Friday, September 11, 2009

I hate your morality

I am sitting at my computer desk preparing to go to work. A sudden feeling of queasiness has overtaken me. I have less than an hour before I must get in the shower and find a bus to transport me to what can only be described as Hell.

Friday night at the Ghetto Grocery is never fun. All manner of drunks and underage buyers assault me.

I was accosted.

An old man last night wanted to get his jar of coffee "free" because he forgot to use his club card. The old man talked for 20 minutes about how there should be prices on all the products and that the prices should be labeled clearly.

I did not want to tell him that the price was correct and the the price was clearly labeled, but I did. And so rather than take the news like a man he raddled on about "personal responsibility."

"I should get this coffee for free." The old man told me. He then told me that since "we" made the mistake "we" should take "personal responsibility."

We should make up for his time and travel costs. We should give him a 9 dollar bag of coffee for free, because he forgot to carry his club card, and because he is too old to read signs, and even though he has been coming to this store for 50 years he still doesn't realize that you need a club card to get all your savings, even though the self-checkout machine asks you to swipe your club card, and even though the sign for the coffee was clearly marked as a club card price.

The old man feels like it was the "store" that made the mistake even though he is 100 years old with nothing to do and lives only a few blocks from the store we should still "subsidize his time" all because he is the near dead and the near dead have so little time left that he should get a 10 dollar can of coffee for free even though he never left the store and even after I explained to him that I would reimburse him for his club card savings even without his club card- the old fart still felt the need to bring up the Great Depression, he felt the need to bring up his service as a cook in the Navy, all so he could get his free cup of coffee, and all this takes place for 20 minutes- which just goes to prove that the old fucker has nothing to do and no one to yell at all because he got rid of his lawn 10 years ago, and replaced it with one of those maintenance free, environmental, desert landscapes; thus avoiding all the care and worry that old people have over green lawns, and thus depriving him of a lush landscape that would calm him down after an exhilarating hour of the "Wheel of Fortune" which has so revved him up that he got a tingling down there from Vanna White when she turned a letter or two, which reminded him more of a taking a tinkling in his shorts- than of the last time he penetrated his dead wife's roast beef of a pussy-which only reminded him that he was out of coffee -which started this whole mess, because the old man was up way past him bedtime as he walked into the store at 8 PM only to be contradicted by a man half his age who, "never understood what it was like to be in the military" though despite the tragic failure to serve his country the lad understood logic, and only requested that old man get his "facts right" and the facts where "the price is marked correctly," and so the rascal youth rightly insisted that the failure was on the part of the Old Navy Seal "who forgot to use his club card" and when the old man countered that "he forgot his club card" it seemed the young man had won the debate, but the young man forgot what year it was, and how he lived in a time and place they call America, and in America things like "facts" and "logic" are not needed.

What was needed was some GOD DAMMED PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY! So the implacable youth suggested that we bring a third party into this discussion, and so a call went out to management.

Management decided quickly what was wrong. The customer. But the customer had been, "coming here for 50 years and in that time had seen personal responsibility disappear."

At this comment the implacable youth retorted by inserting his logic (and that logic being sound and irrefutable) that he "always thought that 90% of tats" were "douchey."

But management felt that 20 minutes of arguing morality was 20 minutes spent too long on unimportant matters, and with a flourish gave the really old man his free coffee (which after all was all the old man wanted) and the really old man swiped his credit card again and saw that $5 dollars was credited and with a toothy smile (courtesy of medicare and Fixedent) was out the door, but not before he mentioned how PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY always triumphs and how Obama's death panels would never get him as he again referenced the gunnery ability he obtained from serving as a cook on board a ship in 1942 that was bombed by angry yellow men.

The old man left and I was alone with my thoughts.

"It's funny. It's seems that it's always OTHER PEOPLE"S PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY that the people who lecture you on PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY want to talk to you about but you almost never hear them utter a simple word as to what THEIR personal responsibility is."

The simple and stupid sense of morality that everywhere permeates CAPITALISM is found innocuously hidden in every ethics statement at every business I have ever worked at.

It seems PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY is an issue only the worker has. Not the corporation which has not responsibility to me, but to it's shareholders, though by shareholders we really mean the executives and other highly paid who siphon off 30% or more of the income of most corporations all the while laughing at the foolish shareholders who interest they are "protecting."

All the while gains in productivity over the last 35 years have gone to the top of the food chain, and completely divorced themselves from rewarding the many who deliver on the promises from the few.

I would like to see my grocery store parking lot littered with the guillotined heads of every Fortune 500 company's CEO.

What only makes it worse is watching as the vulgar morality of Robber Barron executives and capitalist pigs seeps into the consciousness of the very exploited who recognize theft as "if I am sitting around on the clock," while the manipulation of worker duties and speeding up of the line seems "like only good business sense."

While all the morality of the "goodly" executives is to steal and plunder and abuse the notion of personal responsibility, maybe the time has come to take back the words, or give them meaning, because maybe all that goes wrong is partly are fault, the worker who refuses to think, and refuses to deface the company memo, and ask that daring question always left untold by company men, "And what is YOUR responsibility?"


Beloved Parrot said...


(you seen someone for your toe and crap yet?)

Steph said...

Wonderful post! I like to tell my retirement aged mother frequently that I hate old farts who think that the world owes them something just for being decrepit. That just because they are old and achey, they don't have the right to be a jerk. That that just means they have ALWAYS been a jerk. I say these things to keep her in line.

Fredrick Schwartz said...

I dedicated my morning post to your obsession with pregant girls. I have two words for you Cherish Milton.

Romius T. said...

Freddy, you are my hero.


I am glad to see that you keep your old people in line, threaten them with death squads if they get all uppity.

Beloved Parrot,

Not yet but it looks like i will soon.

midwest woman said...

Good post, romius. It's also ironic to see all the old people ranting at the tea parties when they're the biggest beneficiaries of gov't healthcare. Or they hate school taxes now their kids are grown. Here's a little story..the day of 9/11, a little old lady threw a hissy because she didn't get jelly on her toast.It was a pretty surreal moment. Off post, but UFO is coming to the River City next week. Straught up 44 for you. I'll check the toe out for you.

Romius T. said...

my god if I could get the time off and money for travel..and a car... I would be on my way.. what a deal...UFO and free medical care!

Anonymous said...

i'll spot you

Romius T. said...

Sweet! Anonymous donor offers up cash right after I take the paypal donate button down, after it languished for 5 years with $4.36 (all of which went uncollected)