Courtesy is something that is becoming harder and harder to find, and it’s the lack of social grace which drive me further away from people than most any other attribute short of a meth habit of a tendency to listen to country music. People just aren’t very nice animals, as opposed to dogs who generally treat strangers with suspicion but always greet those they know lovingly. Humans tend to greet strangers warmly, at first, but then as they get to know someone treat them with less respect. This is a generalization, and dangerous as such, but because people are not very nice animals I stay the hell away from them, and ask only they give me some distance.
Those who do not…
The telephone is an invention that by its very nature is rude and obtrusive. Yes, as a matter of fact I do realize there are about three people on earth who share this view, and two of them are locked away. However, those few people who do like me, and my family as well, more or less expect me to own a telephone. I check the answering machine once a week or so, and discover there is one call that is an important business matter if I just call 1-888-****. There was an old woman who habitually dialed the wrong number and got me instead. She and I started speaking to one another and eventually we would just talk. I haven’t heard from her in well over a year, and I wonder if she’s like a lot of old people who just don’t have time for this younger generation anymore.
Here lately a woman has been leaving messages for the County Tax Office, which I’m pretty sure has a number unlike mine, or more people would be calling. If she would leave a number I would have called her back, but she hasn’t so I live with the sound of her voice telling me I can’t do math and she has a lawyer friend. Today, at about six, the woman calls and clearly she was thinking of leaving a message.
Taxen Woman: Oh, hey, I didn’t expect anyone to answer…
At this point she should announce herself, and her business to whoever answered the phone. That would have saved her some trouble and kept me from getting pissed off.
Taxen Woman, con’t…and I can’t believe my taxes this year, I hope you didn’t count Bobby’s shop as part of our home, dammit, because it’s a separate business…”
Me: We did.
Taxen Woman: What?
Me: We more or less own this county and we’ll run it the way we see fit. You whined so much last year we had to find a way to raise your millage and tax the shop, too. Keep bitching and we’ll sell your stuff on the courthouse steps to someone who will be glad to have it.
Me: Hangs up, turns phone off.
Someone’s tomorrow is going to be a little more interesting than they normally like it.