Column: A more serious note

Please try not to get too excited about this week’s column. I am merely a student and my comedy skills are a work in progress. If it helps, my original plan for this week was to write about my first-ever experience with a, uh, gentlemen’s club (don’t worry, Mom, I know you read this and that was just a joke. I definitely did not do that last weekend when you were trying to call me but I couldn’t answer because I was, uh, doing homework. Yeah, I was doing astronomy homework!).

But unfortunately, my mind has been in other places recently. This vehicle is about to take a slight right into Serious Town on the analogous road that is my portfolio. The good news is, because this is technically still a humor column, I’m allowed to curse and make the odd pun.

If serious topics really aren’t your cup of juice and you’re here strictly for funnies, feel free to stop reading and type the phrase “don’t stop me now comic” into the nearest Google search engine and press “I’m feeling lucky” for artist Pablo Stanley’s pictorial interpretation of Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now.” In fact, do that even if you finish the article.

Anyway, let’s be straight: my aim here is to address the treatment of other people. After spending my summer sitting in my house with no one but my dogs, cats and best friend*, coming to a campus with around 35,000 students has been a teeny bit of a culture shock.

So I might be a little biased when I say I’ve noticed a lot of assholery in the last month. I’m not implying that it is specifically college students or MU students or any other kind of students, but society in general. I see people treating each other badly more often than I see people respecting people. And that baffles me.

Again, though, I might just be hanging out in the wrong places.

For one, the workplace: I’ve had enough shitty minimum-wage-or-below jobs to know that if you don’t have a prestigious job title, there’s a solid chance someone is going to treat you like shit. I’ve even experienced employers doing this.

There’s no other way to say it: it sucks. It isn’t fair. Not one person there is a slave. If someone is paying me their real money they earn at their job in return for doing the boring/dirty/mindless parts of their job for way less money than they would get if they were doing it themselves simply for the fact that I’m 19 and my resume isn’t as long as theirs, then I would appreciate not being berated and I would appreciate to be treated like a human being. In fact, you can totally forget about everything in that last sentence besides the final clause: I would appreciate to be treated like a human being.

And I’m almost positive that 100 percent of the universe’s human beings would agree with me on that. My only doubts are due to the lack of credible sources aside from my own brain.

For two, just general interactions between people tend to err on the less-than-pleasant side of the spectrum. It really isn’t that hard to give the gas station cashier a smile, or tell the drive-thru worker thank you. I’ve tried it! And it truly only took a single-proton-sized amount of effort to do so. Anyone who has ever been on the shitty side of the service counter will tell you that tiny courtesy makes all the difference.

Just treat people like the human beings that they are. That’s all I ask. Or just watch the Freddie Mercury video. That’s fine, too.


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