Thursday, May 17, 2007

What Happened?

I was raised in Oklahoma at a time when Okies were considered to be polite by nature. After moving to Colorado in the mid 1970's, I always told people there how polite the people in Oklahoma were.

Something happened however in the 20+ years I was gone.
We moved back here in 2004 and there are a few things that surprise me over and over again regarding just how rude and inconsiderate people have become here in the Sooner state. Granted, it's not everyone, but it seems it is the majority and not the exception. It's sad and maddening at the same time.

Here are my observations since returning to the state...
Okies don't use their turn signals. It seems it is up to everyone else to figure out what these drivers are going to do next. There are the times when someone is waiting for a car to pass before turning out onto a street and the car doesn't pass, but instead turns. It would have been nice to have let the car waiting know (by using that little lever on the steering wheel) that he/she could go ahead and pull out since you won't be in their way. Cell phones should be banned while driving everywhere but especially here. People are in their own world totally oblivious to other cars and traffic. Turn signal? Who needs it?

When entering the highway on the dangerously short acceleration lanes, drivers expect the traffic on the highway travelling at 65+ mph to yield to them instead of adjusting their entrance speed and timing to merge... they just barrel onto the highway without a care. I am constantly amazed at this dangerous way of entering the highway. "Coming through".

There is a McDonalds near our house where the drive-thru lane curves around the building. To properly enter the drive-thru, you are supposed to wind around and come in from the proper direction. So what does everyone do? They cut across the parking lot and enter the drive-thru from the wrong direction and cut in line ahead of those who go to the trouble of going the right way. I actually had a guy get mad at me for not letting him cut in the line from the side and I had 4 or 5 cars behind me in the real line!

The traffic in Denver is several times worse than that in OKC. But the people realize that to get anywhere requires some cooperation and courtesy and everyone pretty-much plays by the same rules. When entering a highway that is stop and go, you alternate... one car from the entrance ramp goes and then one car on the highway goes and so on...(once in a while you find an idiot that doesn't want to let anyone else in front of them)
This "every man for himself" attitude is not helpful in getting to and from work stress free and it's just plain rude.

Now, this is my biggest pet-peeve.
Notice when you are in the grocery store next time what happens when a new check-out lane opens up. The person at the very back of the line (or someone not even in line yet) will sprint over to the new lane ahead of people who were standing in line for some time waiting. The polite and right thing to do is to let the next person in line go first to the new lane. In the 3+ years I have been here I have only seen ONE PERSON tell the person in front of them to go ahead over to the new lane. (me) The checkers SHOULD say "can I help whoever is next please"? Instead of "I can help someone over here".

I see rudeness every day and it bothers me. Not holding a door for a woman or an elderly person but instead barging ahead of them, talking loudly on a blue-tooth or cell phone in a public place without regard for others, acting as if they are the only person on the planet.

Will Rogers would be shocked and disappointed I'm sure.
Not the same Oklahoma I remembered, that's for sure. You know how Missouri is the "Show Me" state?
I suggest changing the slogan for Oklahoma to just "The Me State".


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