Thursday, June 16, 2011
Hey 1/2 asshole
Last week I had the opportunity to visit my local Home Depot. What sporting goods stores were to my youth, Home Depot has become in the home ownership period of my life.
There's nothing I enjoy more than strolling the aisles with my oversized shopping cart and imagining what kind of fixer-upper projects I'll tackle next.
Pop a third story on the house, let's see I'll need some two-by-fours, a nail gun and some roofing material, I think that's aisle 5. Or maybe I'll excavate below the foundation and put in a subterranean man cave, I'll need to rent a back hoe, grab some cement mix and pickup some sub-flooring.
Of course those are just my Bob Villa pipe dreams.
I never follow through with any of that because I simply don't possess the know-how. Nor the gentile gene that seems to make that possible. Though my father single-handedly built a Finnish Redwood sauna in his master bathroom. I, on the other hand, have a hard enough time hanging a picture in the family room.
"Aren't you going to measure that before you start banging holes in the wall?"
"Even if I did measure it, I wouldn't know what I was measuring. Hold your finger right here."
That's not to suggest I'm completely useless around the house.
I can, for instance, replace outdoor lighting fixtures. That's how I found myself at Home Depot asking Rudy, the 19-year old slacker in the orange vest where I could find electrical caps.
Seemingly upset that he had to remove one of his earbuds and that I had interrupted his enjoyment of My Morning Vampire Jacket or Butt Funnel or whatever it is kids listen to these days.
He grunted and he pointed. And before I could query him for more specific information he was gone. It was probably time for his union-mandated mid-morning pre-lunch break. After all he had been working so hard.
In years past, I might not have left Rudy off the hook so easily.
But recently it dawned on me, people like Rudy, people who litter, people who don't understand the concept of customer service, brusk waiters, lazy account executives, half-assers in general, are their own worst enemy. And no righting of the ship on my part is going to change that.
So I don't bother anymore.
I don't stop to lecture.
I don't try to make anything a teaching moment.
I don't put my neck on the line anymore.
"Hey Mr. Heavily Tattoed Gang Member with a Glock tucked in your waistband, you shouldn't throw your trash on the sidewalk like that."
I simply walk away, knowing that half-assed people get half-assed jobs and go on to lead half-assed lives.