Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Inconsiderate Assholes

There’s nothing that pisses me off more than when someone is being inconsiderate.  Seeing as how I live in Atlanta, I am faced with this brand of horseshit every single day.  Seeing as how I drive around Atlanta for my job, I am faced with this horseshit in quantities that are not easily survived by the normal person.  Or maybe I have that backwards.  I don’t really know.

I have dealt with this selfishness in its truest, purest, concentrated form twice this week and even had a chance to have words with the offenders.  The first incident happened as I walked into work during rush hour.  The place I work is located on a busy street with four lanes of traffic that are usually packed straight across and backed up for a few blocks.

On a side note, Atlanta’s traffic problem could be solved very easily.  Ready for the earth-shattering idea?  Time the fucking traffic lights in a coherent fashion.  That’s it.  That’s all they have to do and the average commute would be cut in half (probably).  You would not believe how often you will sit at a red light and stare at a green light a block up, then when your light turns green, you pull up to another red.  If the lights would simply keep traffic moving, cars wouldn’t back up.  Duh.  And yes, I know that if one direction was green at all times the other direction would simply get backed up.  That’s where the planning comes in.  Just ship in a few college graduates from the north (sorry, people just have it together up there more than they do in the south) and give them a month to figure shit out.  But then again, they’d also have to figure out how to keep the traffic lights working when it rains.  I’m sure this screws with the timing so they’d have to solve that impossible feat first, I guess.  Seriously, every time it rains the traffic lights around Midtown immediately start blinking red or yellow.  Every fucking time.  And then, of course, no one knows how to drive through blinking lights so traffic backs up even more.  Goddamn it, why don’t they have driver’s education classes in the south?  Do people here like being uninformed about how to live in a society?  Is that fun for them?  There’s a sign at a stoplight right next to my work that says, “Left Turn Permitted After Stop.”  That means you can turn left on a fucking red light when you’re coming from a one-way street and going onto a one-way street.  It’s okay.  It’s says it’s okay right there.  Just fucking go you illiterate pricks.  You should know that fucking rule already.  Or at least you would if your state actually taught people the rules of the road instead of depending on parents who are uninformed to pass their uninformation on to their kids.  Goddamn it.

Anyways, back to the four lanes of congestion in front of work.  So, yeah, shit is always backed up.  Sometimes, however, the late-afternoon commuters are given an extra gift when someone decides to park in front of our restaurant and simply throw on the hazards, traffic be damned.

Earlier this week, I walked up to the restaurant and saw a UPS truck out front with the hazard lights on.  Okay, no big deal.  He’ll just be a minute and then off he’ll go.  He only parked there because it would be a hassle to park in the parking lot just for the two minutes it would take to drop off the package.  Then I walked into the restaurant and found a man in a brown shirt with matching brown shorts casually eating some goddamn chicken wings.

“Is that your truck out there?” I asked as I pointed to shit-colored truck receiving a symphony of honks.

Buffalo sauce dripping from his chin and chicken wing in hand, he wordlessly nodded as if I asked him if he knew where I could find some clouds.

“And you don’t care that you’re blocking traffic?”

Again, sauce dripping and chicken wing clenched in his fingers, he silently nodded.  If I could hear other people’s thoughts, I’m sure I would have heard him say, “Yes, of course that’s my truck.  Traffic?  Yeah?  There sure is a lot of it out there!  Whew!”

I felt a bubble grow in my chest and knew that if I didn’t walk away, I would probably lose my job.  I’m guessing it would be frowned upon if I were to call a customer an asshole in front of my manager in the lobby of the restaurant while wearing a hat with the company name boldly displayed on the front.  I simply walked in the back and tried not to keep track of how long this fucking asshole calmly ate his dinner while inconveniencing at least two hundred people. 

There had to be at least thirty cars behind him at one point in time, which were constantly moving past and being replaced by other cars.  Then the cars in the adjacent lane would also be inconvenienced, doubling the number.  Even if there was only one person in each car, that would be about 60 people every five minutes that this guy caused about twenty seconds of displeasure.  And that’s a conservative estimate.  Doesn’t seem like much?  He was probably there for twenty minutes.  That’s 240 people.  With three people equaling one minute, this man caused 80 minutes of pissed off people which could have easily been avoided by simply parking in one of the two parking lots within twenty feet of where his truck sat.  Or he could have just taken the box into his truck, driven somewhere else, and eaten it there.  It was already in a to-go box.  But he didn’t care.  He actually seemed to not even understand what was wrong with what he was doing.

Inconsiderate asshole in its purest form.

This type of shit happens all the time.  People are always pulling the hazard light maneuver.  Another great move is simply parking in the driveway for the restaurant but not pulling the extra fifteen feet to the parking lot.  I’ve also had words with customers about this.  Every time I do it, I am reminded that this might lead me to get “swung on.”  But, I figure if no one’s done it yet, I should be in the clear.

The second instance of assholery I encountered this week happened in my car.  I was stopped at a red light and people were trying to hurry up and turn left which inevitably leads to someone piling into the intersection when there isn’t enough room for their car.  Sometimes you misjudge how much room is there, it’s okay.  Kinda.  Well, not really.  Usually when this happens and the light turns green, leaving people going the opposite way with an obstructed path, the offender will pull as far forward as possible or simply move over to the unoccupied lane to clear the way.

Now, I was at the front of the line.  The first to go through the intersection.  I saw the numbers on the crosswalk sign counting to zero and knew this stupid woman was not going to get through the light. Big surprise, she was stuck in the middle of the fucking intersection when the opposite light turned green. 

Once again, this is rush hour traffic.  The entire block as far as I could see in my rear-view mirror was full of cars in all three lanes.  The woman in front of me, her car was about four feet in front of me, was simply talking on her cell phone and waiting for the cars in front of her start moving so she could go about her trip. 

I gave her a polite horn honk.  She glanced over at me for a moment before continuing to do nothing.  I honked again.  She did nothing.  I hung my head out of the window.

“Hey, just move over to the other lane,” I said, pointing to the clear lane three feet to her right.

She just ignored me, surely talking about the situation with whoever she was speaking with.  I took this opportunity to lay on my horn for about ten seconds straight.  I hung my head out of the window.

“Move your car!”  More horn honks.  And not just me, people behind me waiting to turn left have joined in.  I guess I should have mentioned that I sat in the far left lane, and with the middle lane a constant stream of cars, I had no means of going around the woman.

At this point, people on the sidewalks have taken notice of the situation, as have people in cars heading across my lane, calmly waiting for their red light like well-behaved citizens.  I see people facing us and smiling, obviously taking pleasure in the sight of a guy losing his mind because of the stupid actions of another person.

Eventually, she rolled her window up and continued talking on the phone, even smiling as I gradually lost my mind with anger.  I hung my head out of the window.

“Oh that’s right.  No one matters but you, right?  Nothing matters as long as you get what you want and everybody else can just go to hell, right?  Is that what you really think?”  I was screaming like a deranged lunatic.  If I was on the sidewalk watching myself at this moment I would have applauded and tried to get everyone around me to do the same, as soon as I had finished laughing at the crazy person.

I wanted to get out of my car and kick a hole in her stupid window and then grab her by her stupid hair and pull her onto the pavement where I would kick her in her throat, reach in her car,  put it in neutral, and then push it into the vacant lane that she seemed to have a holy grudge against.

But I had the sign for the restaurant on the top of my car and a hat with the logo prominently displayed on the front, so I did none of these things.  I didn’t even get to swear at her or spit on her window when she finally moved the fuck out of my goddamn motherfucking way.  All I could do was hang my head out of the window.

“Thank you!”

Inconsiderate asshole in its purest form.  And there are thousands of them surrounding me at all times.

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