People watching is the best show on earth...

Oct 25, 2007

Blind to Reason

. Oct 25, 2007

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Tonight I gave in to a craving for Dutch apple pie and a hot mint tea. I amble down to the coffee shop a block away and hop onto a counter seat at the end. There is one empty stool between my neighbor and I. He is black, maybe 40, with a shaved head, a tight goatee and striking amber eyes. He wears jeans and dark blue pullover. He enjoys a burger combo and talks to his male friend next to him. Two televisions mounted on walls across from the counter both broadcast updates from the California wildfires. After an interview with a home owner crying near the smoldering remnants of her house:


Amber eyes: Man, I am so tired of these damn people sobbing on about their burned up houses. If you don't wanna deal with it, don't live in the middle of the damn forest.
Friend: Yeah, I hear you. Still, though, losing everything. Makes me feel sorry.
Amber eyes: Why? They chose to live there. In their million dollar houses in the mountain.
Friend: Yeah, well, it's nice. It's nature.
Amber eyes: You think it's nice that you're paying to build their houses right back up? 'Cause that's what you're doing. All this, the rescue, everything. We're all paying for it with our taxes.
Friend: Hmm.
Amber eyes: I am tired of paying for other people's problems. Do not live in a forest. Do not have six kids on welfare. Do not make me pay for your problems.
Friend: Damn, you're amped today.
Amber eyes: Yeah, well, it's a bad week. You know I still have not gotten my Worker's Comp check?

25 Whispers:

Chase March said...

And who pays for Worker’s Compensation? Is this guy for real?

I think it is important to realize that we are all connected.

If someone has more money than you, you shouldn’t be sore. Some of the people who have lost their homes in the fires are well off. Some of them aren’t. Either way, to lose your home and the things in it that you have worked for and collected over your whole life hurts. I wish people had more compassion and understanding in the world.

This complainer is just plain wrong, and it is depressing to hear his comements.

deathsweep said...

Anger with closed eyes...almost wants to make you ask this guy who he ultimately thinks is paying for his workers comp. Oh well, pain has a way of bringing crud to the surface.

DS

Vienne said...

Hello Chase & Deathsweep, my head snapped up when he said that. I cannot believe he doesn't see the irony in his comments. Maybe he was injured at work, an accident no fault of his own, whatever. Maybe he thinks his employer's paying for it. But we all know you and I are. In any case, he needs help and we're paying for HIS problems.
I have a close friend whose home burned to the ground in an electrical fire years ago. Loss like that messes with your identity. She was not herself for quite a while. Maybe this man was lashing out from his own frustration. I certainly hope lack of compassion like that is temporary.

Lynda Lehmann said...

Thought-provoking post. Too bad human nature makes each of us blame the next guy, or so it seems, instead of taking responsibility for our choices.

What really gets me is people with expensive ocean-side homes who rebuild after the home has been swept out to sea by a hurricane. Then we all pay through the nose in higher insurance rates.

Yes, we are all interconnected and compassion is essential. But so are rational choices.

Vienne said...

Good point you raise, Lynda. Take whatever baggage this guy has out of it, I think his logic regarding natural disaster recovery is based on similar reasoning as you describe here. It's true, we should make rational choices and live with the consequences. I guess I separate judgement about another's choice and empathy. I don't agree with living so close to potentially hazardous conditions, whether it be mountains or ocean, but I do feel for people's loss. I think that's what was missing in this man's comments. That and irony of his sentiments, of course.

clairec23 said...

Those friends could be living anywhere in the world. It's amazing how no matter where you go, there is always something to be resentful about. I'm sure a lot of people have thought the same things but hopefully most of them have some sort of compassion too.

kml said...

Those who live in glass houses - sounds like he trashed his years ago.

CQ said...

People in a position of dependence always resent the structure that supports them, be it the state, family or anything else. The surprising thing here I think is the blind ignorance of his own dependence.

Even after such a disaster as this, people still seem determined to think that the only ones worthy of support are themselves. It's a stupid misconception that people benefitting from welfare support are undeserving of it.

Just Sayin' said...

I'm not sure I could've sat there silently... I think I would've had to say something to that jackass...

Lisa McGlaun said...

His last commment made laugh but not because it was funny..just so irritating. I bet you wanted to just smack him..lol.

Vienne said...

Hi everyone, thanks for your comments. This guy sure does push our buttons.

Just sayin: I wonder what Dwight would have done?

Lisa: Sure did. I think his friend was losing patience with him, too.

Rhys said...

nice post/blog! you are in my favorites bar!
question: was that actually what those people said, or did you use them as creative stimulus and then imagine that conversation or part of it?

Vienne said...

Hi Rhys, thanks! Yes, the conversation is indeed real. I always carry a little handheld recorder with me, not to tape people talking, but to whisper my notes into after I hear something interesting. Helps me remember more. I talk about it in detail in one of the post comments but I can't remember which one. Funny, I can recall conversations so much better than nearly anything else. Years of practice, I guess.

Hope said...

Wow. Really poor word choice given the infinite number of choices...but wow anyway...I'll be back!

Vienne said...

Hi Hope, welcome to Eavesdrop. What word are you referring to? Thanks for stopping by!

AntiBarbie said...

Wow sounds like someone has a touch of NPD... I mean, since he doesn't think people should get help from the populace when they have a problem, I am sure he'd be more than happy to return his workman's comp check. Arsehat.

Ville said...

Wow. What a moron. Just as an FYI though. Workers Compensation is paid out through insurance that every employer is required to carry.
I work for a human resources consulting company, and I deal with these cases all the time. Tax payers do not in any way foot the bill for W/C.
Just thought you might want to know.
Not to say that this guy is any less a dumbo for his comments.
I love this blog BTW.

Vienne said...

Hi Antibarbie, great sentiments and two great words you offer. One I understand (and love), arsehat, the other I don't but I'll bet I'll like it, NPD. What's that acronym mean? Am I out of touch?

Hello Ville, that's interesting insight to workers' comp. The higher insurance premiums must work around to us tax payers somehow. I work for local government which has huge workers' comp claim volume (public safety). The city is quite fond of saying no raises, no this, no that. Comp claims are too costly this year. And then all the managers get secret raises. Go figure.

Miss Ladybug said...

Fascinating, once again. Every time I read your posts, I either am shocked, feel touched or get a chill. Such an honest portrayal of human nature...

Vienne said...

Well thanks, ladybug. That's a real compliment. Sometimes I think it's easy to forget how much we imapact others with our comments and behavior. I get caugt up in my business and forget that about myself, too. When I capture others like this, I slow down a little and think about that.

AntiBarbie said...

NPD is Narcissistic personality disorder

Vienne said...

Ah, gotcha.

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

The hook on that one has me ROFL. What a show of human nature.

Great post!!!

Hugs, JJ

Bob Johnson said...

Another great post, it takes all kinds of people to make up this world, the WC remark is hilarious to say the least.

Holly said...

That's HILARIOUS!

 

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