I’m civil. I’m patient. Sometimes I think I am too patient. My students have even told me so.
Imagine my surprise when an unlikely thing happened at the gas station today.
The system at this one station in town is very organized. You enter on one side of the pumps and exit out the other. When they are busy, there is a defined line of cars that wait behind the entrances of the lanes in an orderly fashion to move to the next open pump. There is only one pump per island and there is no worry of trying to go around people who “double park” behind each other because the line keeps that from happening. There are painted arrows on the pavement to direct you. It’s a fair, efficient system.
Today as I sat waiting at the front of a yet-to-be-formed line, a car zipped by me. Realizing that she was cutting in front of me, I watched before taking action, thinking she might take a pump that was on the wrong side of the car. She did. No harm, no foul.
As I waited, I looked to see if I could figure which customer would likely leave first so that I could move closer to that lane. At some point two other cars were behind me in line, but then one of them got out of line and drove up behind someone else pumping gas at a spot that would have worked for me! A lane that I hadn’t even passed. I honked at that guy as if to say, “Um hello?” But the guy didn’t hear me.
Less than a minute later, another car cut in front of me! Again, taking a pump that would have worked for me. I honked at her, too. She didn’t seem to hear me.
At this point, I decided I was going to politely let the first guy know that he cut in line. Maybe he didn’t know I was waiting, right? I started to say, “Hey, guy at pump 5.” But he couldn’t hear me or was ignoring me. “Hey, guy at pump 5!” Nothing. Then the first girl who cut me off initially decided she would chime in. “You know, you don’t have to wait there like that,” she said, as if I were an idiot. “Just drive up to a spot behind someone.” That. Set. Me. Off.
Almost every time I’ve been to the station when it was full, there was an orderly process. Now? Now you choose anarchy?
My response? “You know what? You all are *ssholes,” I yelled as I pointed at them. I started to drive off, “Every last one of you! *ssholes. *ssholes!” Point. Point. As I circled to leave I yelled, “I was trying to be patient, *itch!”
Surprising. Surprising that I would react that way. I don’t think I’ve every spoken that way to anyone in my life but I was beyond pissed off.
I ask you, what ever happened to order? What ever happened to patience? When did we become this society where logic no longer prevails and civility has escaped us? See what the world has turned me in to? Dang.