Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I'm Not Holding Doors for Strangers in Vancouver Anymore

This evening I bought a coffee at McDonalds at the Central Library. The young worker, a Filipina woman, acted as though "thank you" wasn't part of her vocabulary. More often than not, it's like that at that particular McDonalds.

But what happened next bugged me, as it has bugged me so many times in Vancouver.

As I was leaving McDonalds, even though my coffee was getting cold -- it's freezing in Vancouver this evening -- I waited and held the door for an elderly woman with a cane hobbling toward the restaurant. As I was waiting, I was thinking, "I bet she won't even say thank you." She walked through the open door. Not a thank you to be heard.

When this happens, it always knocks my mood down a notch.

I'm finished. I'm done. I'm not going to hold doors open anymore for strangers in the uncivil city. I'm going to be Vancouverude.


Dag said...

You think strangers are bad? You should meet the people you know.

Dag said...

Hey, wait a minute! Are you tricking me?

Urb Anwriter said...

The worst thing with this is that if you don't hold the door, you lower yourself to their level.

Rachel Davis said...

"Urb Anwriter" Funny!
I don't think it's a Vancouver thing, I thing it's a problem with McDonald's food making people feel so bad, they get rude. Maybe they are in such a hurry to get away from the food they can't wait to say thank you, Maybe it's something in the "Secret Sauce"!
But really, I find that it's hard to be rude back to people who are rude to me. No matter how many times Paul Taylor, editor of the Carnegie Newsletter pretends he doesn't see me, I can't stop myself from saying "Hi Paul!" or even telling him a joke, when I see him.
It's harder than you'd think for leopard to change it's spots, for a fuzzy bunny to be un-cuddley, or for a polite person to become rude, even if, cognitively, it seems like the situation calls for it.

reliable sources said...


I think you're right, it's hard to change and become rude.

The next evening I bought a take-out coffee at that same McDonalds and a young Russian woman served me. She was exceptionally nice.

I guess McDonald's is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get.