Monthly Archives: February 2010

Our kids vs your kids

So I can’t say I’m surprised by this, but I’m not sure I can explain why.

While I was traveling in Central America, I noticed how impeccably well-behaved the children were on buses. The babies didn’t cry, the toddlers didn’t fuss and even the teens weren’t obnoxious.

Ever since I moved to the city, I’ve marveled at how vastly different people behave on MUNI. I sat next to a high schooler the other day and she was talking about who had sex in the bathroom with her friend. Almost every kid I’ve seen has started whaling bloody murder. And parents seem to either not care or have zero control over their kid.

Now how does this come to pass in a nation that thinks itself to be so progressive – in the first world vs. third world sense? What about the two cultures produces such different results? Is it that kids here are just so over stimulated that when they are forced to sit for periods of time longer than a few minutes they start to freak out? I don’t know, but it would be interesting to find out why…


Run in with the law

I was called to jury duty.  Fine, no big deal.  A little inconvenient because I’m now in the city and I was asked to server in San Mateo county.  I thought that I would have to show proof (lease or utility bill) of my new residency (which I can’t supply) so I never bothered trying to get excused.

I show up to the court house in Redwood City and pass my stuff through their xray machine and am promptly informed that I have a pocket knife in my bag and can’t take it in.  It’s a small swiss army knife that’s always on my key chain and has been since I got it in middle school.  Aka lots of sentimental value.  I ask them if there is somewhere I can check my knife and they say nope, check with the cop right there.  I ask him, starting to get really stressed out (due to a lot of bad luck recently) and he tells me that no there is absolutely nothing that can be done, put it in your car or hide it somewhere outside.

So I leave the court house and proceed to wander around in a stupor trying to figure out what to do with my knife.  I decide that there has to be some nice small business owner/employee that will just hold on to it for me until I’m done.  The first place I try the guy is just as cold and detached from any emotion as everyone at the court house, causing me to become further distraught.

At this point I’m on my last bit of sanity and thankfully a sweet woman named Tanya takes my knife and explains that she completely understand and that the same thing happened to her son at the airport.  I doubt I gave the poor woman much of a choice since I was on the verge of tears at this point, but unlike everyone I’ve been dealing with recently she had a heart that was functioning.

So I run back to the court house and quickly find myself lost in the labyrinth that the law has created to serve and protect us.  Finally I find my way into the huge room with rows of chair for all the potential jurors to wait in.  I go up to the counter and apologize for being late and explain that I’m not actually living in San Mateo county but I can’t prove it.  The lady asks “Where are you physically living?”  “San Francisco.” “Then mark the box labeled F, sign, and you’re free to go.”

Apparently you don’t have to prove residency, and keeping my parents address but living in the city is like a get out of jury duty card.  Thank goodness for that because I really don’t think I could have actually handled sitting in that godforsaken court house and dealt with more government officials that were power tripping.

I was recently talking to a friend about this and he mentioned that it takes a certain kind of person to want to work in government type jobs.  We both agree that the same sort of person works for insurance companies, airlines, airport security, and the help lines for when whatever bit of technology you have breaks.  These people are all seemingly devoid of any emotion and are loving the fact that they are in control and you can’t do jack about it.

I guess I just never really understood people like that.  What in your past turned you into this person that can’t even treat his fellow man with respect and compassion?  I just hope that karma really does exist and that in the end they’ll get theirs.