#112: Respect

[F.U.C.K. is an e-zine that I started on January 24, 1993 and ended on January 24, 2000. One concept is that articles should be timeless if possible, so they were not released with dates. As such, the date on this blog is not exact but I will try to use a date as close as possible.]

The other night my roommate and I were headed to a local bar we frequent quite often, and as usual we stopped by a nearby gas station so my roomie could get cigarettes. First off, you have to know a little more about him, he is 24 years old, but appears a little younger than I do. He is totally against the government in every way so he has no driver’s license or any form of government paperwork. Occasionally he gets carded for cigs so I often buy them for him since I am 21 and have ID.

We pull up to the Conoco where I frequently gas up and buy food during lunch breaks. After a 5 minute wait for the guy behind the counter to finish up with a simple purchase I step up and ask for the pack of cigs. He grabbed the cigs and looked at me with doubt in his eye and asked me “Do you have ID?!”. The tone of his voice blatantly said “You are way too young and I don’t believe you”. I showed him my ID and he kinda of nodded then asked me “Don’t I always card you?”.

“No, you’ve never carded me before”. He came back more rudely with “Well, I’m gonna card you every time”. At this point I was really wondering why he was copping such an attitude with me for no reason. I had done nothing to piss him off (yet), and had just been Joe Customer. This had gone a little past him having a bad day or having something against me so I asked him “Why are you copping an attitude with me?”

Things went downhill from there and I left with the cigs, bitching at this guy, and as I walked out of the place he kept flipping me off through the window. I plan on talking to their customer service sometime, but it doesn’t really matter. The point of all this…

There is a single thing left for people in the ‘GenX’ age group these days.. that single thing is the only thing left for those younger than me. Respect.

Think of the generations behind us and what they had to deal with, and what they left us with. Right now, as we are striving to live with bullshit jobs, yuppies are ready to retire after 30 years of an easy desk job, and looking forward to 20 years of easy retirement. Since these yuppies are retiring in five or so years, that puts us at age 25 – 30. Companies would rather hire people fresh out of college around 21 or 22 years old. That puts us out of the game basically in most of the job market.

On top of leaving the GenX age range out of potential jobs, these same yuppies leave us with over 1.5 trillion dollars in debt while they live off savings and mutual funds. Taxes hit us harder and cause our standard of living to go down, while theirs stays the same.

On top of fewer jobs, and a more competitive job market, we get to deal with a completely fucked up political system with no bright tunnel at the end. On top of having to deal with it, most of us have no desire to sink ourselves into the corruption that is prevalent in the system. After the political system, we get to deal with the environment since our parents have been plundering our resources unmercifully for years.

Another fun thing we get to deal with is social security. Basically, there is not enough money in reserve to pay for my social security when it is time for me to collect. With all this bearing down on people my age, we have to wonder what is left for our generation?

Respect. That is the only thing that we can honestly demand from anyone else. Not so much pure respect, but at least common courtesy and basic respect toward others that haven’t wronged you. When someone refuses to give you fundamental respect, they are worth absolutely nothing, and are meaningless in society. Just like the chimp that I dealt with at the gas station, these people are getting to be more and more prevalent in today’s society.

I understand if yuppies and older people deny us any respect, but from one GenX’er to another, that should be the one thing you are willing to show since we have nothing else. The other thing to remember, is if you deny someone respect, and that is the only thing left, be prepared to suffer any consequences for doing so. If you show someone that it is a cruel world, and you don’t give a shit, they may show it back in other ways.

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