Boundaries, Privacy and Lack of Respect Thereof
I’ve needed to get this off my chest for a long time, but it seems to me that no one holds any concept of boundaries in today’s society, nor do people respect the desires of others to maintain them.
So why the rant now?
Early this evening, a quiet Sunday at home for us after a hectic week and a crowded Saturday, I was in the kitchen cooking dinner, the wife and daughter working a jigsaw puzzle on the dining room table, and BooBoo being BooBoo, playing with things he wasn’t supposed to and getting in the way. The phone rings. Caller ID reveals it to be the neighbor who set up the block party a couple of months ago, the woman whom I originally judged a saint. Since we often choose not answer the phone on weekends when we just want some peace and quiet, I let the phone ring. If it’s important, she’ll leave a voicemail message. Not two minutes later, the house phone rings again. Then, two minutes later, my cell phone. Five minutes later, the front doorbell rings. Jeez, woman, can’t you take a hint? Either no one is home, or if we’re home, we don’t want company! Doorbell rings again. Knocking. More doorbell ringing. Knocking turns to banging. My wife, sitting in the dining room not even twelve feet from the front door, screams “We’re not available! Go away!” Rude, yes, but how do you exhibit politeness in response to blatant harassment? Neighbor screams my wife’s name “Hey, girl, it’s me, Veronica.” Liberranter’s thought? So f*ing what! Does that give you some mystical sort of special privilege to harass your neighbors? At this point I tell my wife to answer the door and deal with this, or I’ll do it and hurt this woman (her body and her feelings) in the process. Fortunately the moron finally got the hint and walked away.
Sadly, this incident isn’t the first time that so-called “friends” have exhibited this sort of behavior, nor is it at all uncommon for friends, neighbors, coworkers, and even relatives to presume that your time is at their full disposal, for their every need. Liberranter is, quite frankly, getting sick and f*ing tired of it. The most recent straw before today to put pressure on the dromedary’s hump was a co-worker who last Friday somehow thought that it was perfectly within his right to schedule me for a meeting with a client for tomorrow afternoon without consulting with me first. The unprofessional behavior of such a stunt notwithstanding, common sense would tell anyone with half a cerebral cell that if you are unfamiliar with someone else’s schedule in minute detail, especially someone working multiple projects for multiple clients, you have no f*ing idea whatsoever whether or not that individual is available to cater to your insignificant whim. Although I politely disabused this cretin of the notion that he would ever get away with pulling said stunt again, this weasel is sufficiently arrogant that I have no doubt that I will see something else like this happen again soon. Next time, yours truly won’t be so polite in pointing out the error of said individual’s ways.
Rhetorical question: Have Americans been raised by feral animals? In fact, I don’t think the question is really rhetorical. In all my years of living and working abroad I can say that I have never, in any other culture, seen people behave with such arrogant and contemptuous obtrusiveness toward other people and their time the way I have in the last ten years of living back here in “the land of the free [sic] and home of the brave [sic]”. Unfortunately, such behavior is order of the day in the US of A(rrogance).
Just sit back and listen casually to conversation at work or in a public place of business. Odds are that it will reveal people behaving with a complete lack of respect for their fellow humans, whether among coworkers, bosses, or clients. Children today get away with talking to adults in a manner that, had I tried as a child (my childhood being not as far back as you may think) would have gotten my jaw slapped hard enough to fracture it, and deservedly so. Walk into any retail business in America today and listen to illiterate epsilon simi-moron sales clerks (to borrow some Huxleyan terminology) treat customers with contempt normally reserved for stray animals and vermin. Worse yet, try, as a customer, to engage the services of a business on a timetable convenient to you, rather than the provider. Good luck. Want your carpet cleaned? We have an opening at nine o’clock PM next Friday. Not convenient? Well, then go on and get screwed by somebody else who will give you the same lousy choice. Take it or leave it. Most customers on the receiving end of such treatment don’t bother to complain, knowing that for every epsilon simi-moron, the boss above him is a delta idiot whose manners and understanding of business are just as atrocious. But businesses aren’t the worst of it.
Belong to a church? A civic group? A fraternal organization? Do you happen to belong to one of these and have 1) some free time, 2) a little bit of money, 3) a big car or SUV, 4) organizational skills, or 5) motivation to get something done? If you answered yes to any of these or all five, congratulations; you’re going to be used and abused like a ten-peso Tijuana whore. Have you heard the old expression “in any organization, five percent of the people get ninety-five percent of everything done?” That’s true, because those five percent who are “doers” are kindhearted simpletons who have no backbone and a tongue that’s too soft to bite or sting. Here’s some free advice from Liberranter, who has been a very slow learner in this area: Don’t be one of these dolts if you want to have anything remotely resembling a life of your own.
It pains me to write this. The Christian lifestyle I’ve been trying hard to live counsels against this attitude. But enough is enough; I’m not doing these parasites any good by allowing them to cling to me and feed. Besides, the energy they draw from me is too precious to waste. Give a man fish, and he’ll depend on you forever; teach him to fish, and, well, you get the idea. No wonder the federal entitlement budget is off the scale!
“Compassion Central” is hereby closed. Bridges are going to be burned and friendships and longstanding associations may be ended, but frankly Liberranter no longer gives a piece of desiccated rodent excrement. If “friendships” mean tolerating people who attempt to pirate every minute of your available time and beg you at every turn to use your precious resources to help them through a life they can’t cope with, never offering anything other than aggravation in return for the effort, give me enemies and antagonists! They can’t be any more bothersome than these sorry excuses for flesh and blood.
Thanks for letting me get this off my chest, but my patience and reservoir of human kindness are at a breaking point, as are my wife’s, who feels even more strongly about this than I do and who has been on the receiving end of more than her share of this from her own friends, family, and coworkers. It’s past time that people learned that other people’s time and resources are not theirs for the taking. REMEMBER THE GOLDEN RULE! HOW F*ING HARD IS IT TO SHOW OTHERS THE RESPECT YOU WOULD DEMAND BE SHOWN TO YOU? I’m sure this problem isn’t unique to the geopolitical scourge of North America, but it’s reaching particularly intolerable levels here in today’s anything-goes social atmosphere. If any of you are affected by the same thing, feel free to adopt this rant as your own if it adequately expresses your feelings. It might save you some energy.
(P.S: Veronica, while you will probably never read this message, it's written especially for you. You need to remember that this ain’t “the ‘hood” of North Philly. You may be used to “dissin’” your neighbors up there in that godforsaken shit hole, but that crap doesn’t wash here in the ‘burbs. I’m sorry you have none of what my wife calls “home training”, but if you come calling at my house again the way you did earlier this evening, I’m going to give you a crash course in “home training.” I don’t think you want it to come from me. On the other hand, you don’t want it from my wife either. Although you two share the same racial/ethnic background, she has even less use or tolerance for “ghetto culture” than I do and is even more pissed off at you for your behavior tonight than I am [trust me, you should be damned glad she didn’t answer the door tonight]. My wife is not “your sistah” as you referred to her the other day, when you were trying to weasel me into talking her into burning her precious gas in her SUV to help you on some ill-thought-out errand. In fact, she is probably even less of a friend to you than I am, assuming that after tonight’s nonsense that I will consider you in the future to be anything other than a nuisance. So shape up, or leave us the f* alone. And no, I will NOT be endorsing you for HOA council representative is this is the behavior I must expect of you. I will, however, say this in closing: I’m glad you work for the same company I do; you two deserve each other!)