I occasionally must deal with the public as part of my job and today was one of those occasions. For the most part, my morning and afternoon were relatively uneventful. Patrons visited the pubic face of our organization. I answered their questions, sold our services, and facilitated transactions. In essence, this function isn't all that different from working behind a cash register at a store. It is mostly boring work and I view these as my easy days but I did deal with an individual that genuinely disgusted me this afternoon and I feel as though his actions serve as an example of the damaging effects of entitlement and the lack of self-responsibility.
It takes quite a lot to cause me to consider striking a person but my instant disgust and anger that was generated by this individual briefly brought me to that state of mind before I took a breath and considered the futility of that action. It was not the filthy and clearly mentally ill homeless man who wandered into the building, presumably to escape the extreme heat of the desert sun (It was well over 100 degrees today) nor was it the individual who took up great deals of my time with his indecisiveness and unreasonable demands that had caused my flash of anger. Those things do not bother me. However, a young and fairly well-dressed person came in and was asked to wait (literally) one minute and responded by rather rudely saying "can you hurry this up because I left my kid in my car and it's hot out."
This person had chosen to endanger the life of his child by leaving it alone in what is, essentially, an oven (the thermometer in my car read 122 after being left off for less than an hour around 6:30 PM and this incident occurred during the more intense heat of the mid afternoon) that is sitting in a really bad part of town that is less than five miles from the fucking Mexican border. Children and pets die a painful and torturous deaths by being "accidentally" (or more accurately, negligently) cooked alive by their supposed caregivers every summer in this region and this cock-sucking piece of garbage was willing to roll those dice because he felt as though he was entitled to instant service.
To make matters more infuriating, this person attempted to pass the responsibility for his child suffering onto me for not working fast enough. There was a person in that room who was responsible for that kid being slow roasted and he was too blinded by his self-image to see that it was him. Holy fucking shit! It was when that bit of the interaction sunk in that I considered jumping over the counter and laying down what my old middle school football coach would have called a "country-style ass woopin'" on this goddamn monster that was standing in front of me. I didn't do that, as much as it pains me not to say it. It was pointless and counterproductive to act out in that way because I would have lost my job, gotten arrested, and prolonged that kid's abuse if I had embraced my sudden and violent impulse but man, I imagine it would have felt pretty good in the moment.
It is over, the kid is (probably) unharmed, and I still have a job but I am bothered by what that person represents. There are a lot of people who think that they deserve the whole world handed to them at a moments notice and there are many more who refuse to see fault in their own actions. Those attitudes and behaviors often only inflict harm on the person who carries them but there are instances where they can cause devastating consequences for others too. I hope people can get their psychological shit together because there is already enough horror in the world caused by malice and evil intentions so I think we can do without the horrors of carelessness too.
Sorry if this post was kind of a dower. I'll have something less depressing next time. Peace.
All the images in this post are sourced from the free image website, unsplash.com.