The other day I had finished a session in Downtown Los Angeles and was heading home. I needed to get online and I knew a Starbucks not far away on Wilshire and while pulling in, realized that I was hungry and stopped in the McDonald’s across the parking lot.

The young lady who took my order seemed a bit confused as to why I would give her $11.15 when my total was $5.40 (I like quarters and larger bills) and handed me seventy-five cents. I commented that I had given her a ten and not a five and after pointing to the receipt that shows she typed $6.15. I was not upset, but I told her I gave her a ten. She got REALLY bent out of shape as if I was trying to rip her off.

The manager was nearby and asked her what the problem seemed to be, she explained what she believed and he asked me, I said it was just a mistake, nothing major. He said he would count the drawer and took it in back. During which my order was readied.

A few minutes later, the manager sent her back up with a stack of singles which I put in my breast-pocket without looking and went on to enjoy my lunch.

A bit later I was listening to KTLK, the local Air America station, and the host was going through a list of things that many believe have been lies and misrepresentations made by the current administration. This list was followed with more complaints about the Bush administration.

Now I happen to agree with many of the things they said and the vast majority of people I talk with would agree with a large part of the lists. What I wondered was what it would take to get people to actually attempt to do something about what their “elected” leaders have been doing in their names.

I do not like be cynical about people, but it seems to be more and more obvious that the American population is completely happy to sit at home and vote on American Idol or Dancing With the Stars. I am becoming more and more convinced that until the issues of the world, their nation or maybe their local town affect them directly will they become involved and even then, they seem happy to just complain if it would take a concerted effort. What a sad statement on the state of the union.

I heard that one of the oil companies was quite surprised that the people of this country are taking the latest collection of gas price increases so easily. People seem to have a very short memory and a willingness to believe what they see on television. Maybe Al Gore is right in his assessment of the population in his book, “The Assault on Reason.”

After becoming a touch depressed at the apparent state of things, I came full circle and started thinking about how upset the young lady had become as if I had accused her of trying to steal from me. I saw she had been caught off guard and assumed it was a simple mistake.

I am not so sure now, when she handed me the singles, I didn’t actually count them and when I later went to put them in my wallet, there was only four, was she trying to skim from her till? That would be even sadder…

Written by R. A. Burgener

After finishing the 850 mile trek of self-rediscovery on California's El Camino Real from San Diego to Sonoma, California, Robert continued, via Greyhound, to Portland, Oregon, where he is becoming familiar with the concepts of weather and seasons after 30 years in Los Angeles.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>