Josh Byers


Writing about books, culture, ministry, design and my family

Idiots in America

One of the jobs that has to take the most abuse is the profession of video store clerk. I'll admit that there are idiots in just about every position that deserve their fair share of grief but other than a cop who in the workforce hears more whiny excuses? I was in Hollywood Video the other day waiting in line on my lunch break behind some guy who had racked up 11 dollars in fines for late videos. His first excuse was that it wasn't his account (it was). The second excuse was that he didn't rent the videos (it doesn't matter, if they're checked out to your account you're responsible). Next he demanded to see in writing where it said he was liable to pay for late fees. Are you kidding me? What planet did this guy come from???

The line at this point was growing since there was only one clerk and she was fairly preoccupied at the moment. Through the whole debacle the clerk remained composed and calm which I was very impressed with. She ended up pulling out a contract that the customer had signed and showed him where it said that they would charge late fees for returning movies late. Imagine that - being responsible for your own mistake? Say it ain't so! Not in America!

At this point soundly defeated he decides to shift his attack to another avenue - the size of the type... All of us have been standing hear observing this for nearly 5 minutes biting our tongues and calming our own anger when he turns to the line in an effort to get some support - because its all us customers against the evil video store clerk - and warns us to watch out for this *nonsense* (like to keep the website family friendly...).

I couldn't take it anymore. I kept my mouth shut because it wasn't my business but as soon as he turned and addressed us I felt that it was now my business. I calmly rolled my eyes and said "dude, just pay your fine and let us get on with life." To say he was surprised would be an understatement. He apparently felt that making all of wait for his ridiculous antics would somehow endear himself to us... He then mumbled something about me taking her (the video clerk) side. To which I responded: "She doesn't make the rules - return your movies on time and it wouldn't be a problem." He then pulled a hypothetical on me and said: "But what if there is an emergency?" I didn't justify the comment with a response but shook my head, rolled my eyes and placed my movies on the counter. He looked through the line for some support and when he found none he pulled out his wallet paid the fine and left.

I guess I was lucky he wasn't a psycho and I probably shouldn't have said anything - but this just reflects a growing attitude in America. Where did we get the idea that we are entitled to everything? What has happened to personal responsibility? Next time you screw up -admit it. Don't try and weasel your way out of it. Nobody wins.

Okay-rant over.