Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Selfish And Rude

I've put off taking my medication to write this. Whenever I take my medication then try to write, I feel apathetic towards whatever it was that I wanted to write about.

I've been noticing more lately just how angry people are becoming. I'll start by talking about the road rage thing; Since I've started at pizza hut, I've been noticing more and more aggressive drivers. Not just aggressive, but down right pissed off. Guess who they're pissed off at? That's right, me. This leads into another point that I will make. Are they pissed off at me because I'm driving erratically? Are they pissed off at me because I cut them off? Are they pissed off at me because I'm going to fast? Are they pissed off because I didn't signal? No, it's not any of these things. They seemed to be pissed off because I fallow traffic rules. And it's not even that I fallow them, I just don't bend them or blatantly disregard them as much as most people. Example: Fort Street...a major road where I live; the further south you travel on Fort, the higher the speed limit becomes. Down towards my girlfriend's house, the speed limit is 50, and a bit further down it's 55. On a typical day, I travel at 60 miles per hour in the 50 zone. If it's raining or snowing, I'll do the 50. On the days that I'm doing 60, EVERY TIME that I travel at 60 miles per hour, I get honked at, and passed continuously. Now, if you think you haven’t read this right, let me clarify. I'm SPEEDING; driving at 10 miles per hour OVER the speed LIMIT, and I am angering the other drivers because 10 mph over the speed limit IS NOT FAST ENOUGH for them. On the days when it's snowing and I'm actually doing the speed limit, it's a miracle I don't get shot. Sometimes, I even get cursed at by other drivers on days like those.

The other shining example are the Michigan left turns. By law, you can turn left on red light that's on a turn-around on a divided road given you have made a complete stop and the traffic is clear. There are two issues that come up with me and this situation. The first is this; If the traffic is pretty busy and you can't turn before the light turns green, 2 or 3 cars almost always run their red light (my green light at the turnaround) It has become so common, that I always wait a few seconds after the light turns green for the cars that will inevitably run the light (so that I don't die). It's as if some people think that those lights don't count, or are not as important, or that they can get away with those more easily. As far as getting ticketed goes, I don't know, but I do know that a particular turnaround on Fort in front of a subway restaurant sees a high occurrence of accidents. Now, it's not just the people running the lights that are causing these accidents, which brings me to reason number 2 that I get honked at. As I said before, you are allowed to turn left if the traffic is clear. I wait for the traffic to be clear. Apparently, the people behind me want me to physically deflect the cars for them by going when the traffic isn't clear thus giving them a window to turn, because these people are pissed at me as well. I routinely witness cars make the turn, cut off another driver, causing them to slam on their breaks and skid. Why do I notice these things and not the people who keep making these bone-headed moves?

My point in all of this is that I'm being scolded by other drivers by making smart driving decisions. Yes, I do understand that those people are probably in a hot rush to get somewhere. And I'm sure wherever they're going it's like 100 times more important that where I'm going. This is a microcosm of a larger issue. The issue being people being looked down upon for doing what they're supposed to do; Fallowing the rules; playing fair. In essence, those who play fair are punished and left back. And it seems to me that it's the same mindset of people who claim they want more law and order who routinely try (and often succeed) to bend the rules in their favor, as to get ahead of the people who play fair. I can go back to the driving topic to illustrate a specific example of how bending traffic rules allows you to "get ahead" of those who play by the rules. When I worked at Jets (I can't speak for pizza hut, I haven’t worked there long enough) I worked with some people who were crazy ass drivers. Insanely speeding mostly. I know this because I would always take calls from people complaining about the drivers speeding down their streets. Will (my boss there) would always scold the drivers with a *wink wink* at the end. You see, me, not being a compulsive speeder, would not get to take as many deliveries, as it took me slightly long to make them. Subsequently, the speedier drivers took more delivers, made more tips, got the kudos of the boss and were awarded with more hours scheduled. Thusly having more and more hours of work in which to speed and make more tips leaving me with 6 hours a week of work and about 30 bucks in tips when they were making 150-200 a week. I could go on with how this helps in the long run. Some of those folks had second jobs and I presume they bent the rules at those jobs too in order to get ahead. Again, this is simply a microcosm of what happens in the workplace, in business, and the world as a whole.

Now at Pizza Hut where I work now, there isn't as much of a problem with not getting as many deliveries because the rules are different. You can only take 1 or 2 at a time, which prevents the greedy ones from taking 5 at a time, speeding around town (and delivering them late anyway). And since we are dispatched by a manager usually, the drivers can't cherry-pick the closer deliveries and leave the shit ones for the guy who follows the rules. So, on average, I usually do as many deliveries as the other drivers, sometimes a little less, because as I've said, I fallow traffic rules stay within a reasonable range of the speed-limit. Right about now you might be asking yourself the question: "Well, if they get pulled over and get a ticket, wouldn't that set them back more than you?" And my answer is this: The reward far outweighs the risk. The reward of getting more tips far outweighs the A: Chance of Getting a Ticket, and B: The monetary loss should they even get a ticket. So the logic becomes: break the rules if you can get away with it enough to justify the risk. (Money vs. a Ticket). Of course this doesn't explain other people who speed who aren't being reward with money by doing so. These people are explained by ego and aggression. The larger a vehicle that someone has, I've noticed, the more aggressively they seem to drive. No big surprise. There also seems to be an odd correlation with aggressive drivers and Christian/conservative bumper stickers on cars. People out there are just so damn mad at me that I've add precious seconds to their commute time that they feel the need to express it verbally and with their horns. It seems related to the American idea of taking as much as you possibly can for yourself while leaving the other guy with as little as possible. (And how dare anyone imply that doing isn't anything but moral and right). Travel as fast and as reckless as you can possibly get away with while disregarding the safety of those who are trying to think of others. (And how dare you make me late)

I've determined that the corporate greed mentality isn't exclusive to those who are already in the position to be greedy. Most people would jump at the chance to get rich by completely screwing over a group of people. How do I know this? Because in little ways every single day, they show me this. They show me this by cutting in line at the grocery store, and cutting me off in traffic, and cutting others off at the opportunity of reaching their destinations a minute or two earlier. They show me this by treating life as a competition on a daily basis. They show me this by being selfish, rude and uncaring.

Friday, February 11, 2005


I'm not feeling so good right now. I think Ashley may have given me her cold, or flu or whatever it is. I'm sitting here just sweating, and it's like my mouth and my throat have turned against me.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Alpha Flight

I've got a beef with Marvel Comics. Once upon a time, before I started reading comics, there was a title called alpha flight. After one hundred or so issues, it was canceled. Then, about 10 years ago, they started up the series again, it lasted about 30 issues. About one year ago, they again started the series, this time with different characters, and it was great. It was one of my favorite monthly titles and I have all 12 issues. I say all 12, because they have once again canceled it. Word has it that they made this decision after only 8 issues.

My biggest gripe with this is that the mainstream comic publishers have got no balls to stick with new things. Every time they come up with a series that isn't Xmen related, or directly tied in with one of their major characters that have been around for 40-50 years, they cancel it, and go right back to square one. Thus, in my opinion, their stories have a limit to how much they can grow because they never want to stick with new characters no matter how good they are. Sales temporarily slip, and the cancel the title, only to bring it back later cause they realized there was a fan demand for those characters after all.

I understand that comics need to make money in order justify them staying in publication. But the publishers aren't thinking long-term. They're not considering that books aren't always an overnight success and that they take time to build fan-base. Hell, even the x-men didn't do well at first. It took 10 years worth of tinkering with the book and characters before Giant-Sized X-Men #1 came out and turned it into a successfull franchise.

So I'm saying that comics aren't as big now not because of fan disinterest, but because of publisher inconsistancy. Every time they attract new comic fans to new books, they yank them out from under them just as fast. Those people who were new to comics and were buying the new books weren't interested in the "classics" to begin with; they were waiting for something (wheather they realized it or not) new at fresh to catch their eye. Then, they've finally got something new and fresh in their hands. Then, next time they stop in the comic store, they don't find the new and fresh things but new remakes of the classics that they didn't like to start with.

I'm into spiderman and the xmen and all of those. But not everyone is. The comic book fan community is not going to grow again until publishers realize this fact and stick with it.