I'm Sorry no I meant Thank You

Still high on my 'happiness' goals I strolled down Dearborn this morning, not rushing since I was early to work, stopped at Dunkin Donuts and grabbed a coffee then headed towards my building. I'm not sure what possessed me but I decided to hand the 'Streetwise guy' $10. He smiled, I smiled, he said thanks...and honestly it was one of the most sincere thank you's I've gotten in a long time. On my elevator ride up to my floor I started thinking about some of the 'automatic' responses we hear that actually carry no meaning at all. How many times have you said the words "I'm sorry"? Probably a lot right? I find myself saying it too much and most of the time I can honestly say I don't mean it. For instance, I go to get on the elevator and no one moves over so I can squeeze my way to the back..."I'm sorry, can I get past you?" What the hell, why am I saying sorry for them being rude arseholes and not letting me past them? Another example, I'm on the El, the train is crowded and there are a lot of people standing but I spot an open seat so I head towards it only to discover a backpack occupying it. Um, excuse me, does your backpack need a seat of it's own...it's had a hard night, it's feet hurt, it's back is aching. So, I say "I'm sorry, can you move your backpack?" Again...why am I apologizing for the sheer rudeness of others. Come on people, it's public transportation, it's rush hour, YOUR BACKPACK DOES NOT NEED A SEAT! Another automatic response, "Thanks". Now here's one I tend not to say unless I really mean it but I hear other people say it to me all the time, mostly because it's part of their job etiquette. You stop at the drive through at McDonald's, you pay, "Thanks" but the volume of the words are so low you have to strain your ears to even hear them. You are at the grocery store and you've just dropped $150 on groceries, the clerk hands you your receipt, "thanks" as she sighs and looks at the long line of customers waiting to check out. You know those clerks you get that just omit the 'thanks' all together? I almost respect them more. At least I know they aren't faking being thankful.

So, automatic responses. I decided telling the truth is much better so here's how I am going to proceed (at least for a day or two until people think I'm the rude arsehole). When I try to get on that elevator and no one moves over so I can get past, I'm going to say " Can you move your fat arse so I can get past it". When I try to sit down on a seat on the El that's occupied by a backpack I'm going to say " you know I know your backpack has probably had one hell of a night, but, so have I, MOVE YOUR CRAP." And when I get that heartfelt 'thanks' from the employee who obviously loves their job so much, I'm going to reply, "You are right that you should thank me because without my business, you'd be out of a job. So yes, THANK ME."

Before I go, I almost forgot to list my daily list of things that made me happy today. First, I got to watch my daughter wake from her peaceful slumber. Most mornings I go into her room when she's already awake, this morning she was a sleepyhead so I stood over her bed and watched her wake up...she looked at me and said "mama" now that's happiness. I got a cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee...I love that cheap stuff. Today is Friday...and that makes me VERY happy.

'Til next time


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