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Old 05-01-2012, 09:04 AM   #121
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I give up...it was never about minor pet peeves. But clearly I have not framed the thought very well. Maybe I'll try again one day, and maybe not.
Previously my pet peeve was threads complaining about pet peeves, but it has now been superseded by complaints about threads not about pet peeves!
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:06 AM   #122
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I give up...it was never about minor pet peeves. But clearly I have not framed the thought very well. Maybe I'll try again one day, and maybe not.
Try restating the original question. Even in the OP it was kind of buried with a lot background. And we are easily distracted. How 'bout those Cubbies?

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Old 05-01-2012, 10:17 AM   #123
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Hi - what is this thread about? I just came on to say good morning to you all.
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:02 PM   #124
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Well an entertaining thread I suppose, nothing wrong with that. Only about 1 in 10 replies took on the basic question I was asking, but that must mean I didn't frame the question well enough (or that we can't be framed here...).
OK, let me begin by quoting your original post, and then doing my best to respond exactly to what you asked.

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I've been reading a lot about how our culture in the US is evolving, for the worse IMO. But a real world example, to see how others view it?

I was in the 10 items or less line at the grocery store with others, there is a sign that you can't miss (most of you probably know where this is headed already). Hadn't noticed but when the guy checking out at the head of the line starts putting his items on the counter, I look at his cart and count 20 items before I stop counting. No one is saying anything. I struggle with 'no big deal (true enough)', 'not my business', 'maybe the cashier will act' versus 'it's because no one ever speaks up that people do things like this.' I decide it's worth at least speaking up and say loud enough for all to hear 'it must be nice that the sign only applies to the rest of us.' The guy with the cart full never makes eye contact with any of us, just keeps going. No one in line says anything, and no one makes eye contact, though most of them smile, smirk, chuckle and look down - though no one acted, the body language was all positive it seemed. After about 15 items, the cashier said to the guy, 'you know this line is for 10 items or less?' but she keeps ringing him up (I wouldn't have expected otherwise). He responds to her so quietly that we don't know what he said. When the guy finally leaves I watch and only when he's about 20 feet away does he turn around to look (presumably) at me.

I spoke up because I wonder if we've all gotten a little too 'not my problem.' Where rules, laws, etiquette used to work more effectively by going hand in hand with real time peer pressure, decades of the lack of speaking up has compromised rules, laws, etiquette and how we treat each other. The situation didn't make me angry at all, that's not why I spoke up. At most, I hoped the guy would think twice next time, and/or the cashier and others in line might speak up next time. If it happens often enough, it might help. I'm under no illusion that one instance will do much, but it has to start somewhere.

Needless to say, this isn't about grocery shopping (or pet peeves), it's a trivial example getting at citizenship. The difference between self-interest and selfishness. It conceivably extends to many more important aspects of our culture, and comes back to affect us all almost daily.

What would you have done? What should you do (if the answer is different)?

I'm prepared for every response to disagree with how I handled it, some may well conclude 'what a jackass!' And again, it's trivial in the overall scheme of things, I'm not suggesting otherwise.

Just a topic that I'm reading about and trying to understand better lately...and it can be an interesting discussion IMO.
And now for my specific responses:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack
What would you have done?
Either nothing, or I would have framed the rebuke as a friendlly question. Getting into verbal confrontations with strangers is not going to change anything, IMO. The carrot works better than the stick.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack
What should you do (if the answer is different)?
Probably just blow it off (see below comments on our changing country, to explain why).

Yes, sometimes I lose my cool and respond in a less than ideal way because I have a temper. Scolding strangers in public has never produced a result that was even encouraging, though. All it does is produce a rude response and leave me grumbling and thinking of "I should have said"s for hours or days, losing sleep, and so on.

Some things to contemplate (though they may go slightly beyond the scope of your question), are:

(1) Do people really change? Especially strangers who you only confront for a few seconds once in their lives?

(2) Although 50 years ago often we shared the same values (especially in small towns, like Mayberry RFD as an extreme example) I think that is no longer as universally true as it once was. We have changed as a country in so many ways, due to the explosion in available global news, information, and influences. Schools and parents are stuck in the middle, trying to keep up with these changes and yet bring up kids to be good citizens. I think that the type of social pressure that people respond to now, is not produced by denouncing someone for doing something that you view is wrong, because likely they do not view it as wrong. Sad, but true.
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:16 PM   #125
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I want a gold star. I answered the question.
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:23 PM   #126
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I want a gold star. I answered the question.
So, you think just answering the question deserves special recognition? Isn't that another sign of declining culture?
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:47 PM   #127
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So, you think just answering the question deserves special recognition? Isn't that another sign of declining culture?
Damn straight!
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:48 PM   #128
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Don't you people have anything better to do?
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:29 PM   #129
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I really don't buy that much of this is actually new behavior. I'm about 40, and I seem to remember that there were plenty of a**holes when I was growing up.

I think two things have changed for most of the people on this board--

1. There are now dozens of outlets to hear about bad behavior. I guarentee that there have always been parents who thought that their kids could do no wrong. You don't hear about good parents because it doesn't make the news/paper/facebook/water cooler conversation.

2. Most of the people on the board have gotten older, crotchetier, and need something to complain about, so they focus more on these things than they would have 30 years ago. Remember that old guy who would take your ball if it went in his yard? You're now him

People have been complaining that society has been going bad for a couple thousand years, but from where I'm sitting, the past appears to have sucked more than the present. In the past, the injustices that people didn't speak up about were slavery and wife-beating. Now they're cutting in line and impolite cell phone useage.

I'd call that progress.

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Some interesting responses. The thread wasn't about pet peeves, it was more have we all helped enable these acts by fellow citizens in part because so few people speak up anymore. The expressholes have learned that consequences are highly unlikely, so why not! Imagine if it was more typical for people to speak up, and if the expresshole was hostile/unapologetic, everyone on line would make a statement? Not expecting anyone to go after a line cutting kickboxer, but that's not always the case. I'm pretty sure doing nothing or waiting for someone else won't change anything, probably make bad behavior even more common.

Again the bad kid at school. When I was a kid if my teacher told my parents (or any kid-parent) I was misbehaving at school, they would apologize to the teacher and let me have it that night. Now you hear about parents who immediately say 'my little angel wouldn't do that, you leave him/her alone or I'll sue you.' Did the teachers change, or the parents? Is it any wonder teachers are reluctant to deal with parents? Any wonder that kids push the behavior envelope more than ever? Is all this conducive to educating kids?

You can walk through example after example. No amount of "rules" will matter if there's no peer pressure to reinforce better behavior. Will they?

Again, I've just been doing some thought provoking reading along these lines, I'm still grappling with the ideas. And again, this applies to many acts, many larger than expressholes.
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:33 PM   #130
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I think the problem is people are always generalizing everything. And lately, it seems everyone is doing it all the time.
Dang Michael! LOL!
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:36 PM   #131
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Marko,
On a positive note, it is fun to go against this societal trend of rude behavior. I make it a point to hold the door open for people, young or old, out in public. I suspect this isn't common behavior, because of the reactions. Most people seem almost shocked, and are typically very thankful.

JP
Good one, JP! Pass it on. I usually go out of my way to be helpful when driving, letting people in, etc.
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:52 PM   #132
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I've been reading a lot about how our culture in the US is evolving, for the worse IMO. But a real world example, to see how others view it?
Frankly? I think you should consider changing your reading material. Life is too short, IMO, especially when one is already retired.

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Old 05-01-2012, 01:58 PM   #133
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Don't you people have anything better to do?
No, LOL! We're retired!
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Old 05-01-2012, 03:10 PM   #134
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Ok, since we're venting. I've been doing this for a while now and it just makes me feel good. Picture a two-lane road that is being merged into a single lane after a traffic light. There are those little merge arrows painted on the road before and after the traffic light. While stopped at the light, some douche will invariably drive on the soon-disappear lane and cut in front of everyone else when the light turns green. So what do I do? I block the lane so no one can pass. On more than one occasion I have gotten dirty looks from other "law-abiders" when they thought that I was going to cut in front of everyone before they realized that I was trying to prevent someone else from doing it.

DW hates it when I do this!
This takes me back to my days commuting in the Bay Area. I did that a lot until someone got out of his car and shot me and I died.
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Old 05-01-2012, 03:29 PM   #135
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Don't you people have anything better to do?
Better - yes. More enjoyable? No.
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Old 05-01-2012, 03:29 PM   #136
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Damn straight!
Nice.
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Old 05-01-2012, 04:16 PM   #137
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You can walk through example after example. No amount of "rules" will matter if there's no peer pressure to reinforce better behavior. Will they?
But it seems to me that peer pressure can be applied in both a positive and negative way. You can rail against the offender, point out his offense, try to humiliate him, and so on, and that would be negative peer pressure.

Or, as some have tried to describe on this thread, you can lead by good example - - this applies peer pressure too, but in a more positive way. My neighbors who wave, for example.... I would not have waved and smiled when I first arrived here, but started following their example and now I do it by reflex. Had one of them stopped me and asked me why I am so rude and don't wave, I'd probably NEVER wave just out of spite. For me, the positive example worked much better and actually changed my behavior (something that some people would probably swear was impossible! ).

That said, I just got back from the grocery. I actually rolled my eyes at a woman who stepped between me and the sugarfree creamer twice and nearly knocked me over, even though she apologized. I do have a temper but you know, I doubt that my eye-rolling changed her behavior in that respect.
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Old 05-01-2012, 04:45 PM   #138
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Previously my pet peeve was threads complaining about pet peeves, but it has now been superseded by complaints about threads not about pet peeves!
A day without whinning is like a day without sunshine. Or something.

heh heh heh - Curmudgeon 101. I'm begining to really like this thread.

Bacon? Dryer Sheets? and Psst Wellesley?
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Old 05-01-2012, 05:26 PM   #139
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I think part of the problem is that it is not socially unacceptable. I follow most rules because I'd be embarrassed if I didn't. I also feel rather strongly about doing the right thing, but I'm also kept in check somewhat because of what is expected.

Not sure if this is part of the problem or only another example or symptom...
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Old 05-01-2012, 06:18 PM   #140
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I don't understand the fuss about the "10 items or fewer" lane. It's not Federal Law. It's the supermarket's saying "In an attempt to trade off between the frustration which certain customers feel when they only have a few items and have to wait a long time, and the more general frustration felt by all customers when they have to wait, we have decided to select an arbitrary number, typically constrained by the number of digits which most people have on their hands, and give specific privileges to those who purchase no more than that number of items, although we have not defined what "item" means. If we were strictly rational, we would not have such a lane; after all, on average, the more items people are purchasing, the more we should be interested in helping them check out faster, since they are better customers. And in a really polite world, people with 100 items would invite people with 3 items to go in front of them, because the person with 3 items will have finished paying before the person with 100 has half-finished unpacking their cart onto the belt."

Given that, much of which seems fairly intuitively obvious to me and therefore, perhaps, to some other people as well (the ones with 15 items!), I don't think that it's a great scandal that people don't take the signs particularly seriously.
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