Bad Mood Rising

I’m currently perplexed. Granted, I spend a great deal of time in a perplexed state due to my over abundant curiosity about things that are usually none of my business. But before you judge me for my curiosity, I’d like to point out that my son told me a recent study (that he probably made up) found a high level of curiosity is a sign of extreme intelligence.

This exchange happened over dinner where SAT scores were being discussed and let’s just say mine weren’t so great. My son, God bless him, was I’m pretty sure trying to make me feel better.

But enough about that. Let’s just all agree my SAT score – bad. My curiosity – off the charts. Now, hold on tight because I’m about to plunge down the latest rabbit hole my brain has been stuck in which is – have people have gotten ruder since the pandemic?

My conundrum with this is that I thought once the vaccines set us free from masks and other restrictions that a wave of gratitude would infuse through all of us resulting in a kinder populous.

I’ve found that I’m much friendlier with everyone, especially people I don’t know. It’s probably because I’ve missed a good, old fashioned, chit-chat turned abundant over share with complete strangers. Really, a quality over share has the power to elevate my entire day.

But I’ve been noticing that it seems like I could be in the minority. Just last week I was at a department store getting an insanely good deal on some extremely fluffy pillows when I noticed hysteria in the shoe department. People were losing their minds over a sales associate not getting the correct shoe sizes out fast enough.

It was insane. The young woman was basically a teenager and she looked close to tears. The person that was ringing up my pillows noticed my face and said that people have “gotten horrible” and that in her retail sales career of 17 years she’s never seen customers “act so awful” as they do now.

I asked why she thought this was happening and she responded with, “the pandemic has turned people into animals.”

Wow.

Sure, folks hoarded cleaning supplies, there were brawls over 12 packs of Charmain Ultra Soft, and in the early days of the vaccine people line jumped over the elderly but I didn’t think the mindset of “me first” would wrap itself around the human spirit into a strangle hold.

Sad and troubled about this prolonged pandemic grump I reached out to a friend who works in customer service. She’s a teacher. Mmm, hmm you read that right. My friend says parents see her less of an educator and more of a person to service their demands sharing that, “I can’t tell you how many times in the past 17 months I’ve been told by parents that I, ‘work for them.’”

Now certainly we all understand and sympathize that virtual and hybrid learning was not easy but this veteran educator felt that the teachers ended up being the recipient of all the parents “pent up vitriol” and sadly she’s confessed that she doesn’t think it’s going to go away when school starts next month.

I get it that people are scared of the future and still recovering from the last year and a half, but haven’t we all been through enough? I’m in no way a sunshine and unicorn person but when I see people going  Defcon 1 over ladies’ footwear all I want to do is yell, “Stop, take a deep breathe and rejoice that you’re alive and able to buy Michael Kors wedge sandals at 60 percent off.”

Maybe that will be my new gig – the town crier of optimism. You know until some other god-awful news takes my breath away.

🙂 Need a laugh? Then be sure to check out my latest audio book “Trouble in Texas” on Audible! Click and take a listen.