Thursday, August 19, 2010
Gosh, I'm at a loss today. Imagine that. I've got a dozen things racing through my mind, but nothing really worth writing about. Guess I have Bloggers' block. But since I am at a loss, it's a perfect day for a rant. As a matter of fact, it's been quite awhile since I've a ranted, so I guess it is way overdue. Actually, there's a few things on my mind.
First on my list is technology. I don't think I like the idea of a machine taking over what a person once did. Subway token clerks are being laid off all over the city, and the machine has taken their place. Yeah, I know what you are thinking...just a short while ago I was complaining that these clerks make fabulous bucks for doing nothing. Well, it wasn't always that way. Time was when they had to earn their keep. People didn't have the option of getting their subway fare from a machine; no they had to wait in line for the subway clerk...and he ACTUALLY had to handle money and hand you your fare. I just don't trust those machines. What if the last I have to my name is $20, and the darned machine eats it? Who helps me to get it back? There is no one around.
And while we are on the subject of token booth clerks, I cannot stand metrocards. Give me the old token anyday. Time was you were handed 10 coin-like tokens (from a real live token clerk) when you bought your weeks worth of subway fare. Now it's a card you get (from a machine), and personally, I don't see where it is such an improvement. Let's say you happen to lose that card, and take it from someone who has ridden the subway for almost 40 years, it's much easier to lose a card than it is to lose a handful of coins. Now, if you used a credit card in the machine, you can probably get your money back...after several months have gone by, but if not, and if you don't have the number code for the card, you might as well forget about it. You are not going to see that money again.
And hey, how about books? Will one day books be a thing of the past? Used to be that everyone on the subway had a book or a newspaper to read on their trip to and from work. Now they pull out these new-fangled gadgets to read. Now, don't get me wrong. I see nothing wrong with it for some people, but I happen to 'treasure' books. Some people read just to read. They finish their book and toss it away. I highlight, jot notes in the margins, bend pages...and I NEVER or rarely part with a book. Now, don't get me wrong. I've nothing against the gadgets....I just want the option to buy a book if I want one. Just to show you, I was looking to order some books from Barnes & Noble and found one I really wanted. You can imagine my disappointment when I found out it didn't come in book form.
Next on my list is courtesy. Whatever happened to manners? 'Please', 'thank you'...antiquated words from a bygone era. Rarely does anyone hold the door for you...and please don't get me started on the foul language. My parents weren't often there for me, but what they didn't teach me, the teachers did. And public transportation? Heck, if one of us kids didn't volunteer our seat to an adult, the driver pulled to the side of the road, and we all got out of our seats. And you never saw parents pushing their children to grab the last seat on the bus. No way, they were too busy teaching their kids respect.
Once when I was in my 40's , I mentioned to a male friend what poor taste it was to see all the men sitting and not offer a woman a seat, and he replied, "Well, you ladies asked for this. You wanted equality. Blame this on women's lib." Okay, I can understand that. Equality is equality. Right? But how does that explain making an elderly person stand? Or a pregnant woman for that matter? Why does a 63 year old woman stand up to give up her seat to a disabled elderly man while the young healthy man seated next to her just watches and then goes back to fiddling with his phone. Maybe it's just me, but I just don't understand it.
We should always treat others with respect. It's really not hard to say please, thank you, and excuse me when necessary. Hold the door open if someone is right behind you. Heck, I even stand there and hold the door when people are about 10 feet away. I figure it I close it, it will be slamming in their face by the time they get there...and some of those doors to go up to the subway are pretty darned heavy. Cut back on foul language, it's not that hard. Especially the kids. In my day, we had our mouth washed out with soap if we used those words. These are all examples of simple manners. You don't have to go out of your way to do any of these things. It is just common courtesy. People get mad when others are rude to them, yet they can be just rude themselves. They just don't see it as such.
Sometimes the lack of manners makes me wonder if etiquette classes should be mandatory in schools. We didn't have a class on etiquette, but the school taught us manners back in the day. And gosh, it most certainly worked...because at 63, I still think I am pretty darned courteous...and it all stems from the learning I got when I was growing up. So, please, just remember to be courteous to those around you; courtesy can be catchy.
Wow, for someone with nothing to say, I sure had a lot to say. Sorry about that. Now it's your turn. What irks you?