Thursday, October 9

Yeah I'm entitled.. so what? Wanna leave me a note?

The last few weeks I have been thinking a lot about the word entitlement. I'm pretty sure it started when my roommates and I came back to our apartment after a long day of school/work and found a note taped to our door. It said something like:

"Please get your SHIT out of the hallway. Despite what you may be used to, nobody HERE is going to pick it up for you" (original emphasis).

I was annoyed by this note for several reasons. First of all, whoever left the note on our door used packing tape. When we tried to pull it off, it yanked off a large swatch of paint. Anyone who has ever had a landlord knows that if something has to be repainted, it is going to cost you money (good-bye security deposit). So that was annoying. Second, the 'shit' in the hallway was a lot of empty moving boxes. Unfortunately, we live right near an elevator and these were not our moving boxes- we were just the convenient dumping area. All three of us had moved in almost a month ago and were good little tenants and either broke our boxes down for recycling or saved them in the closets. And lastly, I was unbelievably aggravated by the assumption that we would be so rude as to leave lots of cardboard stacked in a public area. If we were new and confused about the rules of the building, why wouldn't you leave a nice note explaining that the maintenance guy Brian would not clean move-in related items? Or, maybe we had all come down with the flu right after moving in. Why assume that we were entitled brats who were refusing to move our garbage?

I was reminded of this story today after my friend A shared a similar rude-note situation. She double parked her car in the garage at school yesterday, and came back to find a note taped to her window. Apparently someone was very offended that she dared to take up two parking spots and wanted her to know that "just because [she] went to Princeton does not mean [she] can take up two spaces." While I have to applaud this note-leaver for their lack of profanity.. I think this kind of behavior is totally unwarranted. Why would you ever look at a double-parked car, look at where someone went to school and assume they are acting out of a sense of entitlement? It's not like A had a sign on her car that said "I'm rich, snobby and Ivy educated. I feel like taking up two spots." Anyone who knows A actually knows that she is not rich, is not snobby and is Ivy educated because she's damn smart and got a scholarship. She also had to double-park her car because she's in a wheelchair and there were not any more handicap spots available. She literally can't get out of her car and into her chair without a little clearance. I'm sure whoever left the note would be mortified if they realized this.. but they would be embarassed for the wrong reasons. They would be thinking about how they were rude to someone in a wheelchair, and totally miss the fact that they were simply rude to another person becaues of their own assumptions about class education and entitlement.

I know that I'm entitled. My parents are lawyers, I had enough money growing up for well beyond the essentials, and I recognize that being white has afforded me chances I don't deserve more than any other person. But I am also cognizant of all of these things and do my best to be self-aware. So next time I have to leave a note on someone's car or door.. it's going to say something nice.