Monday, November 16, 2009

Keep Your Head Down

Mid-September, I was biking home from work and saw a grey card-shaped object with a photo on it lying in the gutter. I was curious and picked it up: it was plastic and thick, like it contained a magnet or a simple computer card inside. It had a young woman's name and photo on it, but no business name or address to return the thing.

I brought it home and looked up the name online. Rather than leaving it to the vagaries of Google or searching for this common surname in WhitePages, I took a chance on Facebook. The woman looked young enough to be on either Facebook or MySpace, I reasoned. As it happened, I found a match in name and location. I e-mailed the woman to let her know that I found this thing and to ask how to return it to her.

After a month of silence, I chucked the badge in the trash. It was just sitting on my dresser, being in the way, and its owner either never logged onto Facebook or was not interested in talking with me. But a few weeks after that she did speak up, asking whether I'd found her state ID.

There wasn't anything else in the area where I found the grey badge, but it sounded like she'd been robbed and the thieves had dispersed her property down the street. That happened to me when I first moved to Minneapolis, the contents of my wallet strewn down an alley until discovered and gathered by a kind soul who left them at a nearby bank for me to retrieve. That was awesome, and I never found out who did the good deed.

I explained it was not a state ID and again described it as I did in the first e-mail, and apologized for throwing it away, but reiterated that I'd held onto it for a month after not hearing from her. She wrote back today, explaining that it was her work badge and that she'd already gotten a replacement, but sarcastically thanked me for throwing her badge away.

A few years ago I wouldn't have thought twice about mixing it up with her and attacking her fucked-up logic. Now, however, there's a large portion of me insisting that I'm an adult, she's just a rude little idiot "raised" by inadequate parents, and nothing useful will come of laying the smack down. She was not grateful that someone tried to help her, and she was not understanding that perhaps a month and a half was a long time to wait for someone to speak up, and even though she had a replacement badge (probably gotten a month and a half ago), she was still resentful that I threw away the one she herself lost. It really sounds like it would have been best for me if I hadn't tried to help at all, hadn't been curious about my environment and hadn't tried to answer a need.

I'm having a hard time letting this go. I'm not going to respond to this idiot, but the incident is making me angrier and angrier. There's so much wrong with it, it is so unreasonable. She's emblematic of a generation of old children bred with an insane sense of entitlement, a product of parents who don't have any clue how to raise children. It's really hard to focus on anything else right now.

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