Welcome back lads and lasses! It’s been a while, like usual, but have I got something good for you. In recent weeks I’ve realized that I’ve been ignoring my greatest asset, my philosophical mind and way of thinking. Disclaimer: I’m not going to claim to have all the answers and I’m not going to bombard you with absurd “Why?” “Why not?” questions. What I’m proposing is that you interact with me on the weeks (and hopefully months) to come. Give me a question, hypothetical, political, religious, whatever you want, and I’ll try to give my best argument regarding the situation. Don’t worry, there’s going to be at least a little humor in this entry, hopefully. So let’s begin!
Philosophy. A bunch of “intellectual elites” discussing things that don’t, and never will, matter. Right? Wrong. I’ve had more than a few people scoff at the idea that I’m majoring in Philosophy. “What’s a Philosophy degree good for? Nothing!” Heard that statement more than once. While you may be entitled to your opinion, so am I. The reason I decided to pursue a degree in Philosophy is because there ARE NO FACTS. The “hard sciences” (Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics, etc.) are all just the regurgitation of facts. You’re taught something, told to memorize it because that’s the way things work, and to spew it up whenever it becomes applicable. They don’t depend on your ability to innovate or discover, they depend on your ability to recall and reiterate. Philosophy majors and enthusiasts are taught to think outside the box. “But Grant, thinking outside the box doesn’t make me money, it doesn’t provide for a family.” If you are persistent enough, it does. Do you think J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, or Orson Scott Card gave up on their passion and forfeit their creativity because it wasn’t the easiest way to a pay check? What about Stan Lee or Malcolm Wheeler-Micholson? Does the name George Lucas ring any bells? They didn’t make their names household ones by holding back what their minds were capable of. Creativity isn’t worthless, it just takes more work to live on than most other characteristics.
Ok now that I’ve expressed my disgust at the immediate dismissal of Philosophers, let’s move on to something more grounded in every day life. My current retail position, Service Desk Supervisor, is a thankless one, and that’s ok with me. My thanks is the pay check I receive. What I’m not ok with is the ridiculous looks I get from people who are third in line to check out. Seriously? You’re going to give me a death glare because you have to wait 5 minutes to check out? Oh? You’re on your lunch break and trying to cram 2 errands and a meal into a half hour of spare time? My mistake. I didn’t know that your life was SO BUSY that you weren’t able to pack a lunch, (which would cost less than that combo meal you’re scarfing down in the middle of the store) go to the bank, (online banking, open 24/7/365) and get back to work on time. It’s not that I want you to have immeasurable patience with every retail person you encounter, it’s that I want you to have respect for the people who are doing their best to assist you. Don’t stare me down because there’s a person in between you and the opportunity to pay for your stuff. Calm your… jimmies… and stop thinking you’re better than everyone else. Show the person who is forced to smile and accept the “fact” that “the customer is always right” (which they aren’t by the way) some respect. They’re human, not a machine you kick and abuse to get to work. You aren’t dealing with a name tag and a dress code, you’re dealing with a human being who deserves respect.
Ok. I think I’ve found a nice groove this week. I’m a Philosopher and a scorned retail worker at heart. All jokes aside, don’t underestimate people who are willing to think outside the box and (more importantly) DON’T BE A DICK TO PEOPLE IN RETAIL. (Or to people at all) If you combine these two things, they really do go hand in hand. Thinking outside the box helps you to realize that retail positions suck and the person occupying that position is still A PERSON!! Looping back to Philosophy, my main, underlying, and prevailing “philosophy” is “don’t be a dick.” I know too many people don’t tend to operate that way but I hope they start to. Stay tuned to Philosophical Friday. There WILL be a new entry. Some of you may like it, some of you may not. Like I said in the intro, if there is any topic you’d like me to tackle, and I really do mean ANY, send me a message, a comment, a text, whatever you want. I love a challenge and I’ll tackle them as they come. Until Friday, keep on ranting, and don’t be afraid to think outside the box.