Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
– Philippians 2:4
We went to see “The Avengers” a few weeks ago. A woman and little girl were sitting behind us. There were the familiar sounds of crinkling paper and popcorn-munching, followed by the gulping of soda. What came next was a very unexpected sound. The lovely sound of vomit – like someone had poured an entire Big Gulp on the floor. I expected this woman to rush the poor kid outside. Instead, she let the kid finish emptying the contents of her stomach…and then continued to watch the movie! Look, I know the price nowadays for a movie ticket is ridiculous, but could you, please, have, at least, taken her to the bathroom and cleaned her up? Show some consideration for your fellow movie-goers.
I like to think people don’t go out of their way to be inconsiderate. Sometimes we just have bad days or get distracted. For some, it might be a learned behavior, habit, or accepted practice in their circle. I can say I don’t do any of these following things on purpose. But then again, I could also be doing things that others would identify as being inconsiderate. Here are the ten signs you just might be inconsiderate (in no particular order):
Littering: When I go to the gym, I’m amazed at how much trash is in the parking lot. Water bottles, soda cans, fast food bags, and protein bar wrappers clearly left by people who opened their car door and just left their junk on the ground. And the next time you go to the movies, take a look around and see how much trash people leave in and around their seats. There are trash cans all over the place. You’re telling me you can’t walk up to one and dump your trash? Do you think your mother is going to come by later and clean up after you?
Taking Up Two Parking Spaces: So you have a nice shiny new black Chrysler 300 with sparkling chrome rims. I like it. What I don’t like is that you took up two parking spaces because you didn’t want any dings or dents on your new car. How about parking across the street or driving your commuter car next time?
Not Using Your Turn Signal: Probably the biggest reason for road rage. Isn’t using your turn signal part of the vehicle code? You wouldn’t step in front of someone at the bank or grocery store, right? So why would you just cut in front of them on the road? Using your turn signal is the equivalent of saying, “Excuse me, thank you.”
Not Washing Your Hands After Using The Bathroom: I’ve written about this before. One day, I plan on stopping the next guy who walks out of the bathroom without washing his hands and asking him simply, why? I mean, is there any good reason for not washing your hands besides you’re lazy or don’t care that you’re greeting me with your urine?
Cursing In Mixed Company: You’re an adult. You can speak in any manner you want. But when you’re in the company of strangers, or worse, kids, and you start dropping f-bombs like you’re out with your buddies at a bar, then I have to say you’re inconsiderate. I shouldn’t have to cover my kid’s ears (earmuffs) like Vince Vaughn in “Old School.”
Using “I” In Every Sentence: Dilbert has a great character named “Topper.” He’s the “I” guy. The one who takes over the conversation with his or her stories. “I remember the time…” “Oh yeah, I remember when…” “That reminds me of the time when I…” OK, Mr./Mrs. I need and want attention. You lost me at the second “I.”
Letting Your Kids Run Buck-wild: You know these kids. These are the kids that are running up and down the aisles in church, throwing merchandise all over the store floor, or touching things where there’s a humongous “Do Not Touch” sign – all while their parents are: 1) nowhere to be found; 2) on their cell phone; or 3) talking to the parents of other buck-wild kids.
Not Putting Stuff Back: I’ve done it. You’ve done it. How many times have you picked up an item in a grocery store, decided you didn’t want it, then shoved it somewhere in another aisle (or put it in the freezer)? Or loaded your car then jammed your shopping cart over a curb or left it in a parking space (where some poor woman had to get out and move it in order to park). Put things back where they belong. This is a lot like littering in that you’re leaving something out of place that someone else has to clean up.
Loud Cell Phone Talk: If you’ve ever ridden public transportation, you’ve heard it. This is the woman who is having man troubles or the man with some kind of rash that requires additional tests. You know because you and everyone else on the bus, train, or subway can hear them talking…wait…no…screaming about it on their cell phone. Why in the world are you talking so loud?
Being A Tip Accountant: I‘ve never had to wait tables or clean a hotel room, but I think there’s a reason these are considered some of the toughest jobs in the world. Because they’re hard and don’t pay that well. Do you really have to calculate the tip down to the nearest penny or percentage point? Are you the person who asks, “Why are you leaving so much?” or “Why do I need to put in an extra dollar?” Or worse, not tip at all? The next time you go out to eat or stay at a hotel, tip a little extra cash.
What would be your signs of inconsideration?