to go?” Exactly!! Think it through!! It’s not my problem.
At my Jeep-part line in the auto plant, there was a large chute next to my press where I dumped the cut-off edge trim and knockouts to feed into a grinder on the floor below, for recycling. Because of increased production and normal deterioration, the grinder increasingly stopped working.
One day, the line’s material handler rolled over on his forklift and told me that the grinder had stopped working again, and not to feed the chute. Then he disappeared. I started throwing my stuff on the floor, quickly building up a huge pile.
My inspector/packer asked me why I didn’t just pull over a wire basket and put my scrap in it. If I made it my problem, it would quickly become always my problem. Worse, it would always be a problem. If the fork-lift driver didn’t think to supply the basket, and objected to having to clean up the mess, he could complain to a supervisor.
Made aware of the mess, the supervisor could direct the maintenance department to get the grinder running. If maintenance couldn’t get the grinder running, they could pass the buck back to the supervisor. If the grinder needed a capital budget for repair or replacement, the supervisor needed to chivvy management.
If I accepted responsibility, and performed the extra labor, none of that would happen. It’s not my circus. They’re not my monkeys. My problem is that too many of these airheaded dipsticks don’t learn from experience. Niceguys finish last.
Okay, now it’s your turn to bitch. Come on, you know you want to. Everybody works with or sees this shit.
True to form, I leave the old year with a rant, but I want to wish all of you the best in the coming New Year. 😀