Most people are convinced that the world revolves around them.
I have examples of this. It actually started early this morning while watching the morning news. The big story of course was the weather, Hurricane Dean to be more specific. Of course like all good Hurricane coverage should have there were video shots of really wild waves, palm trees blowing sideways, workers boarding up windows and then if the ‘cane is to hit a particlarly touristy destination (as most do – since most ‘canes don’t make landfall in Piedmont North Dakota) they show overcrowded airports. I swear that news stations have a standard script for Hurricane coverage that they just use over and over again and have fill-in-the-blanks for the name of the ‘cane and the city it is about to demolish. OK so bad reporting aside, back to my point of the world revolving around people…. They interviewed a few people who were trying to get back to home from Cancun, most of their comments were reasonable: “We’re just hoping to get out in time.” and “The airline is doing the best they can to get everyone out.” But then the jounalist found them. You know them — if they were in Indiana they would be the ones on the news after the tornado saying, “Well we looked outside just in time to see the Johnson’s trailer just go flying up in the air and all I could think of was that Mable still had my best casserole dish from the last chruch pitch in.” (That is a Mike phrase by the way)
Ok back to the airport interview….. I know I keep losing focus. The first lady they spoke to was all dressed in her best beach attire and she irritatedly told the camera, “Here I am on my vacation and I’m stuck at the damn airport!” And then came the best one, a cute couple dressed in shorts and flip flops — I think she might have even been crying. “This is our Honeymoon!” she told the reporter. “We got here last night and they wouldn’t even let us check in to our hotel and now we’re just having to fly back. So all we’ve done for our honeymoon is just fly here and now back!”
My jaw actually dropped as I watched this. I found myself irritatedly talking back to the TV – I had no one else to talk to because Dawson had left for the bus stop. I realize that Ms. Princess had just gotten off the “it’s all about me” white wedding express but did she not think to maybe check the weather before boarding the plane to Mexico? Here’s a thought…. did you not think to call the hotel to see if they were going to accept guests in the wake of a Category 4 Hurricane? Or better yet, did you not notice the evaccuation notices that were being posted for the Yucatan Pennisula? I know weddings are a big thing and they are filled will lots of white satin and pink tafeta but was there so much fluff she didn’t notice that there was a whole world still going on outside her wedding?
Those are two very classic examples of the “it’s all about me” attitude that just sends me over the edge. I understand the dissapointment of having planned and looked forward to a vaction to have some unforseen circumstance pop up and ruin it (although most of my dissapointments revolve around NASCAR races as opposed to tropical beaches). But seriously, this is a Category 4 Hurricane, possibly a Category 5 by the time it makes landfall….. People are going to lose their homes, businesses are going to be ruined, there were people who died when Dean ripped through the Cayman Islands. This is a lot more serious than your vacation or your honeymoon! And you should be thankful that your going to get on the airplane……. 2 years ago when Hurricane Wilma hit Cancun some tourists were stranded there for 2 weeks. So to the poor dissapointed princess bride who is now probably having to settle for the HoJo at Newar airport, don’t worry… every year Oprah gives away a dream Honeymoon if you can convince her your sob story is better than the 100 other sob stories she gets entitled “My honeymoon was ruined because………” Hey maybe I should enter that contest………… My honeymoon was ruined because somone said Branson, MO is a great place to visit and the Best Western in downtown St Louis is safe place to stay….of course it was safe because they had ARMED security guards in the lobby. Yeah, cry me a river that your Cancun honeymoon was ruined by a hurricance…… you have no idea what a bad honeymoon is until you’ve been to Branson, MO where the biggest form of excitement is chosing between the Lawrence Welk dinner show or the Tony Orlando dinner show.
Well after the really bad experience withthe morning news I went to work where the remains of tropical depression Erin decided to show up in the form of some really nasty storms. This did nothing but to feed my anger in the fact that everyone thinks the world revolves around them. I’m now going to add to my list of “911 dispatcher rules”……. Rule #31 – if you notice that outside it is pouring down rain, thundering and you see bright flashes of lightening do not call 911 and ask if an officer can come unlock the keys out of your car. The answer is NO! And then after being told no…Rule #31-A – Do not follow up with, well do you think if I call back in 20 min or so you could do it then? The answer is still NO! The answer is no because currently I’m dealing with 2 separate lightening strikes to buildings, the power in our building went off and our computers are running on a back up generator and everyone else in the world is calling to tell us that the traffic lights are out at US 31 and Main St. Which rolls me right into Rule #721 – Do not call 911 to report a traffic light is out…..ever… but especially during a thunderstorm. Trust me…. we know the traffic lights are out. How do we know the traffic lights are out? Because there is NO POWER in the whole area and when there is no power there are no traffic lights – that’s just basic common sense. And that is not something a police officer or a firefighter or a paramedic can fix. And if there’s ever a question in your mind that someone hasn’t called to report the traffic light out, look at the person in the car next to you (after all traffic is gridlocked at this point – no issue of taking your eyes off the road) and you will notice that person is on their cell phone. Trust me, they are calling 911 to report the traffic light is out. While I realize that this thunderstorm has rudely inturrupted you trip the the bank, dentist or mall — it does not allow you to call 911. And don’t call 911 back to say that there isn’t a police officer directing traffic yet where the traffic light isn’t working. See most officers tend to frown on standing outside during lightening storms just so your Hummer doesn’t get hit in the intersection because people can’t figure out how to negotiate a four way stop.
I’m just thankful that the storm wasn’t bad enough to have to set the severe weather sirens. That would have thrown me into Rule #82 — Do not call 911 and ask “Is there a tornado? Why are the sirens going off?”
For the most part….. 911 operators will just roll their eyes and give you some reassuring answer like “yes t
here is crew on the way to fix that traffic light.” or “the severe weather sirens are sounded because there is potential for severe weather and you should get to the lowest part of your home.” There does come a point though when the 911 dispatcher will lose his or her composure momentarily and if you happen to be that lucky caller you will more than likely hear an answer like this: “Congratulations!!! you are the 500th person who has reported that traffic light out, if you’ll take a quick look around you you’ll notice that there is no power in that area. And if you’ll take a bigger look around you you’ll notice that you’re in the middle of a thunderstorm – but don’t worry we’ve called God and he plans on having it all fixed pretty soon and since you’re involved I’m sure he’ll make it a high priority!”