The other night, my sister and I went to The Grove, a popular shopping establishment in Los Angeles. We had little luck in finding shoes for my sis, but I still needed to get parking validation from one of the shops. Parking at The Grove is expensive unless you get your ticket validated. We stopped into the 3-story Barnes & Noble, I waited in line, and I asked the cashier if B&N validated.
“We validate only if you’ve bought something and show a receipt.”
“I left it outside with a friend.” (though I hadn’t bought anything)
“Did you shop here?”
“Then I need to see a receipt.”
“Are you serious…”
And then I walked away. I was upset that this dude couldn’t take 2 seconds to just validate my ticket. His attitude was what bothered me the most, I think. And then I wondered if Barnes & Noble had to pay a certain fee for every ticket validated. Why did it matter to him that B&N lost money, though? I liked Borders more as a bookstore anyway before they went bankrupt….
It hit me like a ton of bricks right then. Why was I acting so entitled? The cashier was right: I didn’t buy anything at B&N. But I expected him to validate my ticket. When I walked into Anthropologie, they immediately validated my parking ticket, no questions asked. In America, the customer is always right, but does that philosophy apply to non-paying patrons as well?
Where did this sense of entitlement come from? I see it daily in strangers. I see it in acquaintances. I see it in friends and family. I’ve come to recognize it more and more in myself.
We are hard-working, yes, but does that mean we are deserving? Does that mean we are allowed to treat others as less just because we’ve accomplished x, y, and z? Just because we were raised with certain values or because we have a certain medical condition…does that mean others are required to bend over backwards…for YOU?
Does that mean that when we suffer, we deserve everything?
We deserve nothing, and yet we have been given so, so, SO much. And instead of feeling entitled, we should be feeling thankful.