Fair warning…this is about to be a rant. It really wasn’t starting out that way but the more I’ve thought about these things the more I need to rant about it.
Over the past few months, after observing several things, I have come to the conclusion that our society is circling the drain when it comes to etiquette and just good common sense. I first became aware of this trend when I was visiting the post office a month or so back and observed a woman of about 30 or so enter the post office in pajamas, fuzzy socks, and without the appropriate undergarments. My first thought was what would someone have that was so important to get in the mail so quickly that they did not have time to dress appropriately to leave the house? And the fact that all she did was drop the mail in the box inside the post office shows that it wasn’t that big of a rush as that doesn’t leave the building immediately. For that matter, there is a mailbox outside of the post office that you can access from the car so why even get out of the car and walk inside in the first place?
Then, this past week, I witnessed three separate events that firmly convinced me that people just don’t know how to act:
* Incident #1 ~ On Monday, while sitting in the waiting room at a local orthopaedic group’s office with a patient, another patient, a lady of around 60ish years of age, walked from the restroom through the crowded waiting room, and passed gas quite loudly. As you can imagine, this sent the entire waiting room into hysterical laughter. She did not at any point look remotely embarrassed or upset about passing gas or even say, “Excuse me.” She even had the nerve to look irritated that those around her were laughing. Since when did it become acceptable to pass gas in public? I would have thought that maybe it just “slipped out” except for the fact that she did not seem upset by the incident at all, save for the fact that people around her were laughing.
* Incident #2 ~ On Wednesday, while in the same orthopaedic group’s office waiting for another patient to arrive, I was sitting in an alcove in the treatment area working. I began to hear someone hollering quite loudly in one of the exam rooms. She got louder and louder screaming, “No, no, no, stop, no.” I honestly thought someone was either having a baby (is this the maternity ward???) or dying. When the doctor came out of the room he walked by me, looked at me, and said, “Ooops!”. Apparently the woman was receiving an injection. I’m sure the injection must have been painful but again when to it become acceptable to just scream at the top of your lungs in the middle of a doctor’s office. It would be different if she was truly in severe pain; for example, if he had been setting her arm. But this same middle-aged woman walked out fine and dandy from the room just a few seconds after the doctor. She was still hollering that the doctor “had hurt her worse than he ever had before.” Hollering!
* Incident #3 ~ On Friday, I was again in the orthopaedic group’s office waiting on another patient to come back. As I walked back to the nurse’s station, I see that it is in complete chaos. The doctor is ill and the nurse and tech are running around like crazy. Then I hear it….another woman screaming and moaning loudly. Apparently she had surgery on her hand or arm the previous day. And maybe she had some kind of psychosis from the anesthesia. Maybe. And if so, I’ll give her a pass, but for the next 45 minutes she screamed, she cried, she loudly moaned…all in the exam room. She refused to be moved so that they could leave. She was acting like a crazy person, or a drama queen, I’m not sure which. And why all this commotion? Because the doctor had unwrapped the bandage, looked (not touched, not took out sutures, just looked) at the incision, and then rebandaged it. This woman’s husband was mortified and the entire staff was stressed. They finally got the woman calmed down enough to attempt to take her to the car; however, as soon as they started the wheelchair rolling (she would not walk on her own), she began to loudly cry and scream for the doctor because she didn’t want him to think that “she was a jerk”. Honestly, it was like watching a train wreck. Again, I’ll give this one a little leeway because of being under the influence of some pain medication but really, when have our inhibitions become so lowered that we can act like a raving lunatic in public?
Yes, I realize that the three examples I give above are all women and the last two involve medical settings and procedures so we could possibly find a reasonable explanation. But I have also, in just the past few months, been cussed at, yelled at, hung up on, and lied to or about by various patients (both men and women). I can have a patient call to ask for help with something, bust it to get that done for the patient, call the patient to tell them it has been done and routinely get no thanks from the patient. I just cannot imagine acting this way to someone who has just helped me.
Personally, I think this is just a sign of the decline in our society as a whole and in etiquette and common decency in particular.
Just go to this website – www.peopleofwalmart.com and you will see how truly low we have come. It’s craziness and some days I am truly glad that my mother is not here to have to see this. She would have been appalled. She wouldn’t have thought of letting me in a public place without shoes on, much less without appropriate undergarments and dressed the way many people dress and let their children dress.
[On that note…what the heck is it with pants with JUICY written on the butt? Really, people, it is NOT appropriate to let your 10-year-old walk around with a butt that says juicy? Have you really thought through what you are conveying to the people who see this?]
If you have anything you have seen like the above, I would love to hear it. I want to be sure it isn’t just me drawing the crazies out. What do you think?
(all pictures from www.peopleofwalmart.com)