Jan 4, 2012

Petty Issues

January is usually a month of frugality for many. After receiving (in Costa Rica) an extra month's salary, and spending a lot on presents, office parties, family parties and what nots, many people actually end up either on a quite tight budget, or carrying more debt on their shoulders. Be it as it may, the end result is seen at the office during lunch, when the dinner is filled to capacity and the lines at the microwave ovens are endless. Indeed the number of lunchboxes have grown exponentially, compared with other months, as people now carry their food from home rather than buying anything.

Today I went to have lunch at 13:00 h, which is a bit early compared with my favored 14:00 h when normally the place is deserted. After having spent a great deal of my morning chatting with one of my coworkers about Scrouge and his issues (Scrouge was talking laudly on the phone all day about moving to a smaller house, because he doesn't mind living in a hut as long as he has the basics, then about lending people money at a 4% rate, and assuring that someone to whom he lended money was now talking to him through his assistent - assistent of the other person, Scrouge has no assistent - but that "he's going to pay, I don't worry" and then all that about his wife and yadda-yadda), and how he's so petty and lame he actually gets offended when you don't stop your life to serve his, here I was, with my Japanese lunch box filled with delicious Hungarian food, waiting for the microwave, when the woman before - who crammed three containers for five minutes in the microwave, was actually going to give space to a friend of her who was waiting on another line. Rude, considering there's a freaking lot of people waiting in line, and she was already at the microwave. However, passed the 5 minutes, she touches the containers and deem them to be "cold". Fucking shit, how cold can it be after 5 minutes?? 2 more seconds and the plastic of the containers would melt into the food!

I was about to tell her to just let me put my lunch one minute on the microwave, then she can go back again at her containers, when - leaving the door of the microwave open and the containers in - she took off without saying a word. I waited a little and was about to pull her containers out of the microwave when she appeared tailing a guy... who was the owner of the containers. He deemed them hot enough, packed them and left. She then moved with her friend to the other line, where her friend was already packing the microwave to capacity, and crammed her own containers in too.

Upset? Look me in the eye and tell me you wouldn't be in my place. It's a matter of consideration, which people seldom exercise and we all hate. What's on your mind when you leave your food in the microwave - AT THE OFFICE - and just wander off, and walk back when you remember you actually were heating your lunch? What the fuck is on your mind when you set the microwave to 5 minutes only to stop it a minute after because that's all you need to heat it? What the fuck is on your mind when you heat fish in spite of the clear sign saying "DO NOT HEAT FISH IN HERE BECAUSE IT STINKS"? What are you thinking when your food spills out of the container and leaves the microwave a mess? I wonder, do you have problems separating HOME from OFFICE or is just that at home you are taught to be a rude pig?

Sadly, like Scrouge, there's one too many people in this planet who walk around with no consideration towards others. They do not think of the uncomfortable situation they put others by imposing, by going to someone they are not really friends with, and ask them to give them some of their food. They don't consider that others also want to use the bathroom/microwave/teller machine/vending machine but rather hog on them like they were at their own house and the rest of the planet were invisible. Thing is that whether we like it or not, we live in a society, and as part of it, we must adapt. This doesn't mean to sell our souls and abjectly abide to every single demand, but it means that there's other people out there and we should behave in a manner that's polite and consider them too, just as we want to be considered. It means that you are not entitled to abuse of the kindness or politeness of others because "if it really bothers them they'll say so" or because "I have the right to do it".

Yes, these are petty issues, but no matter how small, and how no war can actually spun out of it, it's most unpleasant. One thing is that, ok, they don't have any respect for themselves - as someone who disrespects others often don't respect themselves either - but why do the rest of the planet has to suffer their personal issues?

When faced with people like this, suddenly the signs of attention to manners or polite behavior make sense. Yes, give your seat to the elderly, the pregnant or the people with special habilities. Now, can we get one for the office that says: "consider your coworkers and use the microwave to heat your own food. Maximum use: 4 minutes" or "if you are heating your food stay here and remove it once it's heated, otherwise you'll find it in the trash".

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