After reading this blog post by Seth Godin it got me thinking about my experiences when people and free shit meet. I’ve seen people at the Farmer’s markets (as Seth points out in his post), at Costco, and even at Chamber of Commerce Mixer’s…and to be honest, I view it less from Seth’s point (the business side) of view and more from the side of how often people don’t realize what they look like in public.
I personally am not a “freebie” person, I don’t go around looking for free bites and sips of this or that; occasionally I partake but probably not as often as I should. Even when my wife and I have gone to Chamber Mixer’s in the past we typically talk to people and then leave to go to dinner or come home to make something.
On the other hand, we see people acting like all food will disappear off the face of the Earth the next day so they try to stand near the “food table” and gobble every last morsel up. I like to think of these people as “free grazers” because they will graze on anything that is free. When I see behavior like this, no matter where I am, I feel embarrassed for these people, I feel disappointed in human beings. We can do things like this and do it with tact versus slobbery and outright animalistic behavior…can’t we?
These are just a few scenarios in which we, as a society, have evolved in to utter laziness and lack of awareness. My wife and I people watch all the time; whether we’re sitting in a park, a restaurant, a bar patio, or a winery in any city we may go to, it’s all the same. People are not as aware of their own being and what is going on around them as they should be.
Just the other day we watched a woman get out of a car with two kids (about 7 to 10 years old) and simply start walking across the street, luckily the driver was paying attention because the pedestrian didn’t look for traffic until halfway through that first lane. We’ve been at wineries and had people get right up next to us with no awareness of personal space, even when the winery is not crowded.
These points may sound petty or whatever, but I think so many things in this world could and would be better if people would simply step back and be aware of what they are doing, how they are behaving, what they are saying, and what is going on around them. Even though it is not our responsibility to please everyone, I am certain if we were simply more aware and observant we could lessen or mitigate those things we do that cause issue somewhere else.
Like that lady not looking prior to crossing the street, isn’t it her job to be aware? Luckily the driver was but we can’t always count on other people being aware of our next move, therefore we have to take responsibility of ourselves and be aware of what is happening around us.
Any time that I’m out where other people are roaming freely, I always try to look around prior to moving so I am sure I’m not about to bump into someone or take out a small child. I’m the same way when I drive as well. If I’m doing something, like at the walk up window at the bank, I always have everything prepared when I go up there so I don’t need to keep others waiting just because I’m a lazy pig.
Just because you don’t perceive something as irritating, doesn’t mean that the rest of the world doesn’t. And it’s not that I think we need to change who we are for others, but when what we do intrudes into or on to someone else, it IS our obligation to tread lightly. Be cautious about dropping F-Bombs in certain public places, watch for traffic when you’re a pedestrian, have your stupid bank crap ready when you’re in line so we don’t all have to wait on YOU, look before you back out of the parking space, and of course I’m going to laugh at you if you walk through an orange coned construction zone because you could take your bug eyes off your cell phone.
Common sense people…so back to the freebie crap I started this with. Yes, it’s all intertwined; just because there are free samples or there’s a buffet of finger foods laid out at the Chamber of Commerce Mixer DOES NOT mean that you need to pig out, free graze, or hog the stuff. If you MUST indulge, take your share (which means it’s not a heaping plate worth of crap) and move on. If you’re still hungry when you leave stop at taco Bell and get the Doritos Taco…but stop grossing people out in public.
I personally don’t view this as a rant, I view it more as a PSA (Public Service Announcement).