Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Kids! Get Off My Lawn!

This is probably because I’m officially an old man, but I wonder why kids don’t seem to care about anything but themselves anymore. And, I’m fairly sure I was one of these kids once - but also fairly sure I had slightly better manners.

It's been cool in Los Angeles lately - after a couple of days of 80', we've gone back to winter for some reason. I’m sitting in a Starbucks by the door and a whole flock of really loud kids enter - school just let out, I guess - and as soon as I think “indoor voices please” the kids manage to click the door to “stay open mode” and don’t close it, just stand in line with the door open and the overhead fly fan going crazy and cold air blowing in. After a few moments of the door open next to me, I get up and close it.

Cut to: same girls, same door... on their way out. Again, they click the door to “stay open mode” and again no one closes it. Now, this happens all of the time - and it’s not only kids - there are many adults who also leave the damned door open. But this time I decide to step outside before closing the door and ask the kids to please come back and close the door that they opened...

And they yelled at me. So I yelled back that they opened the door, they need to close it. And they yelled some more and called me names. Um, these are like 12 year old girls. They called me things I wouldn’t call my worst enemy.

Door: still open.

But here’s the question - what do you do now to get these people to close the door? I can continue to close doors for strangers for the rest of my life, but I didn’t open these doors, and it’s not my responsibility to close them. And If I don’t close them, it just trickles down to someone else like me who also did not open the door. If none of us closes the door, it gets cold inside Starbucks and we all suffer and eventually some employee who should be making your drink has to get out from behind the counter and close the door. Then, your drink is late - and maybe you are late for a meeting - and maybe because you are late you get fired or don’t get the job or some other terrible thing. Yes, I’m kind of making mountains out of molehills, but how many times in your life have things gone wrong because your timing was off by a minute? And, even though I’m specifically talking about closing doors, here, there are lots of other things that are just like this - where people just don’t care and cut across three lanes of freeway traffic to make their exit because they forgot to merge over... and cause a ten car pile up? These little things are really big things.

The person who opens the door should also shut it.

We are all human. We have all left some door open somewhere. I’m sure the reason why I stuck my head out the door and asked these kids to come back and close the door is because they did this *twice* in the space of 5 minutes... and didn’t notice and didn’t care. So, I’m imagining hundreds of doors all over Los Angeles left open by this group of 12 year old girls. And they have learned that this is okay, and will keep leaving doors open all of their lives - billions of open doors that others have to close!

Poliely asking did not work.
Demanding did not work.
What *does* work?

The door was sill open.

I closed it on my way back inside.

Sometimes, you just have to do it yourself... even if it's not your responsibility. You can complain about things that are wrong, or you can work to change them.

- Bill
IMPORTANT UPDATE:

TODAY'S SCRIPT TIP: Revealing - which is not about turning an adult cow back into the baby cow.
Dinner: Burger, onion rings & Barney's Beanery.
Pages: Still trying to dive back into this script after working on 2 others for a week... and struggling.
Bicycle: No - had a screening to go to.

6 comments:

Cunningham said...

Post a sign that says, "Close the door behind you, other people are trying to enjoy their coffee."

I do think you have a premise here for a movie. Thoughtless girls piss off the wrong guy at the local coffee shop. Murder, mayhem and other hilarity ensues. And the audience roots for the killer because these teens are douchebags.

"They pissed off the wrong guy."

mybamboocannon.com said...

Poliely asking did not work.
Demanding did not work.
What *does* work?


What works? How about raising the kids to respect others and follow the "Golden Rule". But that's the parents job not yours. Just close the door.

Cunningham, there was a spec by Blake Snyder that sold a while back called "Granny". It was about a psychotic grandmother who killed rude teens who didn't follow the rules of good etiquette. I think the tag was, "She's off her rocker."

Maybe Bill could play a grandmother? He may have to shave the mustache, but still...

Pj Perez said...

"I wonder why kids don’t seem to care about anything but themselves anymore."

Here's a clue: They never did. I find myself shaking my head at the "kids these days," but I know damn well I was the same asshole when I was a teen.

Emily Blake said...

That's one of the things I work on with the kids at school. They are rude little fucks, so when they do things like this I explain why we act appropriately and what happens when we don't. Sometimes it sinks in. Sometimes they don't care. Sometimes their parents let them do whatever the hell they want.

I was not that rude as a child because my mom would have tanned my hide.

rjschwarz said...

Twelve is a particularly difficult age. Hopefully when they get a bit older they will get better.

wcmartell said...

My mom would have tanned my hide, too. I am a non-violent person... and I was spanked when I did things wrong, and punished in other ways. When we were sent to our rooms, there wasn't anything in there to do.

I know I've posted stuff like this before - we were taught manners, and expected to be considerate to others. Yeah, those teen years are tough, but it's just closing a door. "Oh, sorry, we didn't know we left it open" and close it and everyone is happy. No one is angry.

For *me* I realized that closing the door is easier than yelling at people. But those doors are being left open all over the place, nice if they learned to close them.

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