We have all seen them. The people who go all the way down the empty lane in a road restriction, then try to pull over into the traffic stream by bullying some unlucky driver at the head of the queue. Or the lurker who waits nowhere near the bus stop, then tries to jump on first as soon as the bus doors open.
They feel ‘entitled’ somehow. They think they are better than the patient drivers, or the bus passengers who obey the rules of decency and good social beaviour. There are countless other examples of course, but you get the idea.
The current Covid-19 crisis is showing up many of those ‘entitled’ people who might not normally surface. Those who bought every single roll of toilet paper in the shop, even though they knew it would leave others short. Then the hand-sanitizer and liquid soap hoarders who didn’t give a fig about those others who would have nothing to clean their hands with. The same people who then decided to start getting their groceries delivered online, even though they were capable of driving to the shops. They didn’t care about all the elderly or disabled people, the wheelchair users, or housebound shoppers who relied 100% on deliveries from supermarkets.
They were entitled to order online, so they did.
I have been lucky to have escaped many of the excesses of entitlement behaviour, living in a small village four miles from a relatively small town. But even here, it exists. In a half-empty supermarket car park, some will still park in the Disabled Bays close to the front of the shop. The system of having to wait to be allowed in means they don’t get in any faster, but they still snaffle the disabled spaces anyway. Because they can. Because they feel entitled to do so.
Once in the huge supermarket, with a fraction of the normal number of shoppers in store, they continue to be entitled. To be entitled to completely ignore the one-way system instigated by the supermarket. Ignore the signs and the huge arrows on the floor, and just walk up and down the aisles as it suits them. Ignore the lines that tell you to keep six feet apart, and just reach across you to grab what they need. They feel entitled to do that of course.
Then there is the new checkout system. You have to queue patiently along the back wall, until you get to the supervisor at the front. She tells you what number checkout to go to, and you head up to what will be an empty checkout conveyor, with the operator ready to serve you. It’s a fair system, and works very well. I even told the supervisor that the manager should keep it in after the current crisis. Like that will ever happen.
But that system doesn’t work, if you are one of the entitled. It doesn’t even compute in the brains of those despicable people.
No, they have to sneak up the aisle that leads to the head of the queue. Then wait until the supervisor is distracted, move the plastic barrier, then shove their trolley in front of yours. If they choose their target carefully, then perhaps a frightened old lady or distracted family shopper might just think that they don’t want the hassle of arguing, and let them push in. They won’t say ‘thank you’ of course, because they are entitled to push in.
They know that, so you should too.
Thankfully, it doesn’t always work. Yesterday, a 60-something female shopper with an overloaded trolley made an attempt to move the barrier, and push in front of the man ahead of me. He seemed not to notice, but the supervisor did. The entitled woman was not geting away with anything once this determined employee tackled her. At first she feigned ignorance, claiming not to be aware of the queue. When she was told to turn around and join the back of it, she then complained of having a painful hip, and that she would be unable to stand for long enough to get back to where she already was. None of that washed with the supervisor. She told Mrs Entitlement to either join the queue, or leave the shop without her shopping trolley full of stuff.
Then the woman became verbally abusive to the supervisor, claiming to have been abused and persecuted. Moments later, a security guard arrived. He pulled the trolley away from the woman, and said she could either leave the shop of her own accord, or he would call the police.
Sometimes, ‘The Entitled’ don’t win. Those days are the best days.