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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

First Class

What is it about someone not using "Please" and "Thank You" that irritates me to no end? Or children seated in First Class? Or the children's granny perched up there like the Queen with her perfectly bloated botoxed lips? Or the fact that each one of the little kiddies has their very own DVD player? Or that one of the children, maybe five years old, orders "Orange juice and I don't want any pulp in it." Or that when mommy demands that the child says "Thank You" to me, the little pumpkin turns his head in protest to look out the window. Or that Daddy just sits by himself in Row 1 and stares out the window -- seemingly no connection or interaction with his wife, children, or his parents. Damned good thing Daddy was a looker or else he'd have nothing going for him. Or that this entire scenario plays out departing Orange County -- rich, white, Republican country where they have successfully legislated that aircraft departing their airport cut back on power after takeoff to reduce noise over their highly expensive homes perched along the Pacific Ocean.

No, when I'm thinking of people who are genuinely trying to make a difference in this world, this is not the family I think of first. When I'm thinking of families who give up their own Christmas gifts to go to the local soup kitchen on holidays to serve up meals, this is not the family I think of. When I think of parents telling their children "No" when it comes to excessive toys and fun in order to help mold and teach them about simplicity, this is not the family I think of.

I hate to think what tools these children will have to help build their lives into something with pronounced value to our world. Or the adults, for that matter. Or what happens when the little kiddies turn out to be alcoholics or druggies....and they have zero skills for solving their life's troubles. Or maybe when they are suicidal....or prone to depression.....and need help. Will they know where to get it or how to turn inward and look for answers? Who knows where they'll end up. But I sure hate to see it. Especially in First Class.


LiveWorkDream said...

Oh wow, how timely. Jim and I just spent the day in Newport Beach, and talked about this very same thing.

In fact we almost had the same exact conversation, after one person we talked to complained about how a nearby supermarket chain was hiring too many of "those people" (developmentally-disabled) to bag groceries, and Newport "really isn't the place for it." I kid you not.

I went to Chapman U. in Orange, but got the hell out of OC just a few weeks after graduating. Going back, it seems like OC, especially Newport, is a fake, Disney-like world where the reality of what's truly happening in this world hasn't permeated their plastic bubble. Jim and both said we would love to take a group of those people and plop them down in a real American city, say Detroit or Milwaukee, to give them a reality check.

It's a good thing I know some truly nice people there, or else I would really lose hope for that place.


Dave2 said...

We've had this conversation before, but I can honestly say that the absolute worst, most reprehensible, awful behavior I've ever seen on a plane has been in the First Class cabin. 80% of the time I get upgraded, and 90% of the time I see things that makes my eyes roll into the back of my head. I have no idea why it is that people completely lose their manners while adopting an air of self-importance and general douchebaggery once they have that First Class ticket in-hand.

Like you, I weep for future generations when I see how kids are being raised now-a-days. In many, many ways I am glad my time here on earth is limited. Hopefully I'll die before I see the worst of it. Somehow I doubt the worst is behind me.

Ron said...

What a timely post! This subject is one of my pet peeves. The lack of parental guidance which results in the rudeness of children. When I was brought up in my lower working class family in the Fifties one thing I was taught was respect for anyone older than me. When I was introduced to an adult (especially a relative) I always said "Hello" and then kept my mouth shut. Today, when a parent says "Say 'Hello to the nice man' the kid turns away with a pout and wants to know what is next on the agenda to amuse him or her.
I don't blame the kiddies, I blame the parents, a selfish and self indulgent lot. As one of your commentators said, he was glad his time on earth is limited and won't be around much longer to see this trend of lack of common courtesy disappear.

Greg said...

South OC -- from the airport down -- usually constitutes much of the fakeness. Someone from Newport or Corona del Mar would have a rude awakening if they had to move into an apartment in Garden Grove or Stanton.

I grew up in the OC, went to college as far North in CA as I could and now live in Long Beach. I'm constantly surprised that I never burst into flame when crossing the LA/OC County border.

Alan said...

I can reassure you that not all teenagers today are raised with that sense of privilege and entitlement.

The high school where my three kids attend has had a commitment for the past many years to provide two suppers per month year-round for some 160 residents at the local homeless shelter. The whole school fundraises to purchase the food, then teams of 12 students spend the day at the shelter cooking the food, washing up and serving supper to the homeless clients of the shelter, many with substance abuse or mental health problems.

The students (including my kids) invariably find that this work helps them better appreciate their own comfortable life. I'm a teacher at the school and I find that the student body as a whole has a far stronger sense of community service than students of my generation ever had.

J.P. said...

My gods I love you. We think so much alike. As I watch our society 'evolve', I echo the sentiment of others: I'm glad my time here is limited.

Ur-spo said...

bad manners drive me crazy.
Encountering rude people all day - I don't envy you your job!

anne marie said...

how about "no class"? I feel sorry for you, dear, for having to put up with the dregs of humanity.

Tony (LT) said...

I can't abide anybody who doesn't have basic good manners.

It also amazes me how much control kids have over the adults these days. the make demands and say things to elders that I wouldn't even now at age 35.

What's scary is that these kids will be the ones running corporations and the country and making decisions when we are old farts.

Lemuel said...

After reading the comments I must ask - will no one speak up for the poor people of places like OC, those who must suffer to live in mansions and have to fly first class with their children and parents? Will no one defend them?

Clue: it ain't gonna be me!!

Sadly, Lewis, when those kids turn into druggies or to crime (because they're bored), Mom and Dad's money will bail them out or send them to a cushy rehab center where they will continue to be pampered. Meanwhile, the rest of us...

Rick said...

I've only sat in First Class once, and that was an upgrade. I just can seem to find justification for the enormous price differential. Then again, if I had money to burn, like the folks you mention, maybe I would but without the attitude!

Bridge Journey said...

Preach it my brother!
I only got to sit in first class once. A special family member who passed away at the beginning of this year used to be a pilot for Delta. We got to use passes from him once. It was the coolest thing EVER! But the flight attendant could tell I was not a typical 1st class traveler. I was so extremely grateful for each and every gift she brought my way! By the end of the flight she sent me packing with 2 extra bottles of wine.
I believe in gratitude, and absolutely am turned off by entitlement (doing my best to raise my kids w/o that disease of entitlement)
Thanks for sharing... it reminded me of one very special flight one day long ago.

BosGuy said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I would not want a job working w/ the public. This would be just one example why.

I know that my partner genuinely enjoys working w/ ppl, but it would be hard for me to get beyond a lot of the BS flight attendants must put up w/ over the course of their day.

tornwordo said...

Born and raised there. It's a different world. Consumerism is alive and well there too.