The Misconception of the Privileged

Today while getting my estimated tax payments certified mailed at the post office, I stood in line, patiently waiting with other folks, young and old, for our turn to be served. I walked in with an older gentleman, walking slowly and with a smile on his face. I held the door for him and we exchanged pleasantries. Even though there was a line, that simple human interaction put me in a better mood and I was ready to wait.

Momentarily, this woman came in, dressed rather fancy for a spring Friday afternoon, and rang the buzzer on the wall…an indicator that someone was there to pick up a package. The attendant behind the counter stated that there was no one available in the back to answer the call. The lady said she was there to pick up a package. Again, the attendant advised there was no one available to answer her call and that if she stood in line, she and the other attendant would be able to assist her.

Well, you would have thought that the attendant had thrown a dagger through her heart. I had to chuckle a bit as the lady stood there flabbergasted for a moment and walked toward the back of the line. I thought she had realized she wasn’t going to get anything quicker than those of us in the line. I was wrong as she walked back toward the head of the line. When noticed, she exclaimed, “I want to speak to your postmaster!” The attendant stepped to the back for a second and told the postmaster she was needed out front.

Five minutes or so later, I made my way to the counter and happily handed my mail to the other attendant and answered his questions. They were both working as fast as possible without the arrogance and misguided perception some people have of themselves.

With one of the most snobby tones of voice I have ever heard, the lady asked, “Did you tell your postmaster that there was someone who needed to speak with her?” The female attendant said yes and that she was taking care of something and would be out soon. Without a thought, the lady asked, “Did she indicate that she heard you when you told her?” I heard the “Bitch, please!” moan that emanated from the attendant and even I turned around and looked straight into this lady’s eyes with that look of disbelief and borderline hatred I can sometimes have. I turned back to my attendant and wished him a great day and smiled. As I walked by the lady, she was lecturing to the people in line as though they really cared. I couldn’t stop it as my mouthed opened and “What the hell ever, lady!” came tumbling out for all to hear.

Granted, I was standing in a branch of the United States Postal Service…one of the slowest services in the nation, other than the department of government over issuing passports and the IRS. But, being fair, all three of these branches of government deal with millions of people each year. Humans in general are hard to deal with, but American humans can be some of the hardest. We’re so used to getting things quick and speedy. One minute having to wait sends some people into frantic fits of rage. I can be like that with the Internet, but with people, I tend to be a little more lenient. We’re all human with our own faults.

This location of the USPS is located in a rather sophisticated (purportedly) area of north Fulton County, GA. It’s not surprising to me that someone would come in with the thought of them being of a higher class than anyone else in there. You may occasionally hear me make a comment about how someone’s education or level of common sense may be inferior to mine…and that could be true in some unfortunate cases. But that human being, that soul, is no less important as me. This lady clearly felt as though her business and care should have been placed over the others waiting for the same attention.

I’ll end this post with a few questions. Why do some people do this? Why do some people feel that their needs, wants, and concerns are more important than any other living, breathing person around them? Does a person become more numb to the needs and concerns of others when they find themselves in possession of money? Does the area in which someone lives affect someone’s attitudes toward humanity? Should one’s perceived level give them the right to see themselves as better or more privileged than those around them?

I leave you to ponder……

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