Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Flipping the Bird

Growing up near New York City, it's unavoidable to get sucked in to the battles of every day life, whether it's fighting for your lane on the crowded streets, your space in line to buy a bagel or playing chicken for a parking space. All too often, the attitude is every man for himself. I'm making a huge generalization here where there are plenty of exceptions, but all too often the battle culminates in someone getting flipped off. I grew up thinking that's just the way life was, not knowing it could be any different. 

 Going away to school in Brockport, I discovered how different every day life could be in a small rural community in Western New York. I fell in love with the easy going attitude where people go out of their way to hold a door or give you their spot in line if you had fewer items than they did. I'm not saying people don't rub each other the wrong way every once in a while, they just react to it differently.  

As a business owner in a small town, I really have to watch the way I react when something happens, because inevitably that same person will be walking in to the studio. I've had it happen where I'm trying to get to the studio for an appointment only to be held up by someone going 15 mph under the speed limit the entire way. Sure enough, the person holding me up ended up being my client that I was rushing to meet. 

 Last week my brother Rich and I were on Long Island shooting a Bar Mitzvah for an old friend of the family. When we got to the venue they were finishing another event so there were no parking spots left except for one. Rich found the last spot and was about to pull in when an SUV came flying around the parking lot the wrong direction and stole the spot. I can't say that I'm surprised when stuff like this happens down there, but I still don't understand why people think they have the right to do stuff like that. Rich and I sat there in disbelief as the guy gets out of his car, looks at us and says "How ya doin?" and walks inside. 

 After a few deep breaths and restraint from giving the pompous guy a piece of our minds, we found another spot and brought our gear inside the venue. We met our friend Dave inside who promptly introduced us to the owner of the venue Mr. Pompous himself. It's a good thing we showed self restraint or it would have been a very long day with no doubt a fresh loogie on our dinner. I guess the moral of the story is "Don't flip off the hand that feeds you."

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