The Social Responsibility Monitor (the world’s most important non-existant profession)

Every day, all over the world, every moment of the day, there are people acting a fool. They are standing on the escalator blocking the whole thing so you cannot pass; they are taking a dance class dressed for a music video shoot taking the whole thing WAY to seriously; they are cutting you in line; they’re letting their children run like wild animals through target, they do not have their money ready when they get to the drive thru window (even though there is a little sign that clearly requests that you have payment ready); they are cutting you off in traffic or coming to a full stop for no apparent reason before merging onto the parkway. These irresponsible members of society are everywhere and there is no one to keep them in check. So I propose this, we institute a “social responsibility officer” to monitor these not necessarily unlawful, but definitely unacceptable and annoying behaviors and alert the citizen to the infraction… and if no one would like the job, I nominate myself.

This week alone I have witnessed 3 noteworthy examples of social irresponsibility that went completely unpunished.

Case 1: THE PRICE-CHECK HOLD UP

So here I am at Target, minding my business, attempting to purchase this adorable watch that was on a sale for $8.00 marked down from $16.00. I’m standing behind three other customers on line number 6. The customer at the register currently has gathered every single baby seat that they sell in target, at least 8-10, and is asking the lady at the register how much each individual one costs. Now… here’s my problem(s) with this scenario: 1. There is a person at Target whose entire job is to put those convenient little price tags above or below EVERY single item in the store. That’s all he does all day is print little tags and slide them behind clear plastic holders so the consumer can read for themselves how much something will cost BEFORE they put it into their cart. 2. If you prefer not to read that little sticker, or prefer not to believe it is accurate, Target has gone as far as to put little personalized price-checker scanny machines all over the store, so that you can bring your 200 baby seats up to the price checker.. and scan them yourself.

Target has gone to these great lengths to avoid situations exactly like the one this socially inept individual has created. All these price checking mechanisms are around so that you don’t go up to the register and hold up a line full of people while harassing the poor underpaid cashier to price check every single item in your cart. So which baby seat did she choose? She did not even buy one.

CASE 2: THE FAST FOOD LINE DEBACLE

Matt and I find ourselves in line at Wendy’s because Matt has purchased a little keychain that entitles him to a free frosty with every purchase. We are at a “fast” food restaurant waiting in line for the better part of 12 minutes (in which time I could have grilled my own damn burger at home but that’s not the point) behind 5 or 6 other customers. Now, I don’t mind waiting in line but THIS I do mind. While we are waiting in line we all have the privilege of staring at this massive, bright menu complete with photos of fries, greasy burgers and other crap we shouldn’t be eating illuminated by a yellowing halogen bulb. So how should ones time be spent while waiting in line to place their order? By deciding what menu selection they would like to clog their arteries with… at least thats what one would think to be the most common sense pass time. However, at least 3 of the people got up to the front of the line, looked over at the person they were with and started to discuss what food they might like…”would you like the chicken sandwhich..” “the blah blah blahhhhh…” This conversation should have been going on during the time which you were waiting in line but had not yet reached the front of the line. This unprepared, non-sensical behavior is why we have lines in the first place…and if I was an “SRO” I would have stepped in.

CASE #3: THE PARENTAL CHECK OUT

We have all seen it.. a parent standing by while their kid licks the sidewalk, screams in public for no reason, punches an old man in the head or what have you. When we see it, we are all wondering the same thing– why doesn’t that parent step in and teach their child how to behave in public so they don’t grow up to think its cool to throw an entire bag of popcorn on the floor for no good reason. Maybe that parent has had enough for that day, or just given up in general but in any case I think it takes a village and someone should step in and handle it… and so this week, I did- in my first unofficial test as a “Social Responsibility Officer.”

Matt and I were on Hollywood Blvd leaving class around 9pm when a guy walked by with his young, possibly 6 year old, daughter on his shoulders. This child was screaming the word “no” 400 times a minute for NO REASON whatsoever.. and while she was on her father’s shoulders and walking in a group of 5 other relatives no one stopped to tell her to be quiet… so, I did. I yelled “hey”, shot her my meanest mom stare, and put my finger up to my lips to signal “be quiet”… and do you know what happened? She stopped yelling.

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