opinion, Bill Packard

Stop blaming others for the negatives in your life, and just be nice

Wed, 10/26/2022 - 1:00pm

If you’re reading this, I’m back.  I don’t have the final say on what you read in the Pilot.

That pandemic thing was troublesome.  Is it over, or morphed to a non-pandemic, or exactly what is the deal? Supermarket aisles are two-way and the six-foot stickers on the floor are looking pretty worn, but I have no idea that status of that deal.

Anyway, I was gone during the pandemic. I didn’t really go anywhere, but I wasn’t here.  You get my drift. If PenBayPilot is willing, you’ll get to hear from me every once in a while. The very first piece I ever wrote for publication way back was scolding the public. That publication got more letters on the piece than they had ever received before. None were complimentary.

This could very well have the same result.

The last couple years have not been easy for anyone.  Can we agree on that?

When things are not going well for you, it does not give you the right to be miserable to everyone else on the planet.  I hear from everyone that I associate with in retail or service. You people are miserable to deal with. To the point that many have chosen to just leave the work force and let someone else deal with your foolishness.

The challenge is that there are only so many ‘someone elses’ and when they are fed up, there will be nobody to look out for you. 

Now, before you go accusing the people who moved here during the pandemic, let me tell you that in my experience in my business, it’s not them.  For the most part, they are polite, considerate and appreciative.

Don’t make this political, but during this whole pandemic thing, people began being taken care of by the government.  All levels.  If you weren’t working, you got special payments. If you were working, you got paid extra for working when others didn’t. 

I’m not judging or commenting on either group, but the bottom line is you have become dependent on others to take care of you. And, you are rude. I see you in the convenience store complaining the person behind the counter about the price of gas and how you couldn’t fuel your car up last week because you were shampooing your cat and now the price is up 20 cents.  Like it’s the cashier’s fault.

I see you at the grocery store checkout berating the cashier because you are spending more on groceries.  So are they.  And it’s likely they don’t have as much disposable income as you do, but you’re good with blaming them.

In the rental business, the regular call we get concerns ow tire pressure. I have no idea what people do with their own cars when they run over a nail or screw, but I doubt they call a rental car company.  Perhaps they just abandon the car because there is no hope. In our case, they seem to feel that since they rented the car, we’re somehow responsible for a flat tire.

Life is like a pendulum. It swings back and forth and while dead center in the bottom is the ideal time, it only lasts for a very short time.  The pendulum swings to the other side and another whole set of challenges appear. 

We need to move away from everyone else being responsible for the negative things in our lives, while we take full responsibility for the good things.  The way to move that change forward is to just BE NICE.  It’s a choice.  Yes.  All of us in the business of serving the pubic understand that things are not great for you, but don’t take it out on us.  It will not make a positive change in your life. What it will do is label you as a difficult person that we will not look forward to seeing again.

So, let’s get real.  If your toilet is plugged, a plumber doesn’t need you.  You need them. 

If your lights are off, the electrician doesn’t need you.  You need them. 

If you stop at a convenience store for a coffee and breakfast sandwich, you need them, but they don’t need you. 

If your car quits working or you get in a wreck, you need a rental car, but the rental car business doesn’t need you. 

This used to be a balance where we needed each other, but you are turning into something completely different, and you are the ones that can change it.

Be nice.  Show respect. Cooperation goes a long way.  Let’s work toward getting back to the way things were before the pandemic.

These pieces are supposed to be 900 words.  I saved you a hundred just to see if you’re ready for me again.

PS. Stop blaming all the bad behavior on the pandemic.  It’s an individual choice.

Bill Packard lives in Union and is the founder of BPackard.com. He is a speaker, author, small business coach and consultant.