Tag Archive for ignorance

It’s Not Rocket Science, People

Two days in a row, ignorant people cut in front of me in lines.

On Sunday, it was an old man at a restaurant. I stood a few feet back from the person at the register so I wouldn’t block the lane into the dining area, and I had my credit card and my check in my hand. Along comes the old man, right past me to the register, both cutting in front of me and blocking traffic. He leaned hard on a four-post cane and I wasn’t in a hurry, so I decided to laugh it off because I’m sure I could have stood there a lot longer than he could.

Tonight, I waited in line behind someone at the photo counter at Wally World. I didn’t want to crowd her, so I stood about four feet back and leaned on a display. Along comes over-tanned, bleach-blonde valley girl (if I had a five spot for every time she said “like,” I’d have left the store a rich man), who goes straight to the counter to my left. The¬†instant the other woman left with her photos, this girl jumps in. Had she just been picking up photos, I may have let it fly. I have less patience for arguments than I do pinheads.

Instead it was a big production about her camera card. As she dragged the counter person over to the kiosks, I said “No, go ahead, I wasn’t waiting in line at all.”

Blondie shot me a look like I’m the asshole.¬†Fortunately the register jockey figured it out and excused herself to get my photo.

It’s not having to wait longer that bothers me, or the inconvenience, it’s the simple fact these people did not even bother to look around and see if they’re about to give someone the shaft. Is it that difficult to be courteous to people, whether in line, in traffic, or at the movie theater?

“Are you in line?” is not a difficult question to ask. Or hell, simply wait a second and see if the other guy steps up to the counter. If not, you’re golden.

Take the blinders off, people. There are a number of reasons to always be aware of the people around us, and courtesy is just one of them.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Willful Ignorance

I walked into our high school computer lab today while students were using a website called Career Cruising to browse through their college and career options. Here are some of the things I overheard:

“Man, I don’t want to learn a foreign language! I want people to speak to me in English!”

A student nearby agreed: “Yeah, I’m in America, you should speak American!”

Then the subject turned to classes: “Brit Lit? Is that like British Literature? I don’t want to read what some British guy wrote!”

Another student asked: “What’s literature, anyway? Is that like reading?”

One girl asked another what child development was. The response: “That’s when you get to play with kids all day.” The counter: “Oh, I’m taking that! I want lots of babies.”

One kid expressed excitement that I’d cracked open the side of a computer, and told his friend to check it out. The friend’s response: “Who cares what the inside looks like?”

Having worked in education for over 7 years now, I can tell you this is very common. It’s very easy to just shake my head and say things like “The future is screwed.” The fact is, however, this is nothing new. I knew kids in high school who were just as bad, and there always has been (and always will be) underachievers and kids who are just plain stupid.

What’s really depressing about it is it’s never been easier to get an education. Kids don’t have to go to the library or look for books anymore, they can tap out a few keystrokes and find whatever they need. They can talk to more people than ever, and even kids in rural areas like mine have a great window to other cultures. In short, the Internet and technology really can be all that the education wonks wish it to be, the trick is making kids care.

Just as before, the tools are there. It’s just the kids would rather swap drunken party stories on MySpace than browse books on Project Gutenberg or learn Japanese.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Scan 'Em All

The last several times I’ve gone to the theater have been miserable experiences, and Friday night was no exception.

It’s those times it would be really nice to have the Scanners head-exploding powers.

Take the two trendy teen couples who sat down behind me. They tripped over one another getting to their seats, one of the guys got irritated, and one of the girls said “Peace, nigger!”Then one of them spotted the black man sitting down the aisle from them.

“OhmyGodohmyGod! I hope he didn’t hear that!”

Uh huh. Blam!

If I could have exploded her head right then, it would have saved me more grief. She lost her ring as the credits rolled: “I dropped my ring! Oh no!” Then she lost her necklace: “I can’t find my necklace! Oh my God! You guys! Help me find it!”

Maybe she wears mommy’s jewelry. Blam!

In case anyone was worried about her necklace, she did find it. In her shirt. “Tee hee! There it is!” Blam!

Then the cell phone rings. She put it on vibrate, so I was ready to let it fly. Unfortunately she decided to answer it, then complained she couldn’t hear over the theater sound. Blam!

Then the boyfriend started kissing on her. “Don’t! There are people around!”

Yes, but the rest of us are trying to watch a movie, not your scuzzball boyfriend slobber on your neck. Blam!

This was all between bumps and kicks of the chair back. I was willing to write that off as accidental, but then one of them tried to put their foot up on my armrest (I sat on the aisle). I looked over my shoulder the first time, but they didn’t say anything. The second time I looked over my shoulder and asked them to knock it off. Obviously I was the idiot for being in their way. Blam!

They weren’t the only pinheads. Everyone’s familiar with the basic movie-going rules, right? Silence your cell phones, don’t talk, take noisy kids to the lobby? A guy down the same row from the trendy teens managed to break all of them.

He didn’t bother to silence his phone, and he took three calls during the course of the film. On top of that, he’s apparently deaf because every conversation started with “Hello?” then, louder, “Hello?” again. Blam!

Apparently his wife was embarrassed enough to do something about it, because he got mad at her. “What are you doin’, tryin’ to break my muh-fuggin’ phone?” Blam!

And then their baby cried. They got him quieted down pretty quick, but later the baby started playing with some bells. This was apparently okay with them. Blam!

Yeah, if I had the head-explodo powers, Jumper would have been a much better flick.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.