Social Awareness

I’ve coined a phrase, it already exists in a roundabout sort of way but the existing phrase is some crap about consciousness and how society works within itself or some such hippy sounding bollocks. My phrase is ‘Social Awareness’. In my world it means having the first clue about what is going on around you. I’m going to have a rant about those who don’t. You know who the people with no social awareness are because you are a rational sensible human being and they are not. They most certainly don’t read my work, but if they did they would be reading it right now, on a tablet walking down the middle of the footpath not knowing you were trying to get past them.

Those with no social awareness sit beside you on a crowded train, open and start to eat a cheese and onion sandwich with no clue that the stink of it makes you feel a little bit sick. They clearly have no idea or they wouldn’t do it. It’s not because they don’t care, it’s because they are morons with no social awareness. If they are blokes they probably also sit on crowded trains with their legs so wide apart you start to wonder if they have giant testicles. What other reason would there be to have legs so widely spread? If they don’t have giant testicles and spread their legs so wide anyway they must just have no social awareness of what others think of them.

The person with no social awareness drives down a busy high street, window shopping from the car, stopping suddenly in the middle of the road when they see the shop they sought and you have to take drastic action to not crash into the car now stationery in front of you for no good reason!

You know when you are parked at a T-junction and someone approaches indicating to travel down the road you are parked on? If they had any social awareness at all they would wave or flash their lights for you to pull out and drive off as they approach to make both your lives easier. But they don’t so they go out of their way to manoeuvre around you as all they know is that they have the right of way rather than knowing what is the right thing to do. They also drive on country roads at 40 when the speed limit is 60 with a long queue of traffic behind them, which they aren’t bothered about as they personally are not in a hurry. They have no idea that 80% of the drivers of the cars behind them hope they will crash into a tree and catch on fire.

They sit in the fast lane of the motorway doing 70 and don’t feel any compunction to pull over as they are doing the speed limit. While this is legally right, it is socially wrong but they don’t know this because they have no social awareness. These are the same people who upon pulling into a motorway services will sit in the middle of the car park entry lanes deciding where to park while others about them fume. They will stand in your way in shop doorways deciding which way to go before choosing a cheese and onion sandwich for lunch. When they have finished their sandwich they will throw the wrapper out of the car window.

They walk about in shops talking on their mobile phones rather than being embarrassed that the general public can hear their conversation. When queuing for anything that requires payment they will wait until being advised of the amount to pay before searching for their purse or wallet. How can it only occur to them at that stage that they will need to produce some form of payment? Because they have no social awareness. Often they have no spacial awareness either. Especially in supermarkets. It somehow escapes their attention that other people are also using the supermarket. I was once selecting some cheese when a woman came and stood between me and the cheese to select her own. I was actually taking items off the shelf and she stood in the small space between me and what I was doing to make her own deliberations. Who does that?

One day in the same supermarket I was placing some wine in my trolley when an irate looking gentleman with red corduroy trousers approached and said….wait for it….”I say stop that, that’s my wine!”  I continued putting the half dozen bottles into my trolley and pointed out that the wine was on a supermarket shelf which meant it probably wasn’t his wine. He accosted a shop hand and demanded he stop me from taking his wine. I said in my most polite manner “It’s was on the shelf mate, it’s not your wine, and it’s in my trolley now which means it’s my wine”. Do you know what he said next? No of course you don’t because I haven’t told you, but I will now. He said in a most strident manner…“Do you even live in this town?” As though residency of a particular town gave you more right to wine on the shelf than passers-by! I actually laughed out loud. I was concerned for a moment he might have a heart attack. An attack of the blusters would have been a great description of his tantrum. His face perfectly matched his trousers

I went and paid for my delicious wine. I had my wallet ready when the checkout lady asked for my money because I am socially aware. Mind how you go!

19 thoughts on “Social Awareness

  1. hattydaze

    Love this Sandy! Add to this the people I always get sitting next to me in cinemas eating nachos and slurping gigantic drinks.

  2. A Gentleman's Rapier

    Sounds like you go to a Waitrose. At my local Waitrose, the socially unaware have another name: Pensioners.

    They must always have their shopping trolleys right next to them which means blocking off access to at least two sections of shelving for everyone else. The reason is quite natural: someone may walk off with their trolley-full of unbought items.

    And God forbid, you have to go to a Waitrose on a Friday at midday. It is impossible to find a parking spot, not because there isn’t one available, but because pensioners are ambling about as if it is a Sunday drive.

    (I call Fridays at the local Waitrose the Day of the Dead, as there is a general aimless shuffling about that I have previously only ever seen in George Romero films.)

    That’s pretty good, I’m going to post that on my blog…

  3. A Gentleman's Rapier

    Reblogged this on A Gentleman's Rapier and commented:
    Sandy on Social Awareness.
    My comments:
    Sounds like you go to a Waitrose. At my local Waitrose, the socially unaware have another name: Pensioners.

    They must always have their shopping trolleys right next to them which means blocking off access to at least two sections of shelving for everyone else. The reason is quite natural: someone may walk off with their trolley-full of unbought items.

    And God forbid, you have to go to a Waitrose on a Friday at midday. It is impossible to find a parking spot, not because there isn’t one available, but because pensioners are ambling about as if it is a Sunday drive.

    (I call Fridays at the local Waitrose the Day of the Dead, as there is a general aimless shuffling about that I have previously only ever seen in George Romero films.)

  4. Liz Abbot

    Another excellent view Sand. I could add my opinions re going into the city here and being in the Mall, but I would probably be asked to leave the country (and I love NZ) because I would have offended the people who want to own the water – be it sea or river. The air will be next!! Your loving Mother.

  5. Travelbunny

    Top rant Sandy! May I add those drivers that pull out quickly in front of you and then slow to a snail’s pace when they could have waited for the gap behind you – grrrrrr!

  6. Full stop

    Sorry to be out of step with your and others comment Sandy but these Socially Unaware jerks have been that way long enough to have incurred the wrath of others. Therefore the only conclusion is that they are that way because a) they can be and b) they don’t care.

    Now try smacking the next moron you meet in the mouth as he eats his smelly sandwich with his legs invading your space and I bet you he’ll stop eating and close up his legs without complaint. Ergo, he knew all along he was being an irritant.

    I was taught once by someone I can’t now remember, first you get a big stick to attract the animals attention. The morons can smell which of us will and which wont. You don’t see them behaving this way to unsavoury looking characters do you?

    1. Full stop

      Quite right Sandy, so the options are to endure in silence or verbally object which risks getting a smack in the mouth from the moron, as happened to me when I politely asked a reasonably dressed train traveller to take his feet off the seat next to me. I still have two options these days but they don’t include the polite request any more.

      But the point I was trying to make is that these anti-social people know what they are doing, they just haven’t seen the need to care. If we don’t teach them in a language they understand, that is our oversight. You can teach manners by example in the early years, after that it needs something a little stronger. So because that is unacceptable, most of us endure.

      1. sandysview

        Yeah but you’ve not had the thick end of my irate ranting and raving at the socially unaware nor seen the glare that could kill. My wife always says I musn’t make a scene. But I like making a scene.

  7. Ann M

    🙂 Did you mention the situation when there are 50 cars behind you and some poor person is trying to get into the lane from a side street up ahead? You kinda slow down, flick your lights, and try to ignore the understandable ire of the driver/s behind you wanting to get to wherever in a hurry. The car from the side street gets into the flow or into the lane on the opposite side, and … wait for it … doesn’t even give you a smile, a raised hand signifying a thanks, or anything, like it was his/her right to be allowed into the lane in the first place. Ughhhh!

    To those who get annoyed at drivers like me who let in a car or two from a side road (either in a shopping area or a street) when there are traffic lights ahead and cars are queued up anyway and can’t move until the light changes … chill people! I’m sure we’ve all been in that side street situation a hundred times before and we know what being socially unaware looks like and how it makes us feel, right? What’s a couple of car spaces or four you have given up to make another person’s day? NOTHING!

    1. Ann M

      What makes me think of ‘blow on the pie, safer communities together?’ lol!! Don’t mind me. It must be this crazy Auckland weather! Makes a person go more cuckoo. 🙂

      Oh, and in my first situation above, did I say ‘some poor person’? What was I thinking?

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