And now, on the other side of the coin - Denny Scott editorial
While I spent last week’s column talking about how great people are when they are giving, we also have to remember that there are a lot of spoiled, selfish people out there who just want to worry about themselves and knock their neighbours down a few pegs.
While stories of giving are a little harder to find, you can barely swing a cursor through my newsfeed without seeing stories about people who think the world should bend to their whims.
Last week, for example, I stumbled on two separate news stories showing just how selfish the world can be: one about a young student claiming that Starbucks needs a union because they had to work eight-hour shifts and they think their manager sucks, and another about neighbours wanting to shut down a Christmas light display because they don’t like the traffic on their street.
For the first issue: this isn’t an argument against (or for) unions. This has everything to do with entitlement and nothing to do with unions. I think that this individual mistakenly believes that unions are going to help them avoid working a full shift for a job for which they willingly applied. I don’t think that’s the case.
I read the story, watched the video and couldn’t believe what I was seeing because it sounded like a satirical piece on The Onion or The Beaverton. This person was complaining about working 25 hours a week, mostly on the weekend, because they were tired after being scheduled to serve coffee for eight hours. I kept reading and watching because I figured I must be missing something. Turns out, I wasn’t. This individual wanted to blame everything from their neurodivergent brains (trust me, that excuse gets you nowhere) to their manager not working the weekend to how they were being “mistreated” by being expected to do their job.
I’m not judging from on high here: I worked part- and full-time jobs when I was in school, usually with long weekend shifts, and usually spending more than an hour, round trip, on the bus to and from work. More than a reality, it’s a learning experience; you need to be able to deal with customers for eight hours a day unless you’re studying to be an Arctic scientist who works alone 12 months of the year.
It’s also important to learn that it’s temporary - someday, just like me, this person would be working in a job that fulfills them thanks to the effort they should be putting forward in their current job.
Just to show this isn’t a generational thing and that everyone gets whiny, we turn to the township of Puslinch where neighbours (decidedly not teens working at Starbucks) are complaining about the traffic caused by a light display. The illuminated entertainment has neighbours complaining so much about people coming to see it that a local council said that the man in charge of the lights has to hire an off-duty police officer to direct traffic and the lights can only be run, as of a special meeting, from Dec. 19 to Dec. 25.
The residents complain because they can’t access their street easily, and because there are no sidewalks, and say that the incredibly-slow-moving traffic could cause a safety concern.
However these kinds of events and lights have been going on for years, usually without incident, and usually to the chagrin of Scrooge-ish neighbours.
These neighbours are whining despite the fact that the local council already created a bylaw requiring such displays to get a permit, which the homeowner did almost two months ago.
I mean, we all know what this is like in small towns. When special events are going on, the traffic gets bad, the parking gets taken up and you can feel like you should’ve just walked by the time you find a parking spot and get to work. So what? Suck it up.
I don’t know if we were all a little too sheltered from the rest of the world during the pandemic, but in addition to COVID-19, being whiny seems to have become endemic. Whether it’s taking a job you hate to get through school, or closing your blinds and walking a bit from your car because your neighbour is making the world a little brighter, we all need to stop being so self-centred.