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Snobbery as art

It's a week before Christmas and I'm standing in line in the post office. When exactly did the last letter in USPS change from "service" to "suffering"? I remember the post office used to be a place of simple transactions, a quick stop among errands, often with a smiling face. Of course, I grew up in a very small town. And that was at least 10 years ago. I'd blame Bush, but Obama hasn't fixed it, either.

I'm going to be late for work. That's inevitable now.

There are two windows open, manned by unhappy people, faces set in permanent frowns. The line is long, but moving.

I get out my iPhone. Bejeweled for the iPhone has been sucking away all my spare time. I can see how many of my Facebook friends have higher scores than me. I'm lucky to be in the top 10. I have the sound off so I'm not too annoying.

I see people looking at me. They look away when I catch their glance. They go back to watching the line not move, watching the clerks weigh package after package.

Are they jealous? Envious? Is it the iPhone, that swanky piece of keeping up with the digital Joneses? Or is it just that I have something to do while I'm waiting? I'm truly multitasking - waiting in a line I need to be in while doing something else (even if it's not that constructive).

Maybe it's just my swanky hat.

The end is near. I'm next. Soon I will be sending my single box up to my family in the Great White North.

I'm faring well in Bejeweled but my rank has not gone up. It's made the time go quicker.

Seeing that I'm close, I put the phone away. The woman in front of me, now at the counter, is chaos wrapped in a bundle of confusion. She doesn't know what forms she needs, doesn't know how she wants to send the packages, doesn't know zip codes, had no idea how much it would cost.

She turns around and apologizes to the line. Then the postal clerk tells her something else that's wrong.

The woman apologizes to the line again.

And again.

And again.

I want to scream. Stop! Just stop! All the time you spend apologizing to us is time lost. You could be fixing the mistakes and learning from them and not inconveniencing others in the future. Just get the stuff done!

But I don't. I'm too nice. I probably rolled my eyes, though.

I'm a snob. I admit it. But I'm not a snob like most snobs are snobs.

I don't care about what, if anything, you have in your bank account or stock portfolio. I don't care if you wear designer labels. I don't care if you have the niftiest toys and latest technology.

Sure, that stuff is nice. I work at one of the top law schools in the country. I'm surrounded by young people born of privilege who obsess about such things as much as their Ivy League-trained professors do. I've heard it referred to as the Vander-bubble.

But that's not what will make you better in my eyes. Having that stuff is not a requirement for me to avoid looking down my nose at you. If all you have going for you is that stuff, I will definitely look down my nose at you.

What I care about is that you use your brain. That you're considerate and compassionate. That you are making a concerted effort toward making yourself and the world better.

Am I that way everyday? Some days I'm caught up in the rat race and the shiny stuff as much as the pretentious ones here. But I come back around. Take a deep breath and realize what matters.

That's a better way to live.

[Posted for LJ Idol Season 6 Topic 9 - The Better Half]


( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 7th, 2010 09:31 pm (UTC)
Excellent post!
I have been in that SAME line at the USPS... yep.... I gotta agree it's more Suffering that service there these days.
Jan. 7th, 2010 10:15 pm (UTC)
Re: Excellent post!
So were you the one in front of me? LOL.

Thanks for reading and sympathizing. :)
Jan. 7th, 2010 09:46 pm (UTC)
I completely sympathize. :)
Jan. 7th, 2010 10:15 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading & relating. :)
Jan. 7th, 2010 11:48 pm (UTC)
Jan. 10th, 2010 10:16 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!
Jan. 8th, 2010 12:01 am (UTC)
Haha, this is so true and very relateable!
Jan. 10th, 2010 10:16 pm (UTC)
Jan. 8th, 2010 03:30 am (UTC)
I can relate...I had to go to the PO a couple o weeks ago and had this "princess" woman ahead of me....I was thinking, "Just forget about apologizing to the line...We are not your fucking audience or subjects...Just stay on task and you will move it along better that way," Man!
Jan. 10th, 2010 10:17 pm (UTC)
Absolutely. I'm saddened by how common this kind of behavior seems to be.

Thanks for reading.
Jan. 8th, 2010 05:09 am (UTC)
I agree. I have been surrounded by those who were privilaged and I really could not care less about stuff. But stupid people annoy me :-p
Jan. 10th, 2010 10:16 pm (UTC)
Stupid is the worst thing to be. I can't stand it.

It's always good to find fellow believers. Thanks for reading.
Jan. 8th, 2010 08:15 pm (UTC)
I think this is a reasonable kind of snobbery. People need to use their brains a bit more.
Jan. 8th, 2010 09:35 pm (UTC)

Thanks for reading and commenting.
Jan. 9th, 2010 05:45 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I don't care much about class or social status--just use your common sense and common decency from time to time and you're alright by me. If you just can't put those faculties to use, though, I am going to look down on you big time.
Jan. 10th, 2010 10:15 pm (UTC)
Hooray! It's always good to find fellow believers.

Thanks for reading & commenting.
Jan. 10th, 2010 04:02 am (UTC)
I still read books in the post office line. Guess I'm old-school. ^_^
Jan. 10th, 2010 10:14 pm (UTC)
I approve. I would do that, too, in most cases when I'm not holding a big box.

Thanks for reading.
Jan. 11th, 2010 12:08 pm (UTC)
Well said!
Jan. 11th, 2010 07:30 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
Jan. 11th, 2010 08:23 pm (UTC)
Nicely done, and oh so true!
Jan. 11th, 2010 08:33 pm (UTC)
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )


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