I try to be friends with only people who are considerate. People who aren't considerate don't last very long with me. If you can't relate to that, you are either extremely patient, or you are one of them.
I don't know how you'll do on this little ditty, but I think most of us already know whether or not we value other people's feelings or time. The rest don't even care.
People generally fall into 3 categories: Considerate, Average, or Inconsiderate.
Read each scenario and see which category fits you best.
After you park your car in a public lot:
Considerate: You make sure you are properly parked between the two white lines. You will move your car slightly if necessary to center your car. This is regardless of whether or not there is currently a car on either side of you. Because there may be one soon, you wouldn't want anyone to have less parking space than they deserve.
Average: You avoid parking too closely to the car on either side of you. This is mostly because you are afraid of having your car hit and/or your side mirrors broken off. If it's late at night or if the lot is empty, and your parking job is shoddy, you will just say, "Ah, whatever. Nobody will care."
Inconsiderate: There are white lines?
You are supposed to meet your friend outside the movie theater at 8:00pm for an 8:10pm showing:
Considerate: You leave your house about 15 minutes too early, since you have to be on time. You are stressed out on your drive there, as each old lady irritatingly camped out in the left-hand lane is possibly going to make you late. You get there at 7:45pm, and find yourself standing there by yourself with too much time to kill. When your friend arrives at 8:01pm, you feel as though you've been there for an hour.
Average: You leave your house so you should get there at 8pm exactly. You don't really take into account things that may make you a little late. If you show up at 8:05-8:07pm, it's OK, as long as it's near the time you had agreed and you don't miss the beginning. Conversely, if your friend shows up 5 minutes late, you don't care either, as long as you get to the movie on time.
Inconsiderate: You leave whenever you get around to it. Your hair isn't quite done yet, or the Seinfeld rerun isn't over until 8, or you want to grab a bite to eat before you go. When you finally show up at 8:25pm, your friend, fed up, has already gone inside. You're annoyed he didn't wait for you. You walk into the theater right as the previews are ending, and stand in the aisle looking for your friend. You call out his name repeatedly. Finally, you see him in the middle of the theater and loudly take your seat, after you step on 12 people's feet. Your cell phone and pager continually go off throughout the movie. You blatantly answer your calls and refuse to turn either of them off.
The foursome playing golf behind you is playing faster than you and your group. There are no groups in front of yours.
Considerate: You immediately tell your playing partners that the group behind you is playing faster and should let them play thorough. As soon as there is a slight opening, you wave the group on through.
Average: You notice the group is playing faster, and know you should let them play through at some point. However, it is a bit inconvenient to do so, and wastes a few minutes of your time. You wait until the group behind you becomes slightly impatient and for your perfect (and time-saving) opportunity to arise before you let them through.
Inconsiderate: There's a foursome behind me?
You are at the airport for your flight today. When the announcement is made for only handicapped people and those with small children to preboard:
Considerate: You graciously allow everyone to preboard who is supposed to (and take solace that you are not handicapped), and give them plenty of room to do so. You help the woman in front of you put her luggage in the overhead compartment because you feel sorry for her and want to help. You make sure during the flight that your knees don't hit the person's seat in front of you, and quietly speak to the person next to you only when spoken to first. Otherwise, you are content to snooze or just sit quietly.
Average: You let the old people and the kids board first, but you are annoyed that they take forever, and that the old lady in the wheelchair is complaining about something or other. You help the woman in front of you put her luggage in the overhead compartment because she is taking too Goddamned long and you need to sit down. Sometimes you'll start a conversation with your neighbor if they look bored, or if you just need to talk. If your knees or feet hit the seat in front of you, you shrug it off, and think, "Well, the room in coach sucks anyway."
Inconsiderate: You immediately jump up to the gate and stand to be first in line. (If you are flying on Southwest, you attempt to illegally get into the "A" boarding pass lane, or if you already have an "A" pass, you try to squeeze your way to the front of the line.) You bring a carry-on that is much too big for the overhead compartment, and spend 10 minutes trying to cram it in (blocking up the line), when you could have just easily taken out the one large item and placed it under the seat in front of you. You continually kick the seat in front of you without even noticing. You talk very loudly to the stranger next to you the entire flight, even though they are trying to read their favorite novel or catch some zzz's. You audibly shuffle your deck of cards every 2 minutes for no reason. If for some reason, you do fall asleep, you begin to snore loudly and drool on the person next to you.
You are talking to an acquaintance on the phone. Your call-waiting beeps. You tell the person you are talking to:
Considerate: (Assuming you even have call-waiting, as some say it's inconsiderate in general to have it at all) "I'm so sorry but my call-waiting just beeped. Unless it's an dire emergency, I'll just find out who it is and call them back. Because I was talking to you first, I will finish my conversation with you first. Hold on for one second please."
Average: "That's my other line...could you please hold on?" If it is someone you'd rather be talking with, you click back over to the first person and tell them it's long-distance and you have to go. If your first caller is also long-distance, you tell them it's your mom calling long-distance. If your first caller is your mom calling long-distance, you tell her your friend locked his keys in his car, and you need to get directions to go and help him out.
Inconsiderate: "Wait a sec," and abruptly cut the person off, whether or not they were in the midst of a sentence. You find out who is on the other line. If it is someone you'd rather be speaking with instead, you just keep on talking. You forget the first person is even on the other line. You never notice that they hung up after 5 minutes and didn't call back. You don't care, either.
Cynical. Funny. Logical. Atheist. Honest. Argumentative. Loyal. Talkative. Stubborn.
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IF YOU LIKED THIS COLUMN...
2.14.03 @ 10:38p
I guess I'm pretty inconsiderate, according to this little quiz. Oh well.
2.16.03 @ 10:26p
we have just taken this quiz and found out that we are actually not considerate in the least bit! Does the author of this column have any advice for the inconsiderate?
2.16.03 @ 10:29p
you did THIS on valentines day???
2.16.03 @ 10:52p
Josh Rothbard, eh?
How did Josh Rothbard find out about this site?
Well, we all know how inconsiderate Josh Rothbard is. Heh heh.
Seriously, no advice is to be offered, as those who are inconsiderate don't take advice well.
2.25.03 @ 11:18a
I was going to say that. I think even more than the inconsiderate acts, what really pisses me off is the "Oh, well, I guess I'm inconsiderate" mindset. Because part of being inconsiderate is not caring if you are or not. On the other hand, I also believe a little bit in Karma, and the concept of what goes around comes around. The inconsiderate people are the ones who will be first in line at the post office when the mailman starts blowing people away.
Oh, and hey Josh. Welcome aboard.
2.26.03 @ 3:25a
Adam, I thought you were getting to know me well enough to know I'll be first in line at the post office, but I'll be the one holding the gun.
"Take this special delivery, Mr. Postman!"
This'll only work well if I have a CD player with me blaring that song, and the other patrons are running, scattering and screaming while I laugh maniacally randomly shooting in their direction.
Ah, no one to look and see, see if there's a letter for me.
2.26.03 @ 10:31a
My post office has bulletproof glass.
But I think you're missing the point. Inconsideration is a disease, people. And it's killing our people.
Beam me up.
2.26.03 @ 10:42a
what really pisses me off is the "Oh, well, I guess I'm inconsiderate" mindset. Because part of being inconsiderate is not caring if you are or not.
Adam, I couldn't agree more. Do you ever notice that "late" people know they are always late? They just don't give a rat's ass.
2.26.03 @ 10:59a
True. 'Course there is something to be said for setting the bar low. I'm usually about 5 minutes late for everything. But everyone expects me to be. So when I'm early or on time, they're all impressed. Sad, I know.
2.26.03 @ 1:07p
I have the 15 minutes of fame rule for dealing with late customers in my real estate business. I'll wait 15 minutes for them to show up and then I'm outta there. I've had customers show up several days later. Consideration is relative to the individual and also to a culture. There are some things you do out of consideration for others, such as turning off a cellphone or pager when entering a theater.
Living in NJ and driving on NJ roadways, consideration is not killing you fellow drivers because they are pissing you off.