I seriously hate Long Island, for many, many reasons.
Anyway, every time I come out here to visit my family I realize just how far people have come from being in a "community" together. New York City is full of people who are so concentrated on their own actions that they walk over homeless people in the street while listening to their iPod, and texting on their Blackberry. There is very little, if any human contact in our society. If you ever go to another country or even another part of the United States you can see a vast difference in the attitudes of people. People are always smiling at each other, greeting each other even if they have no idea who the person in front of them is. This contact forms a society that generally reflects politeness, and consideration for others. For many reasons this is not the society we live in in New York City.
Long Island however is a suburb, it is closer to these communities that I referred to in other parts of the country or outside of this county yet somehow it seems that people have even shittier attitudes, and are more self-centered. I guess it stems from these people making some money and thinking they're better than everyone else because they can afford a house in Long Island and a brand new car. If I can do those magnificent things why would there be a need to show even a little bit of courtesy to anyone?!
Things move slower out here, people aren't rushing to every destination they need to get to. They aren't juggling their job, with their relationship, with the extra college courses they need to take this semester. They aren't worried about the way the trains will run in the morning, if their bus will ever come as they stand at a bus stop in the snow.
People out here are sheltered in their little town. They use the same super market all the time, go to the same book store, attend the same school.
I went to the post office today, and as I come to a complete stop to allow a lady to cross in front of my car, she doesn't even look at me. She just assumes that because she's walking in a straight line with her head held high and her eyes hiding behind her sunglasses that the world is going to stop for her. I clearly did not have to do this for her as she wasn't exactly in the middle of the parking lot when I stopped. I could have very easily zoomed on by and probably shook her up a little bit, but lucky for her I was not raised that way. I hate people like her, I hate people who have that attitude. This lady didn't even acknowledge that I showed her some form of courtesy.
This post office is by the far the fastest moving, most organized post office I've ever used in my life. The employees there are extremely honest, informative (I learned something new today that the guy at my post office must have seemingly forgot to mention to me about "flat rate" packaging, but that is another story for another time), and polite, which is amazing because of how hectic it can get in a post office, especially with asshole customers like I'm about to describe.
Now aside from the fact that I held the door for a couple of people that were carrying large boxes and neither of them said thank you or even gave me a smile or a nod, these next set of events bothered me even more.
This shade wearing, middle aged, Mercedes Benz driving women was on the line in front of me. When she reached the counter she not only gave the employee handling her package an attitude while rushing her to get the job done, she argued with the employee about the size of the package vis-à-vis the price of the shipping. Now realize that it is a scale that calculates the price, it is a piece of technology embedded into the counter top. This women was not hanging her package from a spring scale and mediating the price based on how she was feeling today. None the less this women insisted that "it should not cost so much to ship such a little package!" Clearly she didn't understand the concept of weight versus size. I also had to scratch my head and wonder if she did this when purchasing her Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses, or her fur coat, or her Mercedes Benz. Now this post office employee was not only polite and courteous the entire time she was dealing with this women, she even wished the women a good day on her way out.
What is becoming of this world? Are we all devolving into savages?
Come on people a little good goes a long way.