Sunday, September 18, 2005

Am I Too Nice?

As I sat in Chicago Bear traffic today, I think I allowed 4 people in in front of me. I don't usually have a problem with being nice and letting people in as long as I'm not in a hurry. And I have to get the hand wave. You know, the one thats really impossible to say "you're welcome" too.

Anyways, a few minutes later I was passing a white SUV when I noticed it halfway in my lane. Apparently I hadn't seen them want to get over, and at this point it wasn't going to happen. I sped up as I saw a look of disgust upon the ladies face. My first reaction was "thats what you get for yappin' on your cell phone, lady."

My next reaction was "dadgummit I've got that dang Abilene CHRISTIAN University sticker on the back of my car. I've just give n all us Christians a bad reputation.

But for real, where do you draw the line?? We should all be so nice as to let people in line in traffic, but there's gotta be a point where it stops. Do you want me to just stop and put on my blinkers and let the whole world in front of me? Is everybody gonna expect me to let them in? On the plane a bit part of our job is just to be nice. thats it. Simple. But you get too nice and people walk over you. They don't respect you.

I can't stand it when we land and I'm sitting on the front jumpseat right after we make the welcome announcement and tell everybody TO STAY IN YOUR FREAKIN SEAT WITH THAT SEATBELT ON until the sign goes off and we actually stop, and people start takin' they're seatbelts off. People right directly in front of me, people that i've been staring at and talking to for 20 mins, they take their seatbelts off. I mean its really not that big of a deal, honestly, cuz i know 75% of the plane is doing the same thing, but it represents a blatant disregard for anything we say. I always point it out, and say, "hey man, how you gonna do that right in front of me?" they kinda laugh it off and don't even bother to put it back on. I usually tell them that when we slam on the breaks and they fly out of they're seats and smack their heads into the bulkhead i'm gonna sit there and laugh. not move a muscle and just laugh. I actually tell them that too. It's just that we've been so dang nice the entire flight, they don't take us seriously anymore. Sometimes you have to draw the line and you look like a big fat jerk! the only thing they take us seriously at is overhead bin space. cuz they DON'T want their bags checked and they KNOW that we'll do it too.

But back to my point. You like to be nice but if you get TOO nice, then people start taking advantage of you. I know most of you are Christians and good public citizens and genuine NICE PEOPLE, but does anyone else ever feel taken advantage of? Like on the Subways in New York if you wear a T-Shirt that somehow identifies you as a Christian, you know the pan-handlers of the city are going to flock to you and EXPECT that you give them money. Or food. Or something. It's what you do. But we can't give to everybody!!! Where do we draw the line? And that one guy you turn down, shakes his head, turns around as he walks away, and calls you an SOB. Serious. It's happened to me before.

At my healthclub job in NYC, I wanted to help out as much as I could, so I started doing a little extra work to help the company out, and slowly but surely they wanted me to do more...and more..and more...and I started doing all this because I wanted to be nice and help people out, but they kept piling up more things that wasn't in my job description and I never saw an extra cent. NEVER. and I didn't want to be the selfish employee going in demanding a raise.


I think I need to take that ACU sticker off my car. It'll solve a lot of problems.



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Anonymous said...

i used to live in nyc and sometimes as i was jostled around in the morning subway rush, i would wonder how long it would take me to get to work if a truly put myself last at every opportunity. i thought about trying it, but since it already took 30 minutes to go 3 miles, on a good day, i never did. even though we like to make excuses, i still think the cold, hard truth is that we don't get to be mean.

laura g said...

If I let every car in in front of me on my way to work in downtown Nashville, I'd get so far back that I'd end up in Chicago. Let a few in, but you can't be nice to everyone... especially those on cell phones who will cause the wreck you will see later that night on the news.

Steve & Renae Cates said...

I totally agree! They have moved me from front desk admin. asst. to work as a recruiter in staffing. I really do genuinely want to help people get jobs and in the hiring process, I spend a lot of time with these folks...making sure they have everything filled out properly, making sure we have all the info. for their background, calling to make sure they know what time and where to report on their first day of work, etc. It's time-consuming. Therefore, it's makes me so mad when at the last minute, they call or sometimes don't even call, just don't report on the first day of work because they got another job...after all I'd done for them! What a way to thank me! Or what is almost worse is when I work so hard to get these folks hired and as SOON as they are onboard, they apply for other jobs within the Airport. I mean, SERIOUSLY, it does not look good to apply for another job when you've had yours all of 2 days! Okay, thanks for letting me vent Jeremy. :) Of course, who I am kidding? I think I'm all nice but then I'm sure every night people are cursing me after I say, "Thanks for taking time to come interview with us for that position. Unfortunately, you were not selected for the position." So there's my chance at being mean...believe me, it's not that fun so enjoy getting to be nice! :)
~ Renae Cates

BSC said...

Being nice is good to an extent. I've spent most of my life putting my own personal beliefs aside just so I could please people. But the more I did that the more I saw myself being a pushover and taken advantage of. So a few years ago I decided to say screw it, and if I feel like being nice I will, if not, tough.

But I still treat people fairly - unless they're rich. If you're driving a car that costs over $40,000 I won't let you in front of me. People with money get enough lips on their arsses all day; mine won't be there too.

Anonymous said...

Let's look to Jesus to tell us where the "line" is on this subject. He was here to save the same people that cursed him. Jesus healed the sick, encouraged the disciples, and loved the most vile of society. His compassion and "being nice" is something that Christians strive to mimic.

Unfortunately, we lack the ability to know the hearts of the people we seek to serve. This often causes us to be taken advantage of and hurt by those we reach out to help. How many of us have given to a homeless person on the street and then later saw them working a different corner? He said that he was hungry, so we gave him money. But Jesus would have given him food. Jesus meet the needs of the people, which led to a conversation. It is important to note that he gave to a point and then stopped. Jesus did not allow himself to be manipulated by those he was helping. We overcompensate in our seeking to be kind, which allows us to be manipulated. Jesus was the door to Life, not the doormat.

So, in traffic let a few people in line ahead of you, but also remember to be kind to those behind you by moving ahead in the line.

As for the rude airline passengers, take a moment to ask yourself if you are nice and respectful in all situations. Have you ever been cranky/rude on a plane (perhaps before you were a flight attendant), in a store, or in a restuarant? How many times have you ignored the waiter's warning about the plate being hot? Excepting human nature will take you far down the road of niceness.

"Let those without sin cast the first stone."