Saturday, October 9, 2010

Life lessons learned on vacation…

I learned several new life lessons while on vacation, and I thought I would share a few with you.

Lesson number one...It is simply amazing how much you can learn by just watching other people. For example, at dinner on the train one night, we were seated with another couple who were approximately our age, and at first it seemed like they would be decent dinner companions. However, it was astonishing to see the Jeckyll and Hyde personality that this guy possessed. He was very nice to us, asking about our vacation plans, and sharing stories of their trips to DisneyWorld; but he treated his wife with something that definitely fell short of respect. Then our waitress came, and suddenly the way he treated his wife looked like the epitome of love and respect, and yet he was still perfectly pleasant and polite to us.

It made me realize that he must think himself above the woman working as a waitress for Amtrak. He didn't feel that she was to be valued as a person equal to him, and yet we felt that our waitress was the superior human being in that particular race.

Lesson number two... Just because some manufacturer is crazy enough to make articles of clothing in all sizes DOES NOT mean that you should wear it!!! I could not believe the number of tube tops, and tube top dresses I saw in Florida on women of ALL ages and sizes. First of all, who wears a sundress to a theme park where they will be getting on and off rides and in and out of all different types of vehicles??? And I'm sorry, but I think that if you are so morbidly obese that you must rent a scooter to drive yourself around DisneyWorld because you are not capable of walking, you DEFINITELY should NOT be wearing a tube top. Maybe this makes me a horribly mean person, but that's how I feel about it.

Lesson number three... If you want to raise your children to be decent human beings who do the right thing and treat others with respect, you have to do it too! Don't berate a college student who is working at a theme park on weekends over something that they cannot control. Universal Studios offers free locker rentals while you ride certain rides because no loose articles are allowed. The free rental period is determined by the current wait time for that attraction. After the free period has elapsed, there is a $3 fee for the next 30 minutes. The lockers are run on a computer controlled timeclock that tracks the renters biometrically. You rent, and release the locker by pressing your finger on a biometric scanner.

We rented our locker and went on the Harry Potter Dragon Challenge ride. The line moved very quickly and so we decided to go again. I wondered if we should change lockers so we didn't exceed our free rental period, but we decided that we'd just pay the $3 if we went over. We got back to the locker, and as I had suspected, we owed $3. The only problem was that our money was in the locker, so I had to find the locker attendant to release the locker so we could get the money to pay. I went and got in line behind the ONE person that she was helping and waited. Suddenly 3 women came over and butted in front of me angrily demanding that she open their lockers and waive the fees because they hadn't been gone more than 30 minutes.

I opened my mouth to explain that I was actually next in line, but was pretty much pushed out of the way by the angry crowd moving back to their lockers. We stood, patiently waiting our turn (AGAIN), while the poor girl opened one locker, and after verifying the lady's ID was able to release the locker without extra payment. I'm not sure how that worked, but apparently the computer decided that she didn't owe after all. I started to move forward again to get the attendant to help me when another lady in that party, who I've decided to name Nasty B Yotch, started demanding (and I am not exaggerating her behavior at all, in fact she comes off better in my description than she actually was) that her locker be opened. The girl told Nasty B. Yotch that she owed $3. This set Mrs. Yotch off on a tirade about how she was in line at the same time as the other woman, they opened their lockers at the EXACTLY the same time, rode the ride togethers, and SHE didn't have to pay. The poor girl was trying to explain that she doesn't actually have any control over how the time clock works. Mrs. Yotch became even angrier and her husband chimed in, repeating everything his wife had just said, sounding like an ignorant broken record.

The Locker Attendant calmly and patiently repeated that they owed $3. Then Mrs. Yotch's daughter, Snotty B Yotch piped up, and I was so overwhelmed by her tone that I had to step back and bit my tongue so I didn't get involved. Snotty very sarcastically informed the attendant that she needed to open up the locker so her mother could get her money out to pay. So the attendant opened their locker, and Nasty B Yotch grabbed her stuff, and went to swipe her card. However, the fingerprint scanner didn't recognize her finger on the first try, and the whole family stormed out, refusing to pay $3, and loudly congratulating themselves on their triumph over the stupid girl who was trying to rip them off.

I then stopped three other people from cutting me off in line again by loudly saying, "ACTUALLY, I was next!" I finally got the girl's attention and told her, "We'll GLADLY pay the $3, but our money is locked in our locker." She opened it up for us, I retrieved my items, paid the locker fee, and left apologizing on behalf of Nasty B Yotch and her whole family and we offered to vouch for her if that family complained about her to the management.

I couldn't believe that $3 became such an issue. Really?? $3 is worth lowering yourself to the lowest class of human and treating others like garbage? I guess now we know that the price of decency is not to exceed $2.99.

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