Blog: Well, What Can You Do? V3
(originally written 2/13/13)
The scene: our local post office. Josie and I are in line waiting to collect a package (after almost three weeks of delay, but that's another story.)
About three spots ahead of us stand a 35ish, scruffy black guy, his biracial, bespectacled S/O, and their little boy, approximately 18 months if I had to foster a guess. Amused by Josie, the cute little tyke repeatedly hops away from his folks to meddle her—which neither of us mind as we try to pass time.
The parents each have transactions to complete; they're at separate stations when we are finally called up. The little boy has continued to pinball between Josie and his folks, who summon him back each time.
When we get our box and head to leave, in front of us making a mad dash for the exit is the little boy, taking full advantage of his parents' turned backs. He wasn't chasing Josie this time—he was chasing his freedom. (Recalling his mom's harsh, undignifed tone in the parking lot, I can't say I blame him.)
I park Josie and chase after the boy, catching him a few feet from the exit. Walking him back to the customer service area, which is about 50 feet down and around a corner, dad emerges, collects the boy—and doesn't utter a syllable of appreciation to me. His demeanor is almost accusatory.
Really, huh? All I do is save your kid's life and you can't be bothered to even gimme a "right on?" I think to myself as he disappears back around the corner.
Some of you may be thinking that the dad was rendered silent by relief. Bulls---.
I've never told this story before, but...
Last year, at a Santa Clara McDonald's, Josie made a similar mad dash on me when I stepped away to the restroom for literally one minute. She was up high in the Playplace, surrounded by other kids, so I figured I had plenty of time to handle business.
I was wrong.
Two people realized what had happened and returned her to me. I was beside myself with relief, yet still gracious enough to heap about a dozen thank you's on these people. (This incident occured the day before I was shipped to the nut house and factored in said shipment, but I'm not here to talk about the past.)
We now live in a world in which potentially saving the life of a child isn't worthy of appreciation by said child's parents. Obviously this act doesn't warrant a "thank you" because I did what I'm supposed to do, as mandated in some etiquette guideline manual which I've yet to receive.
Hey, maybe that's why that family was at the post office in the first place—it got sent to them by mistake!