Hello, awesome readers!
Please bear with me as I get something off my mucous-filled chest. To clarify, I’m sick.
Earlier this week I spent over eight hours in the emergency waiting room to finally see a doctor for six minutes so that I could get a badly-needed prescription for antibiotics.
Diagnosis: influenza, laryngitis, ear infection. It’s awesome.
The happy ending to this story hasn’t occurred yet but I can predict that I will recover. Of course I will recover.
But here’s what I really want to talk to you about today: BULLIES. Specifically, MILLENNIAL bullies.
Here’s my story …
The hospital that I went to has a very particular emergency waiting room process. It goes like this:
1. Walk in
2. Take a seat in one of the “red chairs”
3. Wait your turn
There is no take-a-number system like they have at the butcher counter. You do not register. You sit. You wait. You try to remember who was there before you and who came in after you.
Basically, it’s an honour system. And while it’s not the most efficient system, I’m happy to report that I was impressed by how courteous and respectful everyone was. While you’re sitting amongst a room full of sick people (all strangers to each other), an ongoing conversation takes place between those well enough to pay attention.
“He’s next, then you’re next, then it’s my turn …”
“Yup. You’re right. I remember her coming in right after me …”
(This was extremely helpful for me since I was suffering from a fever and kept falling in and out of sleep in my chair.)
And then THIS happened …
A young mother walked in with her husband (or boyfriend) and their baby. They sat in the front row. I remember when they walked in because they sat right in front of me and as I watched their baby sleep, I desperately wished that I could crawl into the stroller and fall asleep next to her. (I didn’t. It was hard, but I didn’t.)
This little family waited for about 15 minutes before deciding that they should be next, regardless of the 25+ people ahead of them. When the sliding doors opened and the nurse said, “Next”, the young mother hastily (pronounced: RUDELY) stood up and with a poised indignation that clearly stated, “I’M NEXT” (in other words, she was a bully), she pushed the baby stroller through the door with her husband/boyfriend in tow. (He was looking down at the floor as he followed, which tells me that he felt uncomfortable committing this emergency waiting room offence.)
Everyone – EVERYONE – was like, “Yo! It’s not your turn!”
The young mother’s response?
“Too bad! My baby is three months old!”
Note that other babies and children were also part of the waiting room chair parade.
The rest of us, whose butts by this time had been imprinted into the seat of our chairs like ass cheeks pressed against a photocopying machine (not that I’ve ever done that) were shocked and pissed.
Some of the comments from the waiting room audience:
“Me, myself, and I.”
“So typical for that age.”
“Yup. It’s all about THEM.”
During the 19th and 20th Centuries we worried about our children getting smallpox. Today, we’re concerned with the epidemic of self-entitlement. And YES, this is contagious since it can be passed down from one generation to the next. But unlike smallpox, not ALL Millennials are at risk of being affected by this horrible pandemic. I say this because I know Millennials that really are considerate … courteous … oh and caring. (Did you notice? All “C” words. Yes, I’m a word nerd that way.)
The truth is that this baby – the one that belonged to the Millennial bully-mom – was not actually suffering. I have no doubt that she was sick. But she was SLEEPING. It’s the mother that didn’t feel like waiting. Clearly. And her actions were motivated by that sense of self-entitlement that is unfortunately rampant these days.
I would even go so far as saying that “self-entitlement” is the OPPOSITE of compassion, as demonstrated by what I had witnessed about an hour prior to Ms. I-don’t-have-to-wait-because-I’m-more-important-than-all-y’all walked in.
We, the conglomerate of patiently-awaiting sick people, let … actually, INSISTED … that two separate women go ahead of the rest of us. One was a lady that seemed to have her jaw locked in an open-mouthed position (as sick or in pain as the rest of us were, we could all sympathise with how uncomfortable this must have been). The other lady we ushered through was having a hard time catching her breathe.
The door would open. The nurse would say, “Next,” and someone from the red chair section would say, “She should go next.” The rest of us agreeing, either with words of encouragement or silence.
So YAYYY to us for our compassion.
And BOOOOO to you, Ms. I-don’t-have-to-wait-because-I’m-more-important, for acting on your own sense of self-entitlement.
How does someone get like that anyway???
We blame this attitude of self-entitlement on the Millennium but let’s dig down deeper than that.
What are we teaching our children?
What are we not teaching our children?
Are we not being stern enough?
Are we somehow neglecting to impart the principle of “respect others, especially the elderly”?
Should we blame microwaves?
Are we putting too many preservatives in our foods???
PS. I’m supposed to be posting on Fridays but I think I’m rebelling against my own rules *insert eye roll*
PPS. If you know the answers to these questions or have a theory of your own, please share in the comments below. Inquiring minds want to know.