It’s Not My Problem


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.   😀


21 thoughts on “It’s Not My Problem

  1. Dan Antion says:

    My commute to work involves a left hand exit from I-91 to I-84 in Hartford, CT. Up until about a mile or two before this exit, the left lane is restricted to passenger vehicles only. I leave for work way early, so I normally miss “rush hour” but at least once a week, there is some poor semi-driver who has been denied any chance of merging left. I usually let them in. I am often acknowledged by the truck, which is nice, but almost as often, I get “yelled at” by some jackass behind me. I think the same as you: “if you’re running so late that your day is messed up by a kind act by another person, get up earlier. And, switch to decaf.” Happy New Year!


    • Archon's Den says:

      That exit from 691 to 84 looks interesting enough. If you go north on 91 and have to shift to 691, the incoming merge lane is on the high side – the fast lane. We have one like that an hour away. A fellow motorcyclist from my plant tried to slide into traffic one day. He claims he was doing 120Kmh in the 100 zone….and some guy drove right over him.
      Both checkout clerks at the pharmacy yesterday were being very friendly and chatty. Some Very Important Prostate at the back yelled, “Lets go! I’m busy.” I thought he was yelling at the wife and our clerk, but it turned out he was bitching at the other till. I turned back as we left and loudly said, “If I’d known how important you were, I’d have stayed home till you were done.” and walked out on six people smothering laughter. Up Your Meds! 😈
      Thanx for the Good Wishes! I hope we both have another great year. 😀


  2. Well, you’ve seen how I drive (and survived).

    I will let someone in if they obviously don’t know the area (say they have Canadian plates or something) and accidentally got into a lane that cuts off a little ways ahead, or I’ll let someone is who is politely indicating with a blinker that they want in (usually also smiling and/or waving at the vehicles passing them in the lane they want to get into). However, I will not let in those jackasses who know the lane is cutting off and think they can rush as far ahead as possible in that lane to beat traffic, and that “someone” will let them in at the very last moment. Not me.


  3. The one highway near me, has very short lanes to get onto the highway, then add the rarity of someone letting you, is my complaint. It is almost not worth taking anymore, easier to use the long way and not deal with idiots.


    • Archon's Den says:

      In an attempt by many drivers to go the long, but easier way around, dozen of local streets and neighbourhoods now have speed bumps and humps (They’re slightly different.), as well as chicanes. Selfish idiots live in houses too. 😯 NIMBY!


  4. BrainRants says:

    But wait… I thought all Canadians were super-polite and hold contests to see who can say, “sorry,” first.


  5. I live in India and have since 2000 when I quit my job and moved here to Pune with my husband, an Indian citizen who’d retired. I haven’t driven since 2001 as I refuse to drive in India. It’s a great way to commit suicide. Even walking here has become dangerous, especially deciding to try and cross many streets. Hawkers have set up shop in many places and pedestrians have to detour into the street to get around them. There are few traffic lights, many that are there aren’t working, and drivers think zebra crossings are for zebras.. There are few stop signs. People beep when they’re approaching a cross street or street that feeds in to let any drivers thinking of entering know they should wait a moment. 🙂


    • Archon's Den says:

      The old joke, “The brakes don’t work. Fix the horn.” isn’t as much funny, as reality, for you. We get people like Sukhvinder, who come here from there, and still think there are no rules, or the ones that exist don’t apply to them, and generate considerable antipathy towards ‘Pakis.’
      Now I know (almost) exactly where in India you are. I just used Bing Maps bird’s-eye view, to fly over most of the city. I saw the Police Colony, the bridge over the river on the western edge, the big nearby (wrong-way for me) roundabout, the Nehru Stadium, the Mutha Right canal, and where it splits to go through the park(?). Fortunately I couldn’t see the traffic. 😯 🙂


      • Actually, I don’t think anyone, including Google, has had much luck mapping Pune. It’s a large city that thinks of itself as a village. If the driver is trying to find a place, they have to deal with instructions such as, “Across from the such and such temple, near the the hospital, next to the car showroom, etc.” They pull over every so often to ask someone nearby. Sometimes someone gets a motor rickshaw driver who’s come from up north and doesn’t know where anything in the city is any more than his passenger. Setting out for somewhere is often an adventure. A motor rickshaw driver will sometimes drive up onto the sidewalk and back to get around a traffic hindrance. If the passenger is smart, they don’t say a word. 🙂


  6. Sightsnbytes says:

    the worst thing for me is the idiots who hog the left passing lane, doing 80 km/h, they actually cause other drivers to attempt to pass in the right hand lane. Trouble is, and I witnessed this one morning, when the pissed off driver attempts to pass in the right hand lane,the idiot finally makes up his mind to go back in the proper lane. Only by the grace of God did pissed off driver make it before the idiot drove into him. Where are the RCMP when you need them??? \good post…and Happy New Year!


    • Archon's Den says:

      We have three, and four lane (in each direction) roads around town. I often pass on the right, but you’re right. You have to keep an eye on the idiot in the next lane, and always have an escape route handy.
      RCMP?? You’ll have to check with KayJai about that. Do they patrol the larger roads and leave the smaller ones to the RNC? A woman nudged me on the Expressway one day. When I reported it to the Waterloo Regional Police, they told me it wasn’t their jurisdiction, and I’d have to report to the Ontario Provincial Police. 😦


  7. Jim Wheeler says:

    Good post, John, and I agree. Reminds me to be thankful that my commuting days are now finished – a silver lining.

    The worse and most impolite traffic I ever experienced was on and near the Massachusetts Turnpike. Am I mistaken, or is common driving courtesy inversely proportional to the population density? Seems that way to me.


    • Archon's Den says:

      My ‘commuting days’ are also long past. I could, and did, commute by bicycle after I dropped my motorcycle. With two handicapped women and ten pets between them, with doctors, clinics and Vets in nearby cities, I still do a disturbing amount of driving. 😦
      Didn’t you commute by submarine??! 😉 Even that could be hazardous, like the AirAsia flight that needed just a little more altitude.
      You’re right about the inverse proportion thing. You can shrug off two or three idiots, but when you’ve almost died because of twenty of them, and you’re only half-way to work….:F**k ’em all!! 👿


  8. benzeknees says:

    When I lived in a small town just south of Edmonton, my every day commute included a reduction from 4 lanes to 2 as you went over a bridge & very shortly thereafter into 1 lane which smushed into the through lane. Every day I would see people speed past me on the right in the lane that was going to end very quickly after the bridge. Every day some idiot would let them in & I would sit through a few lights as these inconsiderate passers took my space. When I would get to the part where the lanes smushed into 1, I would follow the car ahead of me with bare inches to spare to make sure the passers couldn’t cut me off! It would be OK if this was something temporary but this lane reduction was there for a minimum of 4 years while I commuted – it’s not like you don’t know it’s coming. And what makes you any more important than everyone else who drives in the through lane in bumper to bumper traffic while you speed by in the lane that’s going to end?


    • Archon's Den says:

      I just saw a video blog from a guy who claimed that he could smooth out the stop and go in his highway lane by leaving lots of space in front of him. I think the fumes have got to him. If I/we try that, one, or several, jerks fill in the hole and we’re late again. Stupid or selfish….let them find their own space. 😈


  9. […] have already composed and published a post about ‘It’s Not My Problem’ here, for anyone who wants to (re)read […]


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