Is it just me, or do people seem increasingly miserable as the years go by? I’ve always considered Montreal to be a pretty friendly city, but I’ve had to reassess this over the course of the last three years. As a point of reference, I started working downtown again in 2007, hence the 3-year assessment period.
People seem ruder and bitchier then in the past. It’s a miracle if a retail worker actually greets you with a smile, much less a complete stranger on the street. These days, I find myself feeling perplexed if someone I don’t know smiles at me. I actually have to stop and think about what just happened. How pathetic is that? Have we become so busy, that we can’t even smile at the people we come into contact with anymore?
I admit that when I leave the office at lunch, I do everything possible to avoid the Main, because my tolerance for rude, pushy people is at an all-time low. I don’t get it – I mean, do you not see me walking toward you? I’m sporting all black, and a bright orange leather village bag – why is it so damn hard to move over? But no, people would rather pretend I’m not there and walk into me or push me (with no afterthought of an apology), because they are SO busy. It is my belief that in addition to road rage, we must now deal with sidewalk rage. Not to mention those crazy cyclists who always seem pissed off at someone – move over or risk being mowed down by a guy on a bike. This is why people become anti-social. Too many A-holes with sidewalk rage and bicycle rage out there! OK, and road rage.
I suppose this is why I was particularly intrigued by New York retailers. Now, the people on the street – they walk the same way Montrealers do – in a hurry and not giving a shit who’s walking in front of them. If you’re in their path, be prepared to be forcefully redirected. Admittedly, if you’re in a part of town where there are a large number of tourists, it’s sometimes the tourists who are rude, and not the locals. But the retailers, and indeed, a few random people that I encountered on the street(s) were amazing! I was greeted with a big, happy smile in almost each store or restaurant that I went into – the people I encountered seemed happy, not grumpy and disgruntled with life. These days, walking into a Montreal store, it’s hit or miss whether or not you’ll get a greeting. I go to the same coffee shop several times a week, and get the same coffee guy – it’s been almost three years. Dude has yet to smile at me when I order my coffee. On the other hand, the coffee-making lady is fabulous! While it’s usually a little too early in the day for me, I do enjoy her random outbursts of song and dance (LOL).
Take the time to stop and smell the flowers people – or enjoy that beautiful summer day. Smile at the people around you – they won’t bite.
To end this, a little story… While in line waiting for my turn to pay at a sports store, I noticed this kid in front of me wearing low-hanging pants. He was kind enough to expose most of his
butt, which I really appreciated. His pants were bright blue, and, in
an effort to color coordinate (and possibly camouflage his arse), I
noticed that his underwear were also blue. Nice!
Then I notice the wet spot hovering where I assume his butt crack
began. That’s a little TOO friendly. Pants up, I think!