It’s Thursday, so that must mean we all get to enjoy another of Uncle Steve’s amazingly insightful and sardonic essays wonderfully titled “Thoughts for Thursday” or TFT for short. (Ok, so we missed one or two Thursdays again since the last TFT, but who’s counting, amirite?)
I didn’t have to think very long to decide what I wanted to chat about today. I had a confrontation with a person on Tuesday who wanted to do business with the single greatest Computer Sales and Service Shop that has ever existed located at 12222 S Harlem Ave in Palos Heights, open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm and named “Computer Greeks”. (I realize that technically, no other Computer Store has ever existed at that address, so I guess we win by default, but you know what I meant).
She walked in around 12:30pm and was lucky enough to be greeted by everyone’s favorite IT Professional with incredible Skills matched only by his Wit and Stunning Good Looks- me.
As has been the case with many of us during this time, she walked in without a mask on.
Ok, Wait! Don’t stop reading here thinking this is an old TFT going off on the whole “mask thing” again. It really isn’t. Well, not most of it, just give me a chance.
Everyone should know my stand on the Great Mask Civil War, but for those who somehow might have missed it, I’ll give you a very simple and brief (hooray) summary.
Wear Masks= Good Thing
Wear Masks= Not Too Much to Ask Anyone
Don’t Want to Wear Mask= That’s Fine, Wear One Anyway
You Don’t Think Masks Work= That’s Fine, Wear One Anyway
I Have Research and Studies and Can Demonstrate How Masks Cause Brain Damage and The White Sox Playoff Loss= That’s Really Neat, Wear One Anyway See, simple.
Except after my encounter on Tuesday, it seems I need to add a couple to the list. 1- Do You Want My Business or Not? 2- Don’t You Care About Freedom?
Do I want your Business? Do I care about Freedom?
Let me address the first one first, which makes sense because I put it first after all.
Do I want your business or not?
Well, I imagine that she thought this was a rhetorical question, because the answer must be, “Of Course I want your Business!” What business could survive for over 25 years without wanting someone’s business? It’s right there in the name after all.
There is one problem with this idea that this potential customer has overlooked.
In reality, we don’t want everyone’s business after all and deciding if we do business together is our choice as well as hers.
If a customer would rather pay more money for poor service and aggravation somewhere else, that is their choice.
The same way Computer Greeks can decline to do business with someone as long as it is not discriminatory.
Not accepting you as a customer because you are an idiot who would put your own defective ideas and self-interests above decent behavior and the safety of others is not discrimination, at least not until they diagnose stupidity as a disability I suppose.
Let me be clear.
I care deeply about my business and its customers. Surviving for over 25 years would have never been possible without the customers who have been kind enough to rely on us and trust us with their tech problems and needs. We always try to be patient, understanding, supportive, and helpful whenever people come in or call, often when they are stressed out, frustrated, and unkind due to the problems they are dealing with.
We know this happens and try not to take offense when it does.
But one of the things that I will never tolerate is being threatened in my own business and let me be very plain- “do you want my business” is a threat.
That attitude will end any conversation I’m involved in and you will have no problem understanding if I want your business or not. The very easy choice is no thank you, please go annoy one of my competitors.
The second bit of confused nonsense that our delightful Tuesday visitor presented me with was “Don’t you care about Freedom?
Hell yes, I do! I love the damn thing. I love my country and think it’s the best one around. Freedom is Awesome!
Unfortunately, I think she may be confusing Freedom with Anarchy.
Freedom doesn’t mean you get to do whatever you want and never has. Freedom means having choices, the same as everyone else.
And with those choices and freedoms comes the knowledge that we accept a majority rule called Democracy, that means sometimes, we have to abide by decisions we don’t agree with. That’s precisely how this thing works.
You have a voice. You do not have the only voice. It turns out we all get one and yours, despite what you may believe, is no more important than anyone else’s.
When things don’t go your way, you have the freedom to be unhappy about it and to try to legally affect change. You do not have the right to ignore those choices and behave however you want. That’s called Anarchy and I’ll give you a hint- it’s not a good thing.
I’ll give you an example.
You love Chipotle Burrito Bowls (who doesn’t). You also love Guacamole (again, who doesn’t). You believe that Guacamole should be included in the Burrito Bowl price, but Chipotle decides to charge extra for it. You believe that this is a violation of your Constitutionally protected Freedoms under the 92nd amendment which states that all reasonable condiments, including vegetable and fruit based, should be included with a meal for no extra charge. (Unfortunately, this amendment hasn’t been passed yet.)
So, your freedom gives you some choices here. You are free to: 1- Pay extra for the Guac even though you don’t agree with it 2- Don’t get the Guac because you refuse to pay anything more 3- Boycott Chipotle and organize others who feel the same way to pressure them into changing.
Except, you don’t like any of these choices. So instead, while they are assembling your delicious Burrito Bowl, you reach over the glass, grab a handful of Guac, toss it onto your Bowl and begin to lick the excess off your fingers, all the while shouting- Freedom B!tch@s!
At this point, the manager of the Chipotle has a chance to exercise his Freedoms as well, which would include having you removed from the premises, calling the police, pressing charges, and banning you for life.
(Oh No! No more Burrito Bowls?)
Do you see the problem here?
This wasn’t someone exercising their freedom, this was an asshat who thinks they have to always get their way or else they will throw a fit and misbehave. Last time I checked that’s not called Freedom, it’s called acting like a 2-year-old.
So here I am exercising my freedom (which I dearly love).
The freedom to refuse service to people based solely on the fact that they annoy me.
The freedom to remove you from my shop (which by the way, is not a public place as people often believe, it is private property, just like every other business).
The freedom to write a long drawn on article about how stupid and childish someone was and what I “Thought” about it.
And finally, the freedom to refuse to pay extra for Guac on my Burrito Bowl.
You can add it if you want, I promise not to knock your bowl to the floor because you don’t do things the way I think you should.
As always, Stay Safe and Stay Well, Uncle Steve