Friday, February 19, 2010

I'd like to buy the world a Coke

Working in retail will make you hate humanity. It's a matter of if, not when. And I can easily prove this. Go to Costco on a Saturday, any Saturday, and tell me that you don't think measurably less of the collective IQ of everyone in the store by the time you leave. Then examine your feelings about their manners, parentage, and general hygiene.

Can you really tell me that after the even dozen (minimum) stupid things you witness people do during your little excursion to hell that the customer is always right?




Try it for 8 years. You'll see.

The thing is, I am convinced of the basic goodness of people. I really think that when disasters happen, far more people will dig down deep to help than loot. I think people want the best for each other and that I have rarely been in a moment of distress (car trouble, trying to lift something too heavy out of a grocery cart, etc.) that a stranger hasn't stepped into help without being asked.

People say kind things to me about my children and hold doors for me and smile when they don't need to. People step in during times of great need and reach outside of themselves when they see someone else who needs a hand.

I know all this.

But in order to not lose sight of that, in order to keep enjoying and liking humanity, I can't do the following things:

1. Work retail ever again. In any capacity. For any company.
2. Watch the local evening news.
3. Watch any of the MTV reality programs.
4. Go to Costco more than once a month.
5. Serve in the nursery at church.
6. Go to a cell phone store operated by my service provider.
7. Listen to any news about Spencer/Heidi or Tila Tequila.
8. Even acknowledge that Tila Tequila exists.
9. Sit near anyone opening a plastic wrapped candy in a theater.
10. Attend a movie where the audience may contain children under fourteen. Including my own.

If I stay away from all of those scenarios, I can generally maintain my love of humankind.

If by any chance I end up in one of these scenarios depsite my best intentions, there are only a couple of ways to restore my faith in people.

1. A hug from one of my little guys.
2. A conversation about anything with my husband.
3. Chocolate.

These sound like simple enough things but it's truly the difference between me being part of a very, very bad headline involving phrases like "snapped" and "went postal" and me liking the rest of the people that share this big rock.

To be honest, probably chocolate by itself would work. But the hugs and conversation are a super sweet bonus.


Susan said...

My workout buddy and I were just this very morning discussing how working in the Nursery could make you go inactive, or insane. You'd hate me in a movie theater-I'm the parent opening all the candy wrappers. Or Cristina. Do you remember the way she used to talk all the way through every movie? It was hysterical, and very irritating.

Who the heck is Tila Tequila?

Carolyn V. said...

I can't do #2, 3, or 10 without finding myself taking "10 deep breaths" so I won't explode. Then I go eat a handful of chocolate. Great post Melanie. =)

Kristina P. said...

Not even 16 and Pregnant? It really makes you happy those kids are raising our future children.

One of the kids we work with told us this week that he thought that if his girlfriend got pregnant, it was fine, because drinking water out of the hose would "take care of it."

He was rather shocked to find out he was a complete idiot.

MommyJ said...

I'm totally in shock over Kristina's comment. Drinking out of the hose? Oh dear. I absolutely share your belief in the goodness of mankind in general.

But I still think people are stupid. I don't have a Costco, but going to Walmart has to produce similar opinions, right?

Amber said...

Ha!! My husband would completely agree with you! Although, he doesn't have to go to Costco or Wal-Mart to get his stupid people fix, he just has to go to school!

On the other hand, he dreams of getting called to nursery. Believe that.

Like Susan said, "Who the heck is Tila Tequila?" I bet Kristina answered that question for me. And, drinking water from a hose to take care of a pregnancy? Seriously? Why didn't I think of that?

Kazzy said...

A life in retail is only good if you own a successful business and get to sit at home while you make other people do all of the customer service.

And I have a COSTCO membership but go maybe once every three months. It is SO inconvenient. Maybe I am not missing too much...

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

I have a cycle of hating humanity in general and wishing the second coming were tomorrow and then having my faith restored by good people doing good things. Then I'm fine again until I watch the news. I actually think that I'd be more forgiving of nursery children than I am sometimes of people who should totally know better.

When I took my kids to gymnastics the other day, I marveled at the totally disrespectful and disobedient children whose parents just sat there smilingly and admiringly. While I may have been biased by a foul mood of my own, I kept thinking "What is WRONG with everyone?" Clearly, the solution would be for everyone in the world to be as smart as you and me.

Sarah M Eden said...

Working at a restaurant has the same impact on a person's view of the human race. I have vowed never to do so ever, ever, ever again.

Wonder Woman said...

Ironically, Costco represents the cream of the human crop to me. It's Walmart on a Saturday (any day, really) that makes me H A T E people.

And much of MTV's reality programming. Is ABDC back on yet?

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Can I have a Mt. Dew instead of a Coke?


LUB you! And LUBBED this post. You are so good.

Sandi said...


Kenny, the Husband said...

Wasn't it Dostoevsky's character Ivan, in the Bros. Karamozov, that said something to the effect of "I love humanity as a whole, but tend to despise people as individuals"?

Kelly O. said...

Wait until they make your husband scout master, then you might add that to the list. I love humanity too, but sometimes people really really bug me. And this post is timely for me, I have really been on "one" this week about all the people that bug me. Fortunately last night James brought me home in& out-it was almost as good as chocolate.

Don said...

The six longest weeks of my life were spent inside the walls of a Computer City store wearing one of their stupid yellow polo shirts. Far worse than the hot, dusty pineapple picking I did during the summers in high school.

That said, the best calling I ever had - better than Ward Clerk or Executive Secretary or Elders Quorum President or High Councilor - was working in the nursery. Hands down, no better calling.

But I can completely understand those who would believe otherwise. I'm just funny in the head that way, I guess. (And a real sucker for soap bubbles.)

DeNae said...

Number one on my "things to never do so I won't hate humanity"? Teach in any public school.

Like Don, I loved serving in the nursery, but I only recommend it for people who already know the ward and have friends and stuff. I've never understood the mindset that calls brand new, childless couples to serve in the nursery.

I rarely need an an excuse for hating humanity. But it usually means I need to adjust my meds.

Amber Lynae said...

Black Friday shopping is one of the saddest days for humanity. Sorry that is kinda off the wall some, but when I think of my worst examples of humanity some of them go to that day. But I too believe that most people are generally good. Sometimes this belief can come back to bite you in the butt. However, I would rather see the good than the bad.

Kimberly said...

See? This is why I live the live of a pseduo-hermit. Much more in the way of love and good feelings towards all mankind.

Well said.

LisAway said...

I love your opening paragraph. And I'm glad you have your medicine for charity restoration. :)

Melinda said...

Also just driving makes me hate humanity. Why are people such morons behind the wheel?! Sheesh, I'm getting worked up thinking about it. Gotta go find some chocolate...

L.T. Elliot said...

Is it just me or is the list oddly numbered?

And yes, Costco makes me dumber. And dumber isn't even a word so there! Proof!

wendy said...

Who is Tila Tequila??
I almost NEVER watch the news since moving to the country. It's not that I don't like to be informed...but just not needing too. Sometimes I want to live in my bubble.

My parents when going to a resturant and were asked "would you like a non-smoking section (that was when they still had those). They'd reply. NO, we want a NON-children section.

Going to Costco on a saturday is suicide.

going to a movie and sitting by noisy "I forgot all my manners" teenagers, is annoying.

and I never in all my years had to work in the Nursery. But I taught early morning seminary once-----holy freaking yikes.

Karen said...

Amen, sister!

I worked at K-Mart, and later at Ross, during the Christmas season. It's actually sort of a miracle that the suicide rate among retail cashiers is not 100% during the holidays. Or the homicide rate, for that matter.

Eowyn said...

Amen! I never want to work in retail.

And I'm also in shock about Kristina's comment!

I hate the news. I try not to watch. I start to get paranoid after a while.