Fixin’ the World

Tonight at dinner, mimi and her companions got an ugly reminder that there are some folks out there who just don’t get it. The three of us were enjoying some gorgeous Kentucky weather at a sidewalk table of a Louisville pub. Next to us were two nicely-dressed women about our age doing the same. Later in the evening, our server, a darling law student at the U of L, came to us with a puzzled face, pointed to the now-empty table next to us, and asked if we’d seen the other women leave. We hadn’t. Wish we had, since they stiffed him.

I don’t know about you, but in mimi’s book, that’s tacky.

Unfortunately, tacky runs deep in a certain segment of the American population, I’m sorry to say. I’m not talking about not-knowing-how-to-dress tacky or forgetting-your-manners tacky. I mean the epitome of tacky, the I’m-better-than-you-because-I-make-more-money-than-you kind of tacky that apparently gives some people the idea that they have a license to treat other people like dirt.

Let’s face it: there are some folks who think their Mercedes keys or gated communities or season tickets or expensive bags or what have you have somehow conveyed special privileges upon them. And that’s tacky. What’s classy is treating everyone, from the man who picks up your trash cans to the Queen of Sheba, with courtesy. But since some folks don’t seem to get it, here’s mimi’s plan on how to fix the world. Or the good ol’ U.S. of A., if nothing else.

Everyone who graduates from an American college or university, especially of the Ivy League variety (because it’s folks in those tax brackets who suffer the most from this type of tacky), is required to work for a minimum of two weeks at EACH of the following jobs before being permitted to step onto their respective career ladders:

  1. 1. Server in a restaurant (nothing upscale)

  2. 2. Retail sales clerk

  3. 3. Receptionist or other front-of-house worker in a business

  4. 4. Candy striper in a hospital

  5. 5. Substitute teacher

Each of these jobs requires hard work, patience, and service to others, skills the entitled crowd either lacks or ignores. It’s about time the folks who equate bank balances with personal worth learned that all people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. That hollering at the poor girl who answers the phone isn’t the way to get the service you want. That leaving piles of clothing in dressing rooms and unfolding stacks of T-shirts for some department store minion to handle for you is rude. That teachers earn those measly weeks off in the summer with all the early mornings, late afternoons, sacrificed weekends, and bolted-down lunches. If those women today had ever had to bust butt in the weeds at a busy restaurant, they wouldn’t have dreamed of walking away from measly $12 check. Twelve bucks! That’s not just tacky; that’s downright ugly. Thankfully, mimi has, and so had her companions, so we covered the tacky women’s missing check and wrote in a healthy tip on our own.

mimi has a sneaking suspicion that the tacky women are attending the same event she is this week. If so, and I recognize them, I’ll flash them what my college roommates used to call the ES&D (Eat Sh*t and Die) smile and see if they’re up for a lesson, bless their tacky little hearts.

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