No one is perfect. We are not always at our best. We are humans being, not just humans doing, as the saying goes. And sometimes amidst being we forget it’s not all about us. Times we forget about being considerate of other beings’ being, for example.

I refused service to a customer recently, for example, because our interactions always leave me feeling down, because for years I’ve thought her rude, and once even asked that she try to be more considerate.

Running a business is, after all, hard enough without also being treated like a tyrant’s servant. And I really could not fathom why someone who didn’t appear to like anything about me or the products she continued to buy kept returning for more of either. But she did, until I felt I finally had to summon up the courage to give voice to thought, and put an end to the unpleasantness the only way I knew I could. And did.

Then, later, as I reflected on this, it made me think of all the people in service positions that cannot, do not, or will not do as I had done.

Some likely fear retaliatory complaints that could cost them business, their jobs and/or future opportunities. Others don’t think it worth the trouble. And others still perhaps accept being treated poorly because they think their abusers have some right to treat them without even a smattering of common decency.

I understand all of this. 

Once, when working as a young waiter, I put up with a lot of abuse, until finally I served several rounds of drinks to a large table of heavy drinking philosophy professors who failed to tip even once, and I made up my mind to refuse to serve them further, told them why, and fully expected this to cost me my job (but then was grateful when my boss backed me up). 

All of which makes me think about the state of the mindset of people these days.

I’d say 99% of people who come to my store are nice, with most doing things like returning greetings and making polite conversation and requests. But that 1%? They can ruin things for everyone, or at least for the people with whom they choose to interact.

So I’m asking, please remember to be considerate of others, especially when they are trying to put everything they have into being there for you when you need them. Otherwise, you may find someday they are not. And let’s be real: if the experts are right, we’re in for a bumpy ride these next several hundred years, so the world can use all the humans being kind to other beings it can get.

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