Saturday, November 20, 2004

The Attack of the Knuckleheads

Where have we gone wrong in this society where it is generally accepted that a paying customer has the right to be rude, obnoxious, and hurtful?

From the frustrated shopper who mercilessly unloads on the minimum wage cashier at Home Depot, to the fan who purposely picks seats with a night of verbal harassment in mind, the leeway we have given because “the customer is always right” has gotten to be a bit too much; customers in America have been given so much power that they treat the hired help as something less than human.

Just look at the reactions to Friday’s NBA brawl. In a nutshell, most of the response has been: players bad, fans good. Certainly the players should not have gone into the stands to fight and deserve to be punished severely, but let’s have some consequences for the fans too. If I am the D.A. in that town I examine every available video tape and prosecute anyone who so much as threw a popcorn container that night.

And I must confess that I love how that knucklehead in the Pistons jersey got clocked--more than once--when he walked menacingly toward players on the court. I really think he got what he deserved. I am not advocating violence (I don’t think I’ve hit anyone since I was 12), but there is a measure of satisfaction in seeing knuckleheads getting their just desserts.

Sadly though, even this pummeling will be the highlight of the knucklehead’s life and he will wear it as a badge of honor. There will probably be a large cash settlement and tons of media attention thrown his way, while the players he goaded into defending themselves may be banned from the NBA for life. Years from now, Mr. Knucklehead will be showing that video to his knucklehead grand kids.

When I worked at Home Depot I always said that I wished I had a hidden camera to show the world how poorly customers actually treat people. Now we have a video on how the customers in Detroit acted, and all we hear about are the big bad thugs in the NBA--it’s just not right.

I say we hold people equally accountable for their actions, whether they make millions or they throw things at people who make millions.


Memphis Word Nerd said...

I love this post! I worked various service-related jobs when I was in college and I can't count the number of times that I got insulted, pinched, grabbed, groped, harrassed and generally degraded. I'm sorry to hear that your experiences at Home Depot weren't good, either.

Omni said...

I totally agree with you; furthermore, to abuse someone who can't fight back is VERY bad karma.

...just-rambling... said...

You haven't posted in, like, forever! You must be very busy! Hope you have a good 2005!

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