Something I’ve always wondered is how much of my differentness is specifically German. A good book that gets at the issue is Achtung Baby: An American Mom on the German Art of Raising Self-Reliant Children. This anecdote about going shopping in Germany for the first time says a lot:
I stood at the counter as the checkout clerk rang up my purchases. She said something to me. I smiled. She said it again and jabbed her chin in the direction of the piling-up groceries. I noticed there wa no packer, so I started to fill my own bags. The clerk looked at me like I’d lost my mind. She said something that sounded angry and made a sweeping gesture with her arm. I turned and saw how the other customers were quickly refilling their carts with unpacked groceries then pushing them over to the side where they packed their bags out of the way. Rushed and embarrassed, I threw my groceries back into the cart, while my daughter did her best to “help” by picking u items off the counter and randomly dropping them again.
I paid and pushed my cart off to the side to pack my bags. It felt crazy, but after several trips to stores, I realized that I never waited more than a few minutes in line because everyone moved out of the way and packed their bags themselves.
OMG so much this. People being in the way and me being the only one who understands that they’re being rude, self-absorbed, and inconsiderate.
How much entitlement she has to feel like packing her own bags at the grocery store is “crazy!” Who cares if everyone has to wait while she stands there like royalty? It just so obviously doesn’t take into consideration that everyone around you also has places to be and things to do. Heaven forbid she debase herself with such manual labor! It’s a minimum-wage task!
Ugly Americans. Our culture encourages a deep level of arrogant, clueless douchebaggery.
The customer isn’t always right. Can you imagine a cashier calling out a customer for slowing the line down in America? They’d get written up for sure. Making people feel entitled to “good customer service” shapes our character, for the benefit of businesses we spend more money at for emotional reasons.
Donald Trump IS America.