rude

365 Challenge: Day 216 – Grocery

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Grocery: (a) place you buy food items, or the food items you buy in a store, (b) a place to get compliments and NOT be rude

grocery

Today’s 365 Daily Challenge message is simple. You never know when what you see happening isn’t really happening.

Weeks ago, I mentioned the frustrating grocery store near me that had no brisket to cook for Ryder on the return from our vacation. Well… I went back yesterday to buy another one to cook last night for dinner this weekend. The store had no brisket again, but at least I picked up a pot roast as an alternative. I added everything else to my cart and got in line at a register where I was next to be checked out. There was an older couple taking their time with packing their own groceries and being a bit rude to each other and the cashier. Lines were building up and another cashier was just wandering around doing nothing, as this couple kept re-bagging multiple times. I was slightly annoyed at how the store failed to provide appropriate customer service and formulated some words in my head to try to help speed the situation along; however, I was also inclined to be careful not to be rude myself, so I said nothing and just let it go.

The customers leave and the cashier rings up my groceries. I begin bagging my own (I always help, as I was once a cashier and appreciated the help) and then the other cashier who had been wandering around doing nothing, walks over to the register. All three of us have a conversation where I learn before I had arrived at the register, the second cashier had started bagging the previous customer’s groceries. But the rude customer told him to go away noting that he would break everything and no one should touch her stuff. The cashier also told me the same rude customer was there shopping the day before, cursing out the person in line before her because that other customer was taking her time and holding everyone up.

Wow! I learned a few things… it’s good I didn’t say anything, as I would have been wrong… the cashier did try to help and was told to go away. I didn’t have all my information. I also learned rude people are just rude, and they probably don’t even care how they treat others.  But then I had the best lesson: the cashier soon turned to me, saying… “Don’t ever grow up to be rude like that, lad. You’re so young, it could happen to you one day.” In all sincerity, this cashier was barely 10 years older than me… calling me lad… telling me “when I grow up.” My moral less today:

Don’t be rude. Don’t say something if you’re unsure of all the facts. Your reward in the end will be someone telling you how young you look!!! What a big win for me that day… and the pot roast is cooked and ready to eat tonight. Life is good.

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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365 Challenge: Day 93 – Inoffensive

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Inoffensive: not objectionable or harmful

inoffensive

I believe I am an inoffensive individual. I probably put more effort than I should into worrying over whether something I’ve said or done is considered inoffensive. It’s the people-pleaser part of my personality. But I also believe it’s an important quality to have the spectrum of characteristics in your personality. It ultimately boils down to how you want to live your life and be perceived as others.

I approach life as a singularity in that my life is mine alone to choose how I behave and want to be perceived; however, the moment I choose to interact with another person, be it acquaintance, friend or family, I have a responsibility to meet that person half way in our mutual respect for one another. To meet that objective, I make a conscious choice to have a baseline of friendliness that I can increase or decrease, depending on the connection I feel at that moment both in general and with that individual. I’m alert to the tone I use in all situations. Being inoffensive is an essential component of that baseline. It isn’t something I turn on when I’m around certain people or in certain places. I may be more careful to the sensitivity level I’m projecting, but even at it’s base form, it’s still fairly high as a normal stance.

What exactly do I mean here? I’ve made conscious decisions not to discuss certain things with people whom I do not know well enough: money, religion, politics. I do not know what someone else believes or fears, so rather than create friction, I choose to navigate away from anything that might be controversial. Occasionally testing the waters in the right situations or under certain circumstances might be possible, but it is rare. Some people call this bland and boring, being too safe for your own good. Almost too “politically correct.” I call it being inoffensive. It’s not that I lack passion, but rather than have a discussion about something where we are going to say something dissenting, I’d rather spend my time being productive and finding things in common.

Sometimes I take it too far; I acknowledge this issue. When I read a book about slavery, I find myself careful with the words I choose, so as not to offend anyone by coming across in the wrong manner. I worry if I’ve put enough emotion into saying how awful the entire time period was. Similarly with any sort of bias against an ethnicity, race, gender or sexual orientation. I worry if I use the word “Black” or “African-American.” I second-guess if I make an assumption to say “he” or “she,” when someone may not identify either way. In the end, I know this is pushing the “inoffensive” dial a little too far, but it is something embedded in my personality — to ensure I have a connection with everyone and don’t unnecessarily hurt someone in any way, shape or form. I prefer to be inclusive rather than exclusive.

For argument’s sake, let’s try to look at the other side. If you don’t stir up a little trouble, don’t push the envelope a little further, sometimes change does not happen.  Often other people can be too sensitive when you mean no harm. If you have no bad intentions, why worry about what words you choose? I had this conversation with the significant other in a taxi on our way downtown the other day. We were discussing our various Facebook feeds, where family and friends were expressing their political views.  Neither of us have ever or would ever post something political, nor share our views on such a topic in that manner. We both felt it was way too pushy, direct and repetitive. We both agreed those folks were being a little offensive, questioning why anyone would choose to spend their time focusing on it when they could talk about a movie, a book, or a fun memory. Why purposely throw content out that will ultimately create friction or disagreement? My only response, besides some people are just built differently, was that in order to stimulate change, sometimes you have to build a little fire. If no one steps up and says something is wrong, maybe nothing will get done about it. Or if you focus too carefully on every individual word choice and tone, nothing moves forward.

In the end, I’m trying to understand this perspective, but it’s innate in me to just behave, be polite and not to stir up controversy, whether over something trivial or something huge. It’s not that I want to rely on others to fix the problems, it’s that I struggle to understand why someone would choose to do something wrong, bad or offensive in the first place, hence why I often don’t feel that overwhelming intensity to try to course-correct it. I believe it should be fixed, but I ultimately don’t know how because my mind just thinks of the positive and collaborative, rather than the dissenting.

Anyone out there who just says what’s on their mind and doesn’t care what others think? I’m curious how people choose these different types of behaviors, either overly politically correct, in the middle or unabashedly direct. Not throwing shade in any direction. I’m definitely on the highly-sensitive-to-choosing-my-words-and-actions spectrum (for myself) while more tolerable for others methods, but I’ve got bunches of people in my life that are very direct and don’t care what you think. Always curious to see where people fall on this one.

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

365 Challenge: Day 58 – Mean

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Mean: unkind or cruel

Today’s word is mean. It took me about two minutes to decide what to blog about, stemming from a book I read yesterday evening that kept me awake for a good part of the night. The book told a story about what I can only describe as mean people… and it was mean that I lost my sleep! The book was Beartown by Fredrick Backman, and I will write up a review about it later, as I don’t want to duplicate any thoughts here. You check it out via this link.

I am not a mean person. I have done a few mean things over the course of my lifetime, but I could count them on both hands and probably still have one or two fingers available for the future. Being mean is something that’s only ever come out of me when absolutely pushed to the edge, unable to find any recourse elsewhere. They’re certainly not moments I’m proud of, but youth or anger can get the better of you at times.

I spent part of the evening thinking about what it takes for someone to innately be a mean person. Is it something built into their DNA? Is it an amalgamation of awful experiences? Is it learned by watching others around them?

Then I began wondering whether or not mean people even know they are mean. Or have they justified actions such that it feels like acceptable and normal behavior?

Let’s qualify a few examples of what I’m referring to as mean: (a) you intentionally say rude or harmful things to another person just for the sake of wanting to insult them, (b) you take or steal something important because you want it badly and don’t give a hoot what happens to the other person, (c) you physically hurt somebody just because you can, (d) you purposely set someone up for a fall to see them lose. I could go on for days here, but you get the point.

I may think of doing a negative action, letting that unkind or cruel thought ride the waves in my brain for a moment or two, but I stop myself before it ever happens. It’s just not in me to do something like that… unless it’s extreme retaliation or utter frustration and anger. But there are people who simply go about their lives with those tactics in the forefront of their mind. I struggle to understand how something like that can happen.

Do they feel remorse? Do they assume it is just a small practical joke? Are they hurting and just feel it’s lashing out? Mean is unnecessary. To people. To children. To animals. To anything. There are thousands of other options to avoid being mean.

It starts in childhood, often in school. You’ve probably seen the movies “Cruel Intentions” or “Mean Girls,” where it’s an uber-experience in being utterly unkind and awful. I think back to my own experience, be it grammar, middle or high school, and I have several examples of kids being mean. I was never one of them. But I’m not bragging or trying to pat myself on the back. I’m thinking about why it happens…

I never felt a need to demoralize or demean someone else. I’m no saint. If someone tripped, I probably giggled. If someone looked bad, I probably made a mental note and either laughed or smirked. I have a few general recollections of things like that, even 1 or 2 where a group of kids laughed at someone else, and nearly everyone joined in… but I didn’t, as I knew it wasn’t right and didn’t care about fitting in. I’m not the one who’d stand up and tell everyone else off to get their attention away from the other victim. Maybe a little bit, I might… But I would go talk to that person afterwards so (s)he knew someone around them could be kind.

For any bullies reading this, shame on you. For anyone who lets it happen and does nothing… think about your actions. For anyone who tries to stop it or is never/rarely mean… which if you’re reading something I’m saying is probably 99.99% of you… congratulations for being a decent human being and truly knowing how to be a good person…….. why am I being so Mother Goose today?

It’s one of those things I don’t accept excuses for… no matter what’s happened to you (barring extreme circumstances), it’s important to stop that behavior from passing thru you on to someone else. Phew… a little tension out before I finish writing that book review. Thanks for listening to the rant. But it fit well into the 365 Daily Challenge. It was introspective. It was analytical. And it was an important characteristic to discuss… to ensure it’s one we all stay away from.  xoxo (it’s hug time after my little vent!)

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

365 Challenge: Day 45 – Neighborly

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Neighborly: being good neighbor [person who lives close by to you], especially helpful, friendly, or kind

Being neighborly can be a good and a bad thing. As I begin writing this post, I’m smack in the middle of the barometer on the whole subject. Let’s see where I end up at the bottom of this post.

Seems like an easy one, right? You’re nice to the people who live next door to you. But how far do you actually take it? Do you become friends? Do you dog-sit? Do you lend items? Do you stalk? Oh, wait, that’s taking it too far.

I’m proud to say I’ve never had a combative relationship with any of my neighbors. I’ve had a few times where they bothered me a little bit with excess noise or a sour puss… but those things can be ignored or fixed with a minor conversation. Except for once. One neighbor always looked like she was miserable… and trying to be a nicer person, I said “hi, how was your day?” in the elevator. She looked at me, pulled her glasses down towards the end of her nose, smirked and said “There’s no need for us to talk.” I had never spoken to the woman before. Our apartments don’t share a common wall. And I’m extremely quiet, so I couldn’t have bothered her before.  A few days later, a friend stopped by, and we all got stuck in the elevator together riding down a few floors. I admit it was childish… but when the woman stepped out of the elevator before us, I mumbled just loud enough for her to hear… “Shh… talking will send you straight to hell around here.”  Ah, that’s on my board of “Moments I am Proud of.”

Historically speaking… your neighbors were people you were often very close to, related to, or at least knew enough about. Nearly 100 years ago, it was acceptable for your neighbor to complete the US Census for you when the census taker couldn’t get hold of you. And when the cops came around looking for you, your neighbor always knew where you’d be!

Today, people sometimes live in an apartment building for years, never once seeing or meeting their next door neighbor. When I lived in the suburbs, I thought that was completely nuts. How could you not see the person every day? Then I moved into the city and realized… it’s definitely possible.

As a child and teenager, I lived next door in the suburbs to my best friend. We were the same age, went to school together and played or hung out every day after school and on weekends. Everyone on the block knew one another… until slowly generations changed and people moved… then folks started talking about that new couple that moved in… and the nosy gossip started!

When I lived in the dorms in college, I knew my mates and the 2 or 3 dorm room inhabitants directly around me, but not everyone. And when I bought my first house, I made zero effort to get to know the people who lived nearby. So where do I fall on that neighborly scale?

Reasons Why I Am

  • I love small town charm and knowing everyone else’s business. But they can’t know mine.
  • I love being helpful in case (s)he needs to borrow a cup of sugar.
  • I kinda want to know if someone creepy is living that close to try not to get on his/her bad side.
  • It’s probably good someone knows what you look like in case someone else is trying to break into your place. At least there’s a chance (s)he will try to call the cops for you.

Reasons Why I Am NOT

  • I live in NYC where everything is a rush. Who has time for chit-chat?
  • I’m a shy and quiet person. I don’t like to be interrupted.
  • I tend to get a little “that’s mine, don’t touch it” attitude every so often. I was an only child. And I don’t like border disputes! 🙂

In all seriousness though… being neighborly seems like a good thing. It can run the gamut from friendly to just a nod of acceptance. We’re all in this world together, a little gesture now and again shouldn’t kill us. And you never know who or what may come out of getting to know them a little bit.

I also think it’s a different type of neighborly when you live in the same building versus separate land and property. It’s easy to chat in an elevator with someone who lives on your floor. (REALLY, it is…) You may need to make the effort when they live 100 feet away.

How about you? Do you want to know your neighbors or would you prefer to keep some distance?

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay. I am 40 and live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

365 Challenge: Day 44 – Ornery

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Ornery: stubborn, crotchety, bad-tempered and combative

Ornery is the type of word where you guess what it means from how it sounds, as in a bit of onomatopoeia showing itself around the edges. I really don’t think of myself as ornery, but I have been known on occasion to act as though I am. I chose the word because I felt a bit “off” today when I began my morning. To truly be ornery, I’d need a bit of anger or ill-temper as the definition points out to us; however, my brand of ornery is slightly different.

I didn’t want to write. I didn’t want to read. I didn’t want to blog. I didn’t want to exercise. I didn’t want to do any job searching or researching. I wasn’t in a bad mood, just that nothing appealed to me. Sitting on the couch doing absolutely nothing felt appropriate. But that’s just silly and wasteful. It’s likely just boredom creeping in a little too much this week, but I’ll need to be careful to keep the ornery parts at bay.

Ornery usually applies to older men, at least in my experience. Think of the movie “Grumpy Old Men,” and you know exactly what I’m talking about in Walter Mathau’s character. I find myself on occasion showing those tendencies even though he was at least twice my age.

A few examples:

  • I’ll see people holding hands walking down the street blocking my ability to pass them and think “Ugh, stop being so silly and romantic. Get out of my way.”
    • But I am often a romantic guy, so it was just a fleeting moment.
  • I’ll be forced to go to a bar (I prefer my drinking at home or in restaurants) and watch the “young-ins” making fools of themselves, thinking “You have no sense of boundaries or self-respect.”
    • I’ve been quite immature a few times in the last decade. I’m no one to talk.
  • Friends want to do something new and I’ll just think it’s silly. “Huh? You want to go sit in a park and talk to people while listening to what music? That sounds stupid.”
    • But I will get upset when other people say or do the same thing to me.

Yes, I have had those thoughts. And consider parts of my personality truly still have me feeling as though I am 20 years old, there is this odd balance where I also feel 80 years old. And when I feel 80, I’m already reflecting on how much the generation coming up after me is just not as good as mine. Of course, that’s completely false and ignorant of me. Yes, certain things indicate there is a potential they are not as mature as I thought I was, but certain things show a lot more intelligence and open-mindedness as each new generation comes of age. It’s just perception playing games, depending on where you are in life and how old you are during which time period.

This post has nothing to do with people’s maturity. Not sure how it went in that direction, but since it’s important in these 365 posts that I just write what I am thinking and not spend time crafting it to perfection, it remains in print.

What I’m essentially saying here, is that for someone of 40, I certainly exhibit early onset ornery behaviors that I’d like to go away! I don’t want to turn into that elderly guy in the corner house who complains all the time about someone standing on their lawn.

True, I am never that guy in public, only in my own head and in my own home or when near close family / friends, so maybe 6 or 7 people actually see this trait in me… but enough that I need to be careful about it.

On the flip side, I have those moments where I’m pushing people to stay out longer, do more things, be more fun… so there is a fair balance. But when I am ornery, I am ornery. What contributes to this behavior? It almost feels like once you let one or two ornery thoughts creep in, the flood opens and it’s a massive takeover. And generally only time will force it to go away.

I’m grateful my orneriness has a bit of humor about it. As I will talk to myself, fidget with things, make things seem so much worse than they actually are. And those closest to me kinda get a kick out of it, as they see me with limited self-control, not the usual robot, and enjoy my little dilemma. I’m often locked in my own room to sort it out myself once I get too far off the deep end. Even Ryder, my dog, runs in the other direction when I’m ornery. He doesn’t like the word “no” and that often is the first word out of my mouth in these situations.

“No, I do not want to go there for dinner.”

“No, I am not up for leaving the apartment.”

“No, I’m not taking you for a walk.”

“No, stop begging for treats.”

Maybe confessing it will limit the appearance in the future. It seems to be almost gone today, but I’m still a little grouchy and unsure what today will hold. Ever feel that way? How do you handle it…

For your amusement… as I am doing a quick re-read and spell check before hitting “publish,” Ryder is huffing at a noise outside the door. My response: “Oh shut up and stop being so ornery. Other people live in this building. Where did you learn this ridiculous behavior from?”

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay. I am 40 and live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.