I always try to think the best of people.
Well, I usually try to think the best of people.
Okay, let’s be honest. I often immediately think the worst of people.
The following tale took place at the end of a crazy-busy, long, hot day…one that would continue with yet another meeting in the evening. I was not exactly at my best. In my own defense, I will say that I totally kept my mouth shut. Probably there was some eye-rolling, but I was wearing sunglasses, so I’m sure I got away with it.
So…I’ve been ordering shit-tons of furnishings, floor coverings, and decor for updates in the area where my work takes place (NOT my office, mind you – this stuff is for others to enjoy in the spaces where they gather for classes, meetings, etc). So the large area outside my office has been littered with piles of cardboard all week long. With a funeral taking place this morning (and I’m sorry, but this person chose a really rotten week to die, in my opinion – and yes, I know I suck) I had to get everything cleared out yesterday. That meant a trip to the recycling center a couple of blocks away. Luckily, Middle dropped in yesterday afternoon and had a few minutes to help me load it all (well, not quite all – there will be more unwrapped on Friday and still more arriving next week) into the back of my SUV.
At the recycling center, I pulled up next an enormous, gleaming BMW SUV. A woman sporting – I kid you not – a tight mini skirt, stilleto heels, and copious makeup and jewelry, was carrying a bag of plastic and paperboard items to the dumpster I needed – the one clearly marked “CARDBOARD,” and totally ignoring the dumpsters clearly marked “PLASTIC” and “PAPERBOARD.” Not only did she proceed to place her items in the dumpster I needed, as I stood there with an armful of cardboard taller than myself in the HOT SUN, she dithered over it, blocking the dumpster door, for at least a minute. Then she must have decided she was doing the right thing because she left all the items there and finally emerged, carrying three clothing hangers marked “Talbots.” Next she turned to the man overseeing the recycling center for help. Holding up the hangers, she whined, “I don’t know what to do with these.”
I had a pretty good suggestion right on the tip of my tongue for what she should have done with the damned designer clothing hangers, but as stated previously, I managed to keep my mouth shut.
The employee looked the hangers over, said – rather reluctantly – that they had a place where they kept items that could be taken to a charity shop, and he could maybe put them in that spot. Much relieved, Miss Fashion Plate exited, thus saving herself from the torture of finding a place to put a used hanger.
Oh. My. God. Can you get any more privileged and clueless than this? I’m sorry to say that while this woman was the personifcation of a stereotype, there are WAYYY too many people just like her in our local, horrifically affluent community.
Oh, and another odd note about this little experience. I was extremely thankful when two different employees offered to help me unload all that cardboard from my car. Except that one then just wandered off without helping at all and the other grabbed a few pieces and then simply stayed inside the dumpster rearranging the cardboard that was already there while I made ten trips back and forth unloading all the rest myself.
It’s a damn good thing the rest of my day had been filled with awesome, generous people who were totally a joy to work with. See? I really do try to think the best of people. Well, the people who deserve it, anyway.