Nothing Like a Fat Man Dancing for His Dinner

For some reason, our culture has it in our heads that when we give somebody money, they are then in our debt. If I deign to grace a restaurant with my service, they sure as heck better do everything I ask. My taxes pay the salary of my kid's teacher, so they need to give my kid a break when I tell them to.

And I've invested time and money into [Famous Author's series], so they'd better deliver the story I want.

Guys, it's not like that. All the restaurant owes you for money is food. If you don't like the way they serve it, you leave. If you don't like the way your kids are being taught, you take them out of public school (or suck it up, because seriously, the teacher also pays taxes; that's just like the worst excuse for entitlement ever).

And if a book disappoints you, or a sequel isn't out and you've been waiting for years and oh my gosh doesn't the author realize how much you personally have invested in this series and WHY THE HECK ARE THEY BLOGGING ABOUT A BASEBALL GAME WHEN THEY SHOULD BE WRITING?!


You get it, right? The author does not owe you anything. They are not your personal entertainer singing for their dinner. Unless you paid them a four-to-six figure advance, they're going to write what they want to write, and you are welcome to buy it or not when it's done.

And if you don't like it, return it. I mean, as long as that stupid system is in place, might as well use it, right?


vic caswell said...

excellent points man!
where does that sense of entitlement come from?
(although sometimes you have to watch out for your kids! i caught my middle son's teacher actually bullying him the other week. she took away his grey pencil box- that i bought him- gave him a pink one, and let the other kids laugh at him. he's six- and the littlest in the class. i do not think that is acceptable, and it has nothing to do with who pays taxes, and everything to do with bullying!)
sorry! rant over! :)

Myrna Foster said...

Ahh, Uncle Iroh is only second to Toph for being my favorite character in that series. Great visual!

And I agree with everything in your post as well. If you don't like something, take your business elsewhere or come up with your own solution. But really, I think those who feel entitled are more the exception than the rule. At least they are among people I know.

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

I'm going to disagree mightily about the public education part. It's a far different thing when you can take your money elsewhere (restaurants, books) than education (where you can't, at least not in my state). Also: the education of children is far more important to get right than a meal or a story. We can be disappointed in a restaurant or an author, but they are free to serve red hot chili peppers or an abysmal plotline, but I wouldn't ask for my money back unless I was food poisoned or they forgot to print the second half of the book. However, I would (and should) demand that my children be educated in a way that meets a certain minimum requirement of education (and there are minimums that we can reasonably expect).

Uh, okay, that was a full on rant.

But I do agree about the author part - and seriously, do people return used books?? Or do they just complain?

Adam Heine said...

@aspiring & Susan: Re: public education (in which I derail the whole conversation), I agree there are times when it makes sense to demand the teacher change things (though I still think the "my taxes pay your salary" excuse is rude; how about "the way you're handling this is harmful to the kids. Let's talk about it nicely").

Obviously you guys have had bad experiences with public teachers. While as I'm coming from being married to a (former) public school teacher who got hassled all the time by entitled parents as well as principals, vice principals, and other district officials (like the 8 bosses of Office Space). I bet if we got down to specific situations, we'd be more likely to agree on what to do!

And I realize you can't just go to another public school, but private school and homeschool are both options (in most states at least). I know they're not as cheap or easy as public school, but then you risk getting what you pay for, I guess.

Adam Heine said...

@Myrna: I feel like I see a lot of entitlement here, but it may just be the contrast of Thai and Western culture. Thai culture has almost zero sense of entitlement, so when a foreigner starts complaining about service even a little, it sounds really rude.

MattyDub said...