Friday, January 08, 2010

Birds of A Feather

So last night I was hanging out with my dearest of dearest friends and we were talking about Jackie Chan's new movie. Blah blah blah next door neighbour is a ninja blah blah blah he's now gonna babysit his neighbour's young kids blah blah blah with the kids help he defeats the bad guys that can't swear because this movie is PG. Loads of crap, I'm sure. It was the conversation that followed that made me realize my brain is wired differently from my friends. NOT better. NOT worse. Simply differently.

Anyways, I made the point, while inebriated, that I don't think I would ever allow a middle-aged single male (regardless of race) to babysit my young kids. The scenario I put out there was imagine placing an ad around your neighbourhood looking for a babysitter, after interviewing a bunch of teenagers looking to make a couple bucks, you hear the doorbell ring and when you answer you see a single male, 30ish, inquiring about the ad. I know it sounds terrible but RED FLAGS WITH BUILT-IN ALARMS just go off for me about that situation. Yes, yes, sexism, blah blah blah discrimination blah blah blah but whatever! My hypothetical kids, my hypothetical decisions. Most of my friends kind of agreed that yes perhaps a red flag or two would be raised should that happen but where we differed in opinion was would we still interview the guy or not. I said no, no matter what. Most of my friends said yes if he had some shining references. Fair enough. I fully understand my flaw in thinking and the fact that should hypothetical man have excellent references he should have a fair chance, just like everyone else, and at least get an interview. But still...just seems too strange to me. I think because everyone was a little inebriated, my friends didn't hear me when I said I didn't care what the race of the hypothetical guy was (meaning one race wouldn't gain my favour over another) but that he was 30ish, single, and male that weirded me out.

After I gave my spiel, a darling friend of mine asked "Would you let a black woman babysit your kids?" and I hesitated. Now, let's all pick up our jaws from the floor and allow me to explain WHAT WAS GOING THROUGH MY MIND WHEN THE QUESTION WAS ASKED. Understand my friends, all of my friends, come from diverse backgrounds, different religions, different cultural upbringings and no, I am not saying the equivalent of "Hey man, it's cool, I have black friends".

My friend asked me, "Would you let a black woman babysit your kids?"
How I heard the question was, "Would you let a black woman babysit your kids?".

Keeping in mind not 10 seconds prior we were just dicussing about how I was judging an applicant by his sex, I thought my friend was asking me to think of my scenario with everything the same except instead of me opening my door to a 30ish, single male applying for a babysitting job I would find a 30ish, single female standing there asking if she could be interviewed for the babysitting position. The fact that my friend made hypothetical person black wasn't what I was thinking about but rather that hypothetical person was female. And after thinking about THAT I said "Yes, I would."

But my response was too late or didn't come quick enough and now I'm considered an inherent racist when in fact I'm an admitted sexist. If my decision for the babysitter came down to two people, but equally qualified, both 30ish and single, one being male (of any race) and one being female (of any race) I would choose the female. Blah blah blah Darek you're sexist blah blah blah I can't believe you're discriminating blah blah blah. Yeah I know I'm horrible for thinking that but 1) I'm being sexist against my own sex, so, who cares? 2) YOUR FACE!

In conclusion your honour, the defense rests!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Thinning Out the Herd

"Challenge yourself to be a little bit smarter today"

I'm still astounded that I heard this pearl of wisdom from Dean Blundell, Host of The Edge's Morning Show. I only caught a snippit of what he was saying but essentially it was a "cut it out!" speech about stupid people using slurs against someone based on their race, sexual orientation, or religion. Great stuff.

I've been wondering what my first post of 2010 was going to be and hearing this new mantra kind of sealed the deal for me. During my Christmas break from work, I fell in love (even more so) with The website just lists conversations that people in the service industry (kiosk handlers, customer service agents, tech support, waiters, hotel workers, retail, etc) have had with customers who are not always right - you see, apparently, the customer is always right. Needless to say hilarity ensues but accompanied by my increasing sense of dred and rage at some pretty stupid people.

Now I'm not saying that all service people know what they are doing, I use to be one, and yes I've made some mistakes while servicing customers (ha!) but in the long run you get into a habit and can usually determine the solution to a customer's problem within a few minutes. And while I think some of these stories on are made up, some are real because I've dealt with the exact same scenarios. It actually scares me that most of these people are breeding, passing on inadequate genes, and essentially peeing into the genetic pool of humanity.

Most of these customers fall into 3 categories:

1) The Idiot - this customer simply does not listen to the words coming out of the service agent's mouth.

2) The Centre of the Universe - this is a subset of idiot because this customer usually comes up with excuses as to why they acted stupidly which in turn allows them to think they have not acted stupidly.

3) The Gullible - after the service agent has tried explaining (many times) return policies, or menu items, or billing procedures the agent gives up and just allows the customer to believe their own idiotic reasoning to end the call/get on with their job.

To be fair, I should admit there is a 4th kind of customer and that's the one able to admit they were wrong or have a laugh at themselves for what they were thinking or believing the service agent with the information they've provided.

ANNNNNNNYYYYWAAAAAAYS, the reason I'm going on and on about stupid people is with the 21st century the idea that the world will end, and end soon, is such an identifier of my generation you can't help but to think who would survive just in case the worst of the worst happened. Be it an environmental cataclysmic event, or the zombie apocolypse, or just the regular one with Jebus and monsters - is it wrong of me to kind of be relieved that once the event is over, those remaining were smart enough to survive? That essentially we've cut back on those peeing in the pool? Well we have to make sure the zombies don't win people! Challenge yourself today to be a little bit smarter today!!

Happy New Year! And New Decade!